10-K 1 d265423d10k.htm FORM 10-K Form 10-K
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of

the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2011    Commission File Number 1-31565

 

 

NEW YORK COMMUNITY BANCORP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   06-1377322
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

615 Merrick Avenue,

Westbury, New York

  11590
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip code)

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code) (516) 683-4100

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

 

Common Stock, $0.01 par value and

Bifurcated Option Note Unit SecuritiESSM

  New York Stock Exchange
(Title of Class)   (Name of exchange on which registered)
Haven Capital Trust II 10.25% Capital Securities   The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC
(Title of Class)   (Name of exchange on which registered)

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

None

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    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  x

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

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

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

12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large Accelerated Filer   x    Accelerated Filer   ¨
Non-Accelerated Filer   ¨    Smaller Reporting Company   ¨

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

As of June 30, 2011, the aggregate market value of the shares of common stock outstanding of the registrant was $6.3 billion, excluding 15,193,655 shares held by all directors and executive officers of the registrant. This figure is based on the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on June 30, 2011, $14.99, as reported by the New York Stock Exchange.

The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding as of February 22, 2012 was 438,671,990 shares.

 

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on June 7, 2012 are incorporated by reference into Part III.

 

 

 


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CROSS REFERENCE INDEX

 

         Page  

Forward-Looking Statements and Associated Risk Factors

     1   

Glossary

       3   

PART I

    

Item 1.

  Business      6   

Item 1A.

  Risk Factors      26   

Item 1B.

  Unresolved Staff Comments      36   

Item 2.

  Properties      36   

Item 3.

  Legal Proceedings      36   

Item 4.

  Mine Safety Disclosures      36   

PART II

    

Item 5.

  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      37   

Item 6.

  Selected Financial Data      40   

Item 7.

  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations      41   

Item 7A.

  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk      88   

Item 8.

  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data      92   

Item 9.

  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure      159   

Item 9A.

  Controls and Procedures      159   

Item 9B.

  Other Information      160   

PART III

    

Item 10.

  Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance      160   

Item 11.

  Executive Compensation      160   

Item 12.

  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      160   

Item 13.

  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence      161   

Item 14.

  Principal Accountant Fees and Services      161   

PART IV

    

Item 15.

  Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules      161   

Signatures

       164   

Certifications

    


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For the purpose of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the words “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company” are used to refer to New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and our consolidated subsidiaries, including New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank (the “Community Bank” and the “Commercial Bank,” respectively, and collectively, the “Banks”).

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS

This report, like many written and oral communications presented by New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and our authorized officers, may contain certain forward-looking statements regarding our prospective performance and strategies within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and are including this statement for purposes of said safe harbor provisions.

Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe future plans, strategies, and expectations of the Company, are generally identified by use of the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “strive,” “try,” or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “may,” or similar expressions. Our ability to predict results or the actual effects of our plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

There are a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause actual conditions, events, or results to differ significantly from those described in our forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to:

 

   

general economic conditions, either nationally or in some or all of the areas in which we and our customers conduct our respective businesses;

 

   

conditions in the securities markets and real estate markets or the banking industry;

 

   

changes in real estate values, which could impact the quality of the assets securing the loans in our portfolio;

 

   

changes in interest rates, which may affect our net income, prepayment penalty income, mortgage banking income, and other future cash flows, or the market value of our assets, including our investment securities;

 

   

changes in the quality or composition of our loan or securities portfolios;

 

   

changes in our capital management policies, including those regarding business combinations, dividends, and share repurchases, among others;

 

   

our use of derivatives to mitigate our interest rate exposure;

 

   

changes in competitive pressures among financial institutions or from non-financial institutions;

 

   

changes in deposit flows and wholesale borrowing facilities;

 

   

changes in the demand for deposit, loan, and investment products and other financial services in the markets we serve;

 

   

our timely development of new lines of business and competitive products or services in a changing environment, and the acceptance of such products or services by our customers;

 

   

changes in our customer base or in the financial or operating performances of our customers’ businesses;

 

   

any interruption in customer service due to circumstances beyond our control;

 

   

our ability to retain key members of management;

 

   

potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of companies we have acquired or may acquire in the future;

 

   

the outcome of pending or threatened litigation, or of other matters before regulatory agencies, whether currently existing or commencing in the future;

 

   

environmental conditions that exist or may exist on properties owned by, leased by, or mortgaged to the Company;

 

   

any interruption or breach of security resulting in failures or disruptions in customer account management, general ledger, deposit, loan, or other systems;

 

   

operational issues stemming from, and/or capital spending necessitated by, the potential need to adapt to industry changes in information technology systems, on which we are highly dependent;

 

   

the ability to keep pace with, and implement on a timely basis, technological changes;

 

   

changes in legislation, regulation, policies, or administrative practices, whether by judicial, governmental, or legislative action, including, but not limited to, the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and other changes pertaining to banking, securities, taxation, rent regulation and housing, financial accounting and reporting, environmental protection, and insurance, and the ability to comply with such changes in a timely manner;

 

   

changes in the monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. Government, including policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;

 

   

changes in accounting principles, policies, practices, or guidelines;

 

   

additional FDIC special assessments or required assessment prepayments;

 

   

any breach in performance by the Community Bank under our loss sharing agreements with the FDIC;

 

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changes in our estimates of future reserves based upon the periodic review thereof under relevant regulatory and accounting requirements;

 

   

changes in regulatory expectations relating to predictive models we use in connection with stress testing and other forecasting or in the assumptions on which such modeling and forecasting is predicated;

 

   

the ability to successfully integrate any assets, liabilities, customers, systems, and management personnel of any banks we may acquire into our operations, and our ability to realize related revenue synergies and cost savings within expected time frames;

 

   

changes in our credit ratings or in our ability to access the capital markets;

 

   

war or terrorist activities; and

 

   

other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, technological, and geopolitical factors affecting our operations, pricing, and services.

It should be noted that we routinely evaluate opportunities to expand through acquisitions and frequently conduct due diligence activities in connection with such opportunities. As a result, acquisition discussions and, in some cases, negotiations, may take place at any time, and acquisitions involving cash or our debt or equity securities may occur.

In addition, the timing and occurrence or non-occurrence of events may be subject to circumstances beyond our control.

Please see Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for a further discussion of factors that could affect the actual outcome of future events.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained herein, which speak only as of the date of this report. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date on which such statements were made.

 

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GLOSSARY

BARGAIN PURCHASE GAIN

A bargain purchase gain exists when the fair value of the assets acquired in a business combination exceeds the fair value of the assumed liabilities. Assets acquired in an FDIC-assisted transaction may include cash payments received from the FDIC.

BASIS POINT

Throughout this filing, the year-over-year or linked-quarter changes that occur in certain financial measures are reported in terms of basis points. Each basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point, or 0.01%.

BOOK VALUE PER SHARE

As we define it, book value per share refers to the amount of stockholders’ equity attributable to each outstanding share of common stock, after any unallocated shares held by our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) have been subtracted from the total number of shares outstanding. Book value per share is determined by dividing total stockholders’ equity at the end of a period by the adjusted number of shares at the same date. The following table indicates the number of shares outstanding both before and after the total number of unallocated ESOP shares were subtracted at December 31, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. As there were no unallocated ESOP shares remaining at December 31, 2011 or 2010, both numbers were the same at those dates.

 

     2011      2010      2009     2008     2007  

Shares outstanding

     437,344,796         435,646,845         433,197,332        344,985,111        323,812,639   

Less: Unallocated ESOP shares

     —           —           (299,248     (631,303     (977,800
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Shares used for book value per share computation

     437,344,796         435,646,845         432,898,084        344,353,808        322,834,839   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

BROKERED DEPOSITS

Refers to funds obtained, directly or indirectly, by or through deposit brokers that are then deposited into one or more deposit accounts at a bank.

CHARGE-OFF

Refers to the amount of a loan balance that has been written off against the allowance for losses on non-covered loans.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE (“CRE”) LOAN

A mortgage loan secured by either an income-producing property owned by an investor and leased primarily for commercial purposes or, to a lesser extent, an owner-occupied building used for business purposes. The CRE loans in our portfolio are typically secured by office buildings, retail shopping centers, light industrial centers with multiple tenants, or mixed-use properties.

CORE DEPOSIT INTANGIBLE (“CDI”)

Refers to the intangible asset related to the value of core deposit accounts acquired in a business combination.

CORE DEPOSITS

All deposits other than certificates of deposit (i.e., NOW and money market accounts, savings accounts, and non-interest-bearing deposits) are collectively referred to as core deposits.

COST OF FUNDS

The interest expense associated with interest-bearing liabilities, typically expressed as a ratio of interest expense to the average balance of interest-bearing liabilities for a given period.

COVERED LOANS AND OTHER REAL ESTATE OWNED (“OREO”)

Refers to the loans and OREO we acquired in our AmTrust Bank (“AmTrust”) and Desert Hills Bank (“Desert Hills”) acquisitions, which are “covered” by loss sharing agreements with the FDIC. Please see the definition of “Loss Sharing Agreements” that appears on the following page.

DIVIDEND PAYOUT RATIO

The percentage of our earnings that is paid out to shareholders in the form of dividends. It is determined by dividing the dividend paid per share during a period by our diluted earnings per share during the same period of time.

 

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DIVIDEND YIELD

Refers to the yield generated on a shareholder’s investment in the form of dividends. The current dividend yield is calculated by annualizing the current quarterly cash dividend and dividing that amount by the current stock price.

EFFICIENCY RATIO

Measures total operating expenses as a percentage of the sum of net interest income and non-interest income.

GAAP

This abbreviation is used to refer to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, on the basis of which financial statements are prepared and presented.

GOODWILL

Refers to the difference between the purchase price and the fair value of an acquired company’s assets, net of the liabilities assumed. Goodwill is reflected as an asset on the balance sheet and is tested at least annually for impairment.

GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED ENTERPRISES (“GSEs”)

Refers to a group of financial services corporations that were created by the United States Congress to enhance the availability, and reduce the cost, of credit to certain targeted borrowing sectors, including home finance. The GSEs include, but are not limited to, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), and the Federal Home Loan Banks (the “FHLBs”).

GSE OBLIGATIONS

Refers to GSE mortgage-related securities (both certificates and collateralized mortgage obligations) and GSE debentures.

INTEREST RATE LOCK COMMITMENTS (“IRLCs”)

Refers to commitments we have made to originate new one-to-four family loans at specific (i.e., locked-in) interest rates. The volume of IRLCs at the end of a period is a leading indicator of loans to be originated in the near future.

INTEREST RATE SENSITIVITY

Refers to the likelihood that the interest earned on assets and the interest paid on liabilities will change as a result of fluctuations in market interest rates.

INTEREST RATE SPREAD

The difference between the yield earned on average interest-earning assets and the cost of average interest-bearing liabilities.

LOAN-TO-VALUE (“LTV”) RATIO

Measures the balance of a loan as a percentage of the appraised value of the underlying property.

LOSS SHARING AGREEMENTS

Refers to the agreements we entered into with the FDIC in connection with the loans and OREO we acquired in our AmTrust and Desert Hills acquisitions. The agreements call for the FDIC to reimburse us for 80% of any losses (and share in 80% of any recoveries) up to specified thresholds and to reimburse us for 95% of any losses (and share in 95% of any recoveries) beyond those thresholds with respect to the acquired assets, for specified periods of time. All of the loans and OREO acquired in the AmTrust and Desert Hills acquisitions are subject to these agreements and are referred to in this report either as “covered loans,” “covered OREO,” or, when discussed together, “covered assets.”

MORTGAGE BANKING INCOME

Refers to the income generated by our mortgage banking operation, which is recorded in non-interest income. Mortgage banking income has two components: income generated from the origination of one-to-four family loans for sale (“income from originations”) and income generated by servicing such loans (“servicing income”).

MULTI-FAMILY LOAN

A mortgage loan secured by a rental or cooperative apartment building with more than four units.

NET INTEREST INCOME

The difference between the interest and dividends earned on interest-earning assets and the interest paid or payable on interest-bearing liabilities.

 

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NET INTEREST MARGIN

Measures net interest income as a percentage of average interest-earning assets.

NON-ACCRUAL LOAN

A loan generally is classified as a “non-accrual” loan when it is over 90 days past due. When a loan is placed on non-accrual status, we cease the accrual of interest owed, and previously accrued interest is reversed and charged against interest income. A loan generally is returned to accrual status when the loan is less than 90 days past due and we have reasonable assurance that the loan will be fully collectible.

NON-COVERED LOANS AND OTHER REAL ESTATE OWNED

Refers to all of the loans and OREO in our portfolio that are not covered by our loss sharing agreements with the FDIC.

NON-PERFORMING LOANS AND ASSETS

Non-performing loans consist of non-accrual loans and loans over 90 days past due and still accruing interest. Non-performing assets consist of non-performing loans and OREO.

RENT-CONTROL/RENT-STABILIZATION

In New York City, where the vast majority of the properties securing our multi-family loans are located, the amount of rent that tenants may be charged on the apartments in certain buildings is restricted under certain “rent-control” or “rent-stabilization” laws. Rent-control laws apply to apartments in buildings that were constructed prior to February 1947. An apartment is said to be “rent-controlled” if the tenant has been living continuously in the apartment for a period of time beginning prior to July 1971. When a rent-controlled apartment is vacated, it typically becomes “rent-stabilized.” Rent-stabilized apartments are generally located in buildings with six or more units that were built between February 1947 and January 1974. Rent-controlled and -stabilized apartments tend to be more affordable to live in because of the applicable regulations, and buildings with a preponderance of such rent-regulated apartments are therefore less likely to experience vacancies in times of economic adversity.

REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Repurchase agreements are contracts for the sale of securities owned or borrowed by the Banks with an agreement to repurchase those securities at an agreed-upon price and date. The Banks’ repurchase agreements are primarily collateralized by GSE obligations and other mortgage-related securities, and are entered into with either the FHLBs or various brokerage firms.

RETURN ON AVERAGE ASSETS

A measure of profitability determined by dividing net income by average assets for a given period.

RETURN ON AVERAGE STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

A measure of profitability determined by dividing net income by average stockholders’ equity for a given period.

TOTAL DELINQUENCIES

Refers to the sum of non-performing loans and loans 30 to 89 days past due.

WHOLESALE BORROWINGS

Refers to advances drawn by the Banks against their respective lines of credit with the FHLBs, their repurchase agreements with the FHLBs and various brokerage firms, and federal funds purchased.

YIELD

The interest income associated with interest-earning assets, typically expressed as a ratio of interest income to the average balance of interest-earning assets for a given period.

 

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PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

General

With total assets of $42.0 billion at December 31, 2011, we are the 21st largest publicly traded bank holding company in the nation, and operate the nation’s second largest public thrift. Reflecting our growth through ten business combinations between November 30, 2001 and March 26, 2010, we currently have 275 branch offices, combined, in five states.

We are organized under Delaware Law as a multi-bank holding company and have two primary subsidiaries: New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank (hereinafter referred to as the “Community Bank” and the “Commercial Bank,” respectively, and collectively as the “Banks”).

New York Community Bank

Established in 1859, the Community Bank is a New York State-chartered savings bank with 241 branches that currently operate through seven divisional banks.

In New York, we serve our Community Bank customers through Roslyn Savings Bank, with 55 branches on Long Island, a suburban market east of New York City comprised of Nassau and Suffolk counties; Queens County Savings Bank, with 34 branches in the New York City borough of Queens; Richmond County Savings Bank, with 22 branches in the borough of Staten Island; and Roosevelt Savings Bank, with eight branches in the borough of Brooklyn. In the Bronx and neighboring Westchester County, we currently have four branches that operate directly under the name “New York Community Bank.”

In New Jersey, we serve our Community Bank customers through 51 branches that operate under the name Garden State Community Bank.

In Florida and Arizona, where we have 25 and 14 branches, respectively, we serve our customers through the AmTrust Bank division of the Community Bank.

In Ohio, we serve our Community Bank customers through 28 branches of Ohio Savings Bank.

We compete for depositors in these diverse markets by emphasizing service and convenience, and by offering a comprehensive menu of traditional and non-traditional products and services. Of our 241 Community Bank branches, 223 feature weekend hours, including 59 that are open seven days a week. Of these, 42 are in-store branches in New York and New Jersey that are primarily located in supermarkets. The Community Bank also offers 24-hour banking online and by phone.

We also are a leading producer of multi-family loans in New York City, with an emphasis on non-luxury apartment buildings that feature below-market rents. In addition to multi-family loans, which are our principal asset, we originate commercial real estate loans (primarily in New York City, as well as Long Island and New Jersey) and, to a much lesser extent, acquisition, development, and construction loans, and commercial and industrial loans.

We also originate one-to-four family loans, primarily through our mortgage banking operation, which was acquired in connection with our acquisition of certain assets, and assumption of certain liabilities, of AmTrust Bank (“AmTrust”) on December 4, 2009. In 2011, the vast majority of the one-to-four family loans we originated were agency-conforming loans sold to government-sponsored enterprises (“GSEs”), servicing retained. The remainder were jumbo one-to-four family loans that were sold under contract to other financial institutions.

Although the vast majority of the loans we produce for investment (i.e., for our portfolio) are secured by properties or businesses in New York City, and to a lesser extent, Long Island and New Jersey, the one-to-four family loans we originate through our mortgage banking operation are for the purchase or refinancing of homes in all 50 states.

New York Commercial Bank

Established through an acquisition on December 30, 2005, the Commercial Bank is a New York State-chartered commercial bank with 34 branches in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester County, and Long Island, including 17 that operate under the name “Atlantic Bank.”

The Commercial Bank competes for customers by emphasizing personal service and by addressing the needs of small and mid-size businesses, professional associations, and government agencies with a comprehensive menu of business solutions, including installment loans, revolving lines of credit, and cash management services. In addition, the Commercial Bank offers 24-hour banking online and by phone.

 

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Customers of the Commercial Bank may transact their business at any of the 174 Community Bank branches in New York and New Jersey, and Community Bank customers in New York and New Jersey may transact their business at any of the 34 Commercial Bank branch in New York. In addition, customers of both Banks have 24-hour access to their accounts through 261 of our 285 ATM locations in the five states we serve.

Our Websites

We also serve our customers through three connected websites: www.myNYCB.com, www.NewYorkCommercialBank.com, and www.NYCBfamily.com. In addition to providing our customers with 24-hour access to their accounts, and information regarding our products and services, hours of service, and locations, these websites provide extensive information about the Company for the investment community. Earnings releases, dividend announcements, and other press releases are posted upon issuance to the Investor Relations portion of our websites. In addition, our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) (including our annual report on Form 10-K; our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q; and our current reports on Form 8-K), and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, are available without charge, typically within minutes of being filed. The websites also provide information regarding our Board of Directors and management team and the number of Company shares held by these insiders, as well as certain Board Committee charters and our corporate governance policies. The content of our websites shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this Annual Report.

Overview

Lending

Loans represented $30.3 billion, or 72.1%, of total assets at December 31, 2011. Our loan portfolio has three components:

1. Covered Loans – Covered loans refers to the loans we acquired in our FDIC-assisted acquisitions of AmTrust and Desert Hills Bank (“Desert Hills”), and are covered by loss sharing agreements with the FDIC. At December 31, 2011, the balance of covered loans was $3.8 billion; of this amount, $3.4 billion were one-to-four family loans. To distinguish these “covered loans” from the loans in our portfolio that are not subject to these agreements (and that, for the most part, we ourselves originated), all other loans in our portfolio are referred to as “non-covered loans.”

2. Non-Covered Loans Held for Sale – Non-covered loans held for sale refers to the one-to-four family loans that we originate and aggregate for sale, primarily to GSEs. At December 31, 2011, the held-for-sale loan portfolio totaled $1.0 billion. In the twelve months ended at that date, we originated $7.2 billion of one-to-four family loans for sale.

3. Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment – Referring to the loans we originate for our own portfolio, non-covered loans held for investment totaled $25.5 billion at December 31, 2011. The year-end balance consisted primarily of loans secured by multi-family buildings in New York City, most of which are subject to rent regulation and therefore feature below-market rents. In addition to multi-family loans, loans held for investment include commercial real estate loans and, to a much lesser extent, acquisition, development, and construction loans; commercial and industrial loans; and one-to-four family loans.

Multi-Family Loans

Multi-family loans represented $17.4 billion, or 68.3%, of total loans held for investment at December 31, 2011, and represented $5.8 billion, or 64.1%, of the total loans we originated for investment over the course of the year.

The multi-family loans we originate are typically secured by non-luxury apartment buildings in New York City that are subject to rent regulation and therefore feature below-market rents. Such loans are typically made to long-term property owners with a history of growing their cash flows over time by making improvements to certain apartments which, in turn, enables them to increase the rents their tenants pay. We also make multi-family loans to property owners who are seeking to expand their real estate holdings by purchasing additional properties.

Our typical loan has a term of ten years, with a fixed rate of interest in years one through five and a rate that either adjusts annually or is fixed for the five years that follow. Loans that prepay in the first five years generate prepayment penalties ranging from five percentage points to one percentage point of the then-current loan balance, depending on the remaining term of the loan. If a loan is still outstanding in the sixth year and the borrower selects the fixed rate option, the prepayment penalties typically reset to a range of five points to one point over years six through ten. Reflecting the structure of our multi-family credits, and the tendency of our borrowers to refinance their loans as their cash flows increase, our average multi-family loan had an expected weighted average life of 3.3 years at December 31, 2011.

 

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Commercial Real Estate (“CRE”) Loans

CRE loans represented $6.9 billion, or 26.9%, of total loans held for investment at December 31, 2011, and $2.4 billion, or 26.3%, of loans produced for investment over the course of the year. Our CRE loans are similar in structure to our multi-family credits, and had a weighted average life of 3.4 years at December 31, 2011.

The CRE loans we originate are secured by income-producing properties such as office buildings, retail centers, multi-tenanted light industrial properties, and mixed-use buildings, most of which are located in New York City and, to a lesser extent, on Long Island and in New Jersey.

Acquisition, Development, and Construction (“ADC”) Loans

Our ADC loan portfolio largely consists of loans that were originated for land acquisition, development, and construction of multi-family and residential tract projects in New York City and Long Island, and, to a lesser extent, for the construction of owner-occupied one-to-four family homes and commercial properties.

ADC loans represented $445.7 million, or 1.7%, of total loans held for investment at the end of December, reflecting our decision to limit such lending in the current housing market, and the increased deployment of our cash flows into multi-family and CRE loans.

Commercial and Industrial (“C&I”) Loans

Included in “other loans” in our Consolidated Statements of Condition, C&I loans represented $600.0 million, or 2.4%, of total loans held for investment at December 31, 2011. We offer a broad range of loans to small and mid-size businesses for working capital (including inventory and receivables), business expansion, and the purchase of equipment and machinery.

One-to-Four Family Loans

Non-covered one-to-four family loans totaled $127.4 million at the end of this December, and consisted primarily of loans acquired in our business combinations prior to 2009.

Asset Quality

The quality of our assets improved in 2011, as an improvement in market conditions combined with the efforts of our Loan Recovery Unit to reduce the balance of non-performing loans. Non-performing non-covered loans declined $298.6 million year-over-year to $325.8 million at December 31, 2011, representing 1.28% of total non-covered loans. Reflecting the decline in non-performing loans, and a $56.5 million rise in other real estate owned (“OREO”) to $84.6 million, non-performing assets fell $242.1 million year-over-year to $410.4 million, representing 1.07% of total non-covered assets at December 31, 2011.

At December 31, 2011, the allowance for losses on non-covered loans totaled $137.3 million, representing 42.14% of total non-covered loans at that date. The provision for losses on non-covered loans totaled $79.0 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, while net charge-offs totaled $100.7 million, representing 0.35% of average loans.

Notwithstanding the year-over-year improvement in the economy and local market conditions, it should be noted that economic weakness resulting from a further contraction of real estate values and/or an increase in office vacancies, bankruptcies, and unemployment, could result in our experiencing a further increase in charge-offs and/or an increase in our loan loss provision, either of which could have an adverse impact on our earnings in the future.

Funding Sources

We have four primary funding sources: the deposits we gather through our branch network or add through acquisitions, and brokered deposits; wholesale borrowings, primarily in the form of Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) advances and repurchase agreements with the FHLB and various brokerage firms; cash flows produced by the repayment and sale of loans; and cash flows produced by securities repayments and sales.

Deposits totaled $22.3 billion at December 31, 2011, and included certificates of deposit (“CDs”) of $7.4 billion; NOW and money market accounts of $8.8 billion; savings accounts of $4.0 billion; and non-interest-bearing accounts of $2.2 billion.

 

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Borrowed funds totaled $14.0 billion at the end of the year, with wholesale borrowings representing $13.4 billion, or 96.3%, of that balance and 32.0% of total assets at December 31, 2011.

Loan repayments and sales generated cash flows of $15.0 billion in 2011, while securities repayments and sales generated cash flows of $4.2 billion.

Revenues

Our primary source of income is net interest income, which is the difference between the interest income generated by the loans we produce and the securities we invest in, and the interest expense produced by our interest-bearing deposits and borrowed funds. The level of net interest income we generate is influenced by a variety of factors, some of which are within our control (e.g., our mix of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities), net; and some of which are not (e.g., the level of short-term interest rates and market rates of interest, the degree of competition we face for deposits and loans, and the level of prepayment penalty income we receive). In 2011, net interest income rose $20.5 million to $1.2 billion, as a $47.1 million decline in interest income was exceeded by a $67.6 million decline in interest expense. Prepayment penalty income added $86.6 million to interest income in 2011, as a decline in market interest rates combined with the improvement in local market conditions to trigger an increase in multi-family and CRE loan demand.

While net interest income is our primary source of income, it is supplemented by the non-interest income we produce. In 2011, our largest source of non-interest income was the income generated by our mortgage banking operation through the origination of loans for sale to GSEs. Mortgage banking income accounted for $80.7 million of total non-interest income, with income from originations accounting for $80.2 million and servicing income accounting for the rest. In addition, fee income from deposits and loans accounted for $44.9 million of 2011 non-interest income, while BOLI income and other income accounted for $28.4 million and $35.5 million, respectively. Included in other income are the revenues from the sale of third-party investment products in our branches, and revenues from our investment advisory firm, Peter B. Cannell & Co., Inc., which had $1.6 billion of assets under management at December 31, 2011.

Efficiency

The efficiency of our operation has long been a distinguishing characteristic, stemming from our focus on multi-family lending, which is broker-driven, and from the expansion of our franchise through acquisitions rather than de novo growth. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, our efficiency ratio was 40.03%.

Our Market

Our current market for deposits consists of the 26 counties in the five states that are served by our branch network, including all five boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, and Westchester County in New York; Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union Counties in New Jersey; Maricopa and Yavapai Counties in Arizona; Cuyahoga, Lake, and Summit Counties in Ohio; and Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties in Florida.

The market for the loans we produce varies, depending on the type of loan. For example, the vast majority of our multi-family loans are collateralized by rental apartment buildings in New York City, which is also home to the majority of the properties collateralizing our CRE loans. In contrast, our mortgage banking operation originates one-to-four family loans in all 50 states.

Competition for Deposits

The combined population of the 26 counties where our branches are located is approximately 29.6 million, and the number of banks and thrifts we compete with currently exceeds 360. With total deposits of $22.3 billion at December 31, 2011, we ranked ninth among all bank and thrift depositories serving these 26 counties, and ranked first or second among all thrift depositories in the following counties: Queens, Richmond, and Nassau Counties in New York; Essex County in New Jersey; and Palm Beach County in Florida. (Market share information was provided by SNL Financial.)

We also compete for deposits with other financial institutions, including credit unions, Internet banks, and brokerage firms. Although we currently rank 21st among the top 25 bank holding companies in the nation, based on total assets, many of the institutions we compete with have greater financial resources than we do and serve a far broader market, which enables them to promote their products more extensively than we can.

Our ability to attract and retain deposits is not only a function of short-term interest rates and industry consolidation, but also the competitiveness of the rates being offered by other financial institutions within our marketplace.

 

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Competition for deposits is also influenced by several internal factors, including the opportunity to acquire deposits through business combinations; the cash flows produced through loan and securities repayments and sales; and the availability of attractively priced wholesale funds. In addition, the degree to which we compete for deposits is influenced by the liquidity needed to fund our loan production and other outstanding commitments.

We vie for deposits and customers by placing an emphasis on convenience and service. In addition to our 241 Community Bank branches and 34 Commercial Bank branches, we have 285 ATM locations, including 261 that operate 24 hours a day. Our customers also have 24-hour access to their accounts through our bank-by-phone service and online through our three websites, www.myNYCB.com, www.NewYorkCommercialBank.com, and www.NYCBfamily.com.

In addition to 192 traditional branches in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona, our Community Bank currently has 42 “in-store” branches in New York and New Jersey—41 in supermarkets and one in a drug store. Because of the proximity of these branches to our traditional locations, our customers have the option of doing their banking seven days a week in many of the communities we serve. This service model is an important component of our efforts to attract and maintain deposits in a highly competitive marketplace. Of the remaining Community Bank branches, four are located on corporate campuses in New Jersey and three are customer service centers in New York.

We also compete by complementing our broad selection of traditional banking products with an extensive menu of alternative financial services, including insurance, annuities, and mutual funds of various third-party service providers. Furthermore, customers who come to us seeking a residential mortgage can begin the application process by phone or in any branch.

In addition to checking and savings accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts, and CDs for both businesses and consumers, the Commercial Bank offers a suite of cash management products to address the needs of small and mid-size businesses, municipal and county governments, school districts, and professional associations.

Another competitive advantage is our strong community presence, with April 14, 2011 having marked the 152nd year of service of our forebear, Queens County Savings Bank. We have found that our longevity, as well as our strong capital position, are especially appealing to customers seeking a strong, stable, and service-oriented bank.

Competition for Loans

Our success as a producer of multi-family, CRE, ADC, and C&I loans is substantially tied to the economic health of the markets where we lend. Local economic conditions have a significant impact on loan demand, the value of the collateral securing our credits, and the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans.

The competition we face for loans also varies with the type of loan we are originating. In New York City, where the majority of the buildings collateralizing our multi-family loans are located, we compete for such loans on the basis of timely service and the expertise that stems from being a specialist in our field.

Following the financial crisis in 2008, most of our competitors were either acquired or chose to step away from the multi-family lending space. As the multi-family housing market began to reflect improvement in 2011, we began to see new entrants to this market, as well as the return of certain competitors who had opted to step away during the downward cycle turn. Nonetheless, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to be our primary competition for multi-family loans in 2011, as they were in 2010 and 2009.

While we anticipate that competition for multi-family loans will continue in the future, we believe that the significant volume of multi-family loans we produced in 2011 is indicative of our ability to compete for such business as conditions in our market continue to improve. That said, no assurances can be made that we will be able to sustain or increase our level of multi-family loan production, given the extent to which it is influenced not only by competition, but also by such factors as the level of market interest rates, the availability and cost of funding, real estate values, market conditions, and the state of the economy.

Although multi-family lending remains our primary focus, we also originate CRE loans for our portfolio. Our ability to originate CRE loans was also enhanced by the exit of certain financial and non-financial institutions from our market, a factor that contributed to the growth of our portfolio in 2011 as it did in the prior two years. Our ability to compete for CRE loans on a go-forward basis depends on the same factors that impact our ability to compete for multi-family credits, and on the degree to which other CRE lenders choose to step up their loan production as the local market continues to improve.

Since the second half of 2007, we have been largely limiting our ADC lending; in addition, we have generally been limiting our production of C&I loans.

 

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Our mortgage banking operation competes with a significant number of financial and non-financial institutions throughout the nation that also originate and aggregate one-to-four family loans for sale to GSEs. In 2011, we originated $7.2 billion of one-to-four family loans for sale.

Environmental Issues

We encounter certain environmental risks in our lending activities. The existence of hazardous materials may make it unattractive for a lender to foreclose on the properties securing its loans. In addition, under certain conditions, lenders may become liable for the costs of cleaning up hazardous materials found on such properties. We attempt to mitigate such environmental risks by requiring either that a borrower purchase environmental insurance or that an appropriate environmental site assessment be completed as part of our underwriting review on the initial granting of CRE and ADC loans, regardless of location, and of any out-of-state multi-family loans we may produce. In addition, we order an updated environmental analysis prior to foreclosing on such properties, and typically maintain ownership of the real estate we acquire through foreclosure in subsidiaries.

Our attention to environmental risks also applies to the properties and facilities that house our bank operations. Prior to acquiring a large-scale property, a Phase 1 Environmental Property Assessment is typically performed by a licensed professional engineer to determine the integrity of, and/or the potential risk associated with, the facility and the property on which it is built. Properties and facilities of a smaller scale are evaluated by qualified in-house assessors, as well as by industry experts in environmental testing and remediation. This two-pronged approach identifies potential risks associated with asbestos-containing material, above and underground storage tanks, radon, electrical transformers (which may contain PCBs), ground water flow, storm and sanitary discharge, and mold, among other environmental risks. These processes assist us in mitigating environmental risk by enabling us to identify potential issues prior to, and following, our acquisition of bank properties.

 

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Subsidiary Activities

The Community Bank has formed, or acquired through merger transactions, 34 active subsidiary corporations. Of these, 22 are direct subsidiaries of the Community Bank and 12 are subsidiaries of Community Bank-owned entities.

The 22 direct subsidiaries of the Community Bank are:

 

Name

  

Jurisdiction of
Organization

  

Purpose

DHB Real Estate, LLC

   Arizona    Organized to own interests in real estate

Mt. Sinai Ventures, LLC

   Delaware    A joint venture partner in the development, construction, and sale of a 177-unit golf course community in Mt. Sinai, NY, all the units of which were sold by December 31, 2006

NYCB Community Development Corp.

   Delaware    Formed to invest in community development activities

NYCB Mortgage Company, LLC

   Delaware    Originates and aggregates one-to-four family loans for sale, primarily servicing retained

Realty Funding Company, LLC

   Delaware    Holding company for loan company subsidiaries

Eagle Rock Investment Corp.

   New Jersey    Formed to hold and manage investment portfolios for the Company

Pacific Urban Renewal, Inc.

   New Jersey    Owns a branch building

Somerset Manor Holding Corp.

   New Jersey    Holding company for four subsidiaries that owned and operated two assisted-living facilities in New Jersey in 2005

Synergy Capital Investments, Inc.

   New Jersey    Formed to hold and manage investment portfolios for the Company

1400 Corp.

   New York    Manages properties acquired by foreclosure while they are being marketed for sale

BSR 1400 Corp.

   New York    Organized to own interests in real estate

Bellingham Corp.

   New York    Organized to own interests in real estate

Blizzard Realty Corp.

   New York    Organized to own interests in real estate

CFS Investments, Inc.

   New York    Sells non-deposit investment products

Main Omni Realty Corp.

   New York    Organized to own interests in real estate

NYB Realty Holding Company, LLC

   New York    Holding company for subsidiaries owning interests in real estate

O.B. Ventures, LLC

   New York    A joint venture partner in a 370-unit residential community in Plainview, New York, all the units of which were sold by December 31, 2004

RCBK Mortgage Corp.

   New York    Organized to own interests in certain multi-family loans

RCSB Corporation

   New York    Owns a branch building, Ferry Development Holding Company, and Woodhaven Investments, Inc.

RSB Agency, Inc.

   New York    Sells non-deposit investment products

Richmond Enterprises, Inc.

   New York    Holding company for Peter B. Cannell & Co., Inc.

Roslyn National Mortgage Corporation

   New York    Formerly operated as a mortgage loan originator and servicer and currently holds an interest in its former office space

 

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The 12 subsidiaries of Community Bank-owned entities are:

 

Name

  

Jurisdiction of
Organization

  

Purpose

Bronx Realty Funding Company, LLC

   Delaware    A non-performing loan holding company

Columbia Preferred Capital Corporation

   Delaware    A real estate investment trust (“REIT”) organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets

Ferry Development Holding Company

   Delaware    Formed to hold and manage investment portfolios for the Company

Peter B. Cannell & Co., Inc.

   Delaware    Advises high net worth individuals and institutions on the management of their assets

Roslyn Real Estate Asset Corp.

   Delaware    A REIT organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets

Walnut Realty Funding Company, LLC

   Delaware    Established to own Bank-owned properties

Woodhaven Investments, Inc.

   Delaware    Holding company for Roslyn Real Estate Asset Corp. and Ironbound Investment Company, Inc.

Your New REO, LLC

   Delaware    Owns a website that lists bank-owned properties for sale

Ironbound Investment Company, Inc.

   New Jersey    A REIT organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets that also is the principal shareholder of Richmond County Capital Corp.

The Hamlet at Olde Oyster Bay, LLC

   New York    Organized as a joint venture, part-owned by O.B. Ventures, LLC

The Hamlet at Willow Creek, LLC

   New York    Organized as a joint venture, part-owned by Mt. Sinai Ventures, LLC

Richmond County Capital Corporation

   New York    A REIT organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets that also is the principal shareholder of Columbia Preferred Capital Corp.

There are 66 additional entities that are subsidiaries of a Community Bank-owned entity organized to own interests in real estate.

The Commercial Bank has six active subsidiary corporations, two of which are subsidiaries of Commercial Bank-owned entities.

The two direct subsidiaries of the Commercial Bank are:

 

Name

  

Jurisdiction of
Organization

  

Purpose

Beta Investments, Inc.

   Delaware    Holding company for Omega Commercial Mortgage Corp. and Long Island Commercial Capital Corp.

Gramercy Leasing Services, Inc.

   New York    Provides equipment lease financing

The two subsidiaries of Commercial Bank-owned entities are:

 

Name

  

Jurisdiction of
Organization

  

Purpose

Omega Commercial Mortgage Corp.

   Delaware    A REIT organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets

Long Island Commercial Capital Corp.

   New York    A REIT organized for the purpose of investing in mortgage-related assets

There are two additional entities that are subsidiaries of the Commercial Bank that are organized to own interests in real estate.

The Company owns nine active special business trusts that were formed for the purpose of issuing capital and common securities and investing the proceeds thereof in the junior subordinated debentures issued by the Company. Please see Note 7, “Borrowed Funds,” in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” for a further discussion of the Company’s special business trusts.

 

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The Company also has one non-banking subsidiary that was established in connection with the acquisition of Atlantic Bank of New York.

Personnel

At December 31, 2011, the number of full-time equivalent employees was 3,348. Our employees are not represented by a collective bargaining unit, and we consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

Federal, State, and Local Taxation

The Company is subject to federal, state, and local income taxes. Please see the discussion of “Income Taxes” in “Critical Accounting Policies” in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” later in this report.

Regulation and Supervision

General

The Community Bank is a New York State-chartered savings bank and its deposit accounts are insured under the Deposit Insurance Fund (the “DIF”) up to applicable legal limits. The Commercial Bank is a New York State-chartered commercial bank and its deposit accounts also are insured by the DIF up to applicable legal limits. Both the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are subject to extensive regulation and supervision by the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “NYDFS”) (formerly, the New York State Banking Department), as their chartering agency, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), as their insurer of deposits, and by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), which was created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd Frank Act”) in 2011 to implement and enforce consumer protection laws applying to banks. The Banks must file reports with the NYDFS, the FDIC, and the CFPB concerning their activities and financial condition, in addition to obtaining regulatory approvals prior to entering into certain transactions such as mergers with, or acquisitions of, other depository institutions. Furthermore, the Banks are periodically examined by the NYDFS and the FDIC to assess compliance with various regulatory requirements, including safety and soundness considerations. This regulation and supervision establishes a comprehensive framework of activities in which a savings bank and a commercial bank can engage, and is intended primarily for the protection of the insurance fund and depositors. The regulatory structure also gives the regulatory authorities extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies with respect to the classification of assets and the establishment of adequate loan loss allowances for regulatory purposes. Any change in such regulation, whether by the NYDFS, the FDIC, or through legislation, could have a material adverse impact on the Company, the Banks, and their operations, and the Company’s shareholders.

The Company is required to file certain reports under, and otherwise comply with, the rules and regulations of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (the “FRB”), the FDIC, the NYDFS, and the SEC under federal securities laws. In addition, the FRB periodically examines the Company. Certain of the regulatory requirements applicable to the Community Bank, the Commercial Bank, and the Company are referred to below or elsewhere herein. However, such discussion is not meant to be a complete explanation of all laws and regulations and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the actual laws and regulations.

The Dodd-Frank Act

The Dodd-Frank Act has significantly changed the current bank regulatory structure and will continue to affect, into the immediate future, the lending and investment activities and general operations of depository institutions and their holding companies.

In addition to creating the CFPB, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the FRB to establish minimum consolidated capital requirements for bank holding companies that are as stringent as those required for insured depository institutions; the components of Tier 1 capital will be restricted to capital instruments that are currently considered to be Tier 1 capital for insured depository institutions. In addition, the proceeds of trust preferred securities will be excluded from Tier 1 capital unless (i) such securities are issued by bank holding companies with assets of less than $500 million, or (ii) such securities were issued prior to May 19, 2010 by bank or savings and loan holding companies with assets of less than $15 billion. The exclusion of such proceeds will be phased in over a three-year period beginning in 2013.

The Dodd-Frank Act created a new supervisory structure for oversight of the U.S. financial system, including the establishment of a new council of regulators, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to monitor and address systemic risks to the financial system. Non-bank financial companies that are deemed to be significant to the stability of the U.S. financial system and all bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets will be subject to heightened supervision and regulation. The FRB will implement prudential requirements and prompt corrective action procedures for such companies.

 

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The Dodd-Frank Act made many additional changes in banking regulation, including: authorizing depository institutions, for the first time, to pay interest on business checking accounts; requiring originators of securitized loans to retain a percentage of the risk for transferred loans; establishing regulatory rate-setting for certain debit card interchange fees; and establishing a number of reforms for mortgage lending and consumer protection.

The Dodd-Frank Act also broadened the base for FDIC insurance assessments. The FDIC was required to promulgate rules revising its assessment system so that it is based not on deposits, but on the average consolidated total assets less the tangible equity capital of an insured institution. That rule took effect April 1, 2011. The Dodd-Frank Act also permanently increased the maximum amount of deposit insurance for banks, savings institutions, and credit unions to $250,000 per depositor, retroactive to January 1, 2008, and provided non-interest-bearing transaction accounts with unlimited deposit insurance through December 31, 2012.

Many of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act are not yet effective. The Dodd-Frank Act requires various federal agencies to promulgate numerous and extensive implementing regulations over the next several years. Although it is therefore difficult to predict at this time what impact the Dodd-Frank Act and the implementing regulations will have on the Company and the Banks, they may have a material impact on operations through, among other things, heightened regulatory supervision and increased compliance costs.

Basel III

During the third quarter of 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision revised the Capital Accord (“Basel III”), which narrows the definition of capital and increases capital requirements for specific exposures. The new capital requirements will be phased in over six years, beginning in 2013. If these revisions were adopted currently, we estimate they would have a minimal impact on our regulatory capital ratios, based on our current understanding of the revisions to capital qualification. We await clarification from our banking regulators as to their interpretation of Basel III and any additional requirements to the stated thresholds.

In addition, the FDIC has approved issuance of an interagency proposed rulemaking to implement certain provisions of Section 171 of the Dodd-Frank Act (“Section 171”). Section 171 provides that the capital requirements generally applicable to insured banks shall serve as a floor for other capital requirements the agencies establish. The FDIC has noted that the advanced approaches of Basel III allow for reductions in risk-based capital requirements below those generally applicable to insured banks and, accordingly, need to be modified to be consistent with Section 171.

New York State Law

The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank derive their lending, investment, and other authority primarily from the applicable provisions of New York State Banking Law and the regulations of the NYDFS, as limited by FDIC regulations. Under these laws and regulations, banks, including the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank, may invest in real estate mortgages, consumer and commercial loans, certain types of debt securities (including certain corporate debt securities, and obligations of federal, state, and local governments and agencies), certain types of corporate equity securities, and certain other assets. The lending powers of New York State-chartered savings banks and commercial banks are not subject to percentage-of-assets or capital limitations, although there are limits applicable to loans to individual borrowers.

The exercise by an FDIC-insured savings bank or commercial bank of the lending and investment powers under New York State Banking Law is limited by FDIC regulations and other federal laws and regulations. In particular, the applicable provisions of New York State Banking Law and regulations governing the investment authority and activities of an FDIC-insured state-chartered savings bank and commercial bank have been effectively limited by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”) and the FDIC regulations issued pursuant thereto.

With certain limited exceptions, a New York State-chartered savings bank may not make loans or extend credit for commercial, corporate, or business purposes (including lease financing) to a single borrower, the aggregate amount of which would be in excess of 15% of the bank’s net worth or up to 25% for loans secured by collateral having an ascertainable market value at least equal to the excess of such loans over the bank’s net worth. A commercial bank is subject to similar limits on all of its loans. The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank currently comply with all applicable loans-to-one-borrower limitations.

 

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Under New York State Banking Law, New York State-chartered stock-form savings banks and commercial banks may declare and pay dividends out of their net profits, unless there is an impairment of capital, but approval of the NYDFS Superintendent (the “Superintendent”) is required if the total of all dividends declared by the bank in a calendar year would exceed the total of its net profits for that year combined with its retained net profits for the preceding two years less prior dividends paid.

New York State Banking Law gives the Superintendent authority to issue an order to a New York State-chartered banking institution to appear and explain an apparent violation of law, to discontinue unauthorized or unsafe practices, and to keep prescribed books and accounts. Upon a finding by the NYDFS that any director, trustee, or officer of any banking organization has violated any law, or has continued unauthorized or unsafe practices in conducting the business of the banking organization after having been notified by the Superintendent to discontinue such practices, such director, trustee, or officer may be removed from office after notice and an opportunity to be heard. The Superintendent also has authority to appoint a conservator or a receiver for a savings or commercial bank under certain circumstances.

FDIC Regulations

Capital Requirements

The FDIC has adopted risk-based capital guidelines to which the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are subject. The guidelines establish a systematic analytical framework that makes regulatory capital requirements sensitive to differences in risk profiles among banking organizations. The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are required to maintain certain levels of regulatory capital in relation to regulatory risk-weighted assets. The ratio of such regulatory capital to regulatory risk-weighted assets is referred to as a “risk-based capital ratio.” Risk-based capital ratios are determined by allocating assets and specified off-balance-sheet items to four risk-weighted categories ranging from 0% to 100%, with higher levels of capital being required for the categories perceived as representing greater risk.

These guidelines divide an institution’s capital into two tiers. The first tier (“Tier 1”) includes common equity, retained earnings, certain non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock (excluding auction rate issues), and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, less goodwill and other intangible assets (except mortgage servicing rights and purchased credit card relationships subject to certain limitations). Supplementary (“Tier 2”) capital includes, among other items, cumulative perpetual and long-term limited-life preferred stock, mandatorily convertible securities, certain hybrid capital instruments, term subordinated debt, and the allowance for loan losses, subject to certain limitations, and up to 45% of pre-tax net unrealized gains on equity securities with readily determinable fair market values, less required deductions. Savings banks and commercial banks are required to maintain a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 8%, of which at least 4% must be Tier 1 capital.

In addition, the FDIC has established regulations prescribing a minimum Tier 1 leverage capital ratio (the ratio of Tier 1 capital to adjusted average assets as specified in the regulations). These regulations provide for a minimum Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 3% for institutions that meet certain specified criteria, including that they have the highest examination rating and are not experiencing or anticipating significant growth. All other institutions are required to maintain a Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of at least 4%. The FDIC may, however, set higher leverage and risk-based capital requirements on individual institutions when particular circumstances warrant. Institutions experiencing or anticipating significant growth are expected to maintain capital ratios, including tangible capital positions, well above the minimum levels.

As of December 31, 2011, the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank were deemed to be well capitalized under the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action. To be categorized as well capitalized, a bank must maintain a minimum Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 5%, a minimum Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6%, and a minimum total risk-based capital ratio of 10%. A summary of the regulatory capital ratios of the Banks at December 31, 2011 appears in Note 17, “Regulatory Matters” in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

The regulatory capital regulations of the FDIC and other federal banking agencies provide that the agencies will take into account the exposure of an institution’s capital and economic value to changes in interest rate risk in assessing capital adequacy. According to such agencies, applicable considerations include the quality of the institution’s interest rate risk management process, overall financial condition, and the level of other risks at the institution for which capital is needed. Institutions with significant interest rate risk may be required to hold additional capital. The agencies have issued a joint policy statement providing guidance on interest rate risk management, including a discussion of the critical factors affecting the agencies’ evaluation of interest rate risk in connection with capital adequacy. Institutions that engage in specified amounts of trading activity may be subject to adjustments in the calculation of the risk-based capital requirement to assure sufficient additional capital to support market risk.

 

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Standards for Safety and Soundness

Federal law requires each federal banking agency to prescribe, for the depository institutions under its jurisdiction, standards that relate to, among other things, internal controls; information and audit systems; loan documentation; credit underwriting; the monitoring of interest rate risk; asset growth; compensation; fees and benefits; and such other operational and managerial standards as the agency deems appropriate. The federal banking agencies adopted final regulations and Interagency Guidelines Establishing Standards for Safety and Soundness (the “Guidelines”) to implement these safety and soundness standards. The Guidelines set forth the safety and soundness standards that the federal banking agencies use to identify and address problems at insured depository institutions before capital becomes impaired. If the appropriate federal banking agency determines that an institution fails to meet any standard prescribed by the Guidelines, the agency may require the institution to provide it with an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard, as required by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended, (the “FDI Act”). The final regulations establish deadlines for the submission and review of such safety and soundness compliance plans.

Stress Testing

On January 17, 2012, the FDIC approved a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require certain large insured depository institutions to conduct annual capital-adequacy stress tests. The proposal, to implement section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act, would apply to FDIC-insured state non-member banks with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion (a “covered bank”). The proposed rule defines a stress test as a process to assess the potential impact of economic and financial conditions on the consolidated earnings, losses, and capital of the covered bank over a set planning horizon, taking into account the current condition of the covered bank and its risks, exposures, strategies, and activities.

Under the proposed rule, each covered bank would be required to conduct annual stress tests using the bank’s financial data as of September 30 of that year to assess the potential impact of different scenarios on the consolidated earnings and capital of that bank and certain related items over a nine-quarter forward-looking planning horizon, taking into account all relevant exposures and activities. On or before January 5th of each year, each covered bank, including the Community Bank, would be required to report to the FDIC, in the manner and form prescribed in the proposed rule, the results of the stress tests conducted by the covered bank during the immediately preceding year. Based on the information provided by a covered bank in the required report to the FDIC, as well as other relevant information, the FDIC would conduct an analysis of the quality of the covered bank’s stress test processes and related results. The FDIC envisions that feedback concerning such analysis would be provided to a covered bank through the supervisory process.

Consistent with the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, the proposed rule would require each covered bank to publish a summary of the results of its annual stress tests within 90 days of the required date for submitting its stress test report to the FDIC.

Real Estate Lending Standards

The FDIC and the other federal banking agencies have adopted regulations that prescribe standards for extensions of credit that (i) are secured by real estate, or (ii) are made for the purpose of financing construction or improvements on real estate. The FDIC regulations require each institution to establish and maintain written internal real estate lending standards that are consistent with safe and sound banking practices, and appropriate to the size of the institution and the nature and scope of its real estate lending activities. The standards also must be consistent with accompanying FDIC Guidelines, which include loan-to-value limitations for the different types of real estate loans. Institutions are also permitted to make a limited amount of loans that do not conform to the proposed loan-to-value limitations so long as such exceptions are reviewed and justified appropriately. The Guidelines also list a number of lending situations in which exceptions to the loan-to-value standard are justified.

In 2006, the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued joint guidance entitled “Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices” (the “CRE Guidance”). The CRE Guidance, which addresses land development, construction, and certain multi-family loans, as well as commercial real estate loans, does not establish specific lending limits but, rather, reinforces and enhances the Agencies’ existing regulations and guidelines for such lending and portfolio management.

Dividend Limitations

The FDIC has authority to use its enforcement powers to prohibit a savings bank or commercial bank from paying dividends if, in its opinion, the payment of dividends would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Federal law prohibits the payment of dividends that will result in the institution failing to meet applicable capital requirements on a pro forma basis. The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are also subject to dividend declaration restrictions imposed by New York State law as previously discussed under “New York State Law.”

 

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Investment Activities

Since the enactment of FDICIA, all state-chartered financial institutions, including savings banks, commercial banks, and their subsidiaries, have generally been limited to such activities as principal and equity investments of the type, and in the amount, authorized for national banks. State law, FDICIA, and FDIC regulations permit certain exceptions to these limitations. For example, certain state-chartered savings banks, such as the Community Bank, may, with FDIC approval, continue to exercise state authority to invest in common or preferred stocks listed on a national securities exchange and in the shares of an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Such banks may also continue to sell Savings Bank Life Insurance. In addition, the FDIC is authorized to permit institutions to engage in state-authorized activities or investments not permitted for national banks (other than non-subsidiary equity investments) for institutions that meet all applicable capital requirements if it is determined that such activities or investments do not pose a significant risk to the insurance fund. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and FDIC regulations impose certain quantitative and qualitative restrictions on such activities and on a bank’s dealings with a subsidiary that engages in specified activities.

The Community Bank received grandfathering authority from the FDIC in 1993 to invest in listed stock and/or registered shares subject to the maximum permissible investments of 100% of Tier 1 Capital, as specified by the FDIC’s regulations, or the maximum amount permitted by New York State Banking Law, whichever is less. Such grandfathering authority is subject to termination upon the FDIC’s determination that such investments pose a safety and soundness risk to the Community Bank or in the event that the Community Bank converts its charter or undergoes a change in control.

Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action

Federal law requires, among other things, that federal bank regulatory authorities take “prompt corrective action” with respect to institutions that do not meet minimum capital requirements. For such purposes, the law establishes five capital tiers: well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, and critically undercapitalized.

The FDIC has adopted regulations to implement prompt corrective action. Among other things, the regulations define the relevant capital measures for the five capital categories. An institution is deemed to be “well capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 10% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6% or greater, and a leverage capital ratio of 5% or greater, and is not subject to a regulatory order, agreement, or directive to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure. An institution is deemed to be “adequately capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 8% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 4% or greater, and generally a leverage capital ratio of 4% or greater. An institution is deemed to be “undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4%, or generally a leverage capital ratio of less than 4%. An institution is deemed to be “significantly undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 3%, or a leverage capital ratio of less than 3%. An institution is deemed to be “critically undercapitalized” if it has a ratio of tangible equity (as defined in the regulations) to total assets that is equal to or less than 2%.

“Undercapitalized” institutions are subject to growth, capital distribution (including dividend), and other limitations, and are required to submit a capital restoration plan. An institution’s compliance with such plan is required to be guaranteed by any company that controls the undercapitalized institution in an amount equal to the lesser of 5% of the bank’s total assets when deemed undercapitalized or the amount necessary to achieve the status of adequately capitalized. If an undercapitalized institution fails to submit an acceptable plan, it is treated as if it is “significantly undercapitalized.” Significantly undercapitalized institutions are subject to one or more additional restrictions including, but not limited to, an order by the FDIC to sell sufficient voting stock to become adequately capitalized; requirements to reduce total assets, cease receipt of deposits from correspondent banks, or dismiss directors or officers; and restrictions on interest rates paid on deposits, compensation of executive officers, and capital distributions by the parent holding company.

Beginning 60 days after becoming “critically undercapitalized,” critically undercapitalized institutions also may not make any payment of principal or interest on certain subordinated debt, or extend credit for a highly leveraged transaction, or enter into any material transaction outside the ordinary course of business. In addition, subject to a narrow exception, the appointment of a receiver is required for a critically undercapitalized institution within 270 days after it obtains such status.

Enforcement

The FDIC has extensive enforcement authority over insured banks, including the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank. This enforcement authority includes, among other things, the ability to assess civil money penalties, to issue cease and desist orders, and to remove directors and officers. In general, these enforcement actions may be initiated in response to violations of laws and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices.

 

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The FDIC has authority under federal law to appoint a conservator or receiver for an insured institution under certain circumstances. The FDIC is required, with certain exceptions, to appoint a receiver or conservator for an insured institution if that institution was critically undercapitalized on average during the calendar quarter beginning 270 days after the date on which the institution became critically undercapitalized. For this purpose, “critically undercapitalized” means having a ratio of tangible equity to total assets of less than 2%. Please see “Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action” earlier in this report.

The FDIC may also appoint a conservator or receiver for an insured institution on the basis of the institution’s financial condition or upon the occurrence of certain events, including (i) insolvency (whereby the assets of the bank are less than its liabilities to depositors and others); (ii) substantial dissipation of assets or earnings through violations of law or unsafe or unsound practices; (iii) existence of an unsafe or unsound condition to transact business; (iv) likelihood that the bank will be unable to meet the demands of its depositors or to pay its obligations in the normal course of business; and (v) insufficient capital, or the incurrence or likely incurrence of losses that will deplete substantially all of the institution’s capital with no reasonable prospect of replenishment of capital without federal assistance.

Insurance of Deposit Accounts

The deposits of the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are insured up to applicable limits by the DIF. The DIF is the successor to the Bank Insurance Fund and the Savings Association Insurance Fund, which were merged in 2006.

Under the FDIC’s risk-based assessment system, insured institutions are assigned to one of four risk categories based upon supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital level, and certain other factors, with less risky institutions paying lower assessments. An institution’s assessment rate depends upon the category to which it is assigned and certain other factors. Historically, assessment rates ranged from seven to 77.5 basis points of each institution’s deposit assessment base. On February 7, 2011, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC published a final rule to revise the deposit insurance assessment system. The rule, which took effect April 1, 2011, changed the assessment base used for calculating deposit insurance assessments from deposits to total assets less tangible (Tier 1) capital. Since the new base is larger than the previous base, the FDIC also lowered assessment rates so that the rule would not significantly alter the total amount of revenue collected from the industry. The range of adjusted assessment rates is now 2.5 to 45 basis points of the new assessment base; the Community Bank’s assessment ranged within the low to middle part of that range in 2011. On September 30, 2009, the FDIC collected, from all insured institutions, a special emergency assessment of five basis points of total assets minus Tier 1 capital (capped at ten basis points of an institution’s deposit assessment base as of June 30, 2009), in order to cover losses to the DIF. The FDIC considered the need for similar special assessments during the final two quarters of 2009. However, in lieu of further special assessments, the FDIC required insured institutions to prepay estimated quarterly risk-based assessments for the fourth quarter of 2009 through the fourth quarter of 2012. The estimated assessments, which include an assumed annual assessment base increase of 5%, were recorded as a prepaid expense asset as of December 31, 2009. As of December 31, 2009, and each quarter thereafter, a charge to earnings is recorded for each regular assessment with an offsetting credit to the prepaid asset.

Due to the decline in economic conditions, the deposit insurance provided by the FDIC per account owner was raised to $250,000 for all types of accounts. That change, initially intended to be temporary, was made permanent by the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition, the FDIC adopted an optional Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (“TLGP”) under which, for a fee, non-interest-bearing transaction accounts would receive unlimited insurance coverage until December 31, 2009 (later extended to December 31, 2010), and certain senior unsecured debt issued by institutions and their holding companies between October 13, 2008 and June 30, 2009 (later extended to October 31, 2009) would be guaranteed by the FDIC through June 30, 2012 or, in certain cases, until December 31, 2012. The Banks both participated in the unlimited non-interest-bearing transaction account coverage and, together with the Company, participated in the unsecured debt guarantee program. In December 2008, the Company issued $90.0 million of fixed rate senior notes with a maturity date of June 22, 2012. In addition, the Community Bank issued $512.0 million of fixed rate senior notes with a maturity date of December 16, 2011, which was repaid on that date. The Dodd-Frank Act has provided for continued unlimited coverage for certain non-interest-bearing transaction accounts until December 31, 2012.

The Dodd-Frank Act increased the minimum target DIF ratio from 1.15% of estimated insured deposits to 1.35% of estimated insured deposits. The FDIC must seek to achieve the 1.35% ratio by September 30, 2020. Insured institutions with assets of $10 billion or more are supposed to fund the increase. The Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the 1.5% maximum fund ratio, leaving it, instead, to the discretion of the FDIC. The FDIC has recently exercised that discretion by establishing a long range fund ratio of 2%, which could result in our paying higher deposit insurance premiums in the future.

 

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In addition to the assessment for deposit insurance, institutions are required to make payments on bonds issued in the late 1980s by the Financing Corporation to recapitalize a predecessor deposit insurance fund. That payment is established quarterly, and is based on assessable deposits for the first three quarters and on assessable assets for the fourth quarter of the year. In the calendar year ending December 31, 2011, the payment averaged 1.007 basis points of assessable deposits and 0.680 basis points of assessable assets, during the respective periods.

Insurance of deposits may be terminated by the FDIC upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order, or condition imposed by the FDIC. Management does not know of any practice, condition, or violation that would lead to termination of the deposit insurance of either of the Banks.

Transactions with Affiliates

Under current federal law, transactions between depository institutions and their affiliates are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and the FRB’s Regulation W promulgated thereunder. An affiliate of a savings bank or commercial bank is any company or entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the institution, other than a subsidiary. Generally, an institution’s subsidiaries are not treated as affiliates unless they are engaged in activities as principal that are not permissible for national banks. In a holding company context, at a minimum, the parent holding company of an institution, and any companies that are controlled by such parent holding company, are affiliates of the institution. Generally, Section 23A limits the extent to which the institution or its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with any one affiliate to an amount equal to 10% of the institution’s capital stock and surplus, and contains an aggregate limit on all such transactions with all affiliates to an amount equal to 20% of such capital stock and surplus. The term “covered transaction” includes the making of loans or other extensions of credit to an affiliate; the purchase of assets from an affiliate; the purchase of, or an investment in, the securities of an affiliate; the acceptance of securities of an affiliate as collateral for a loan or extension of credit to any person; or issuance of a guarantee, acceptance, or letter of credit on behalf of an affiliate. Section 23A also establishes specific collateral requirements for loans or extensions of credit to, or guarantees or acceptances on letters of credit issued on behalf of, an affiliate. Section 23B requires that covered transactions and a broad list of other specified transactions be on terms substantially the same as, or at least as favorable to, the institution or its subsidiary as similar transactions with non-affiliates.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 generally prohibits loans by the Company to its executive officers and directors. However, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act contains a specific exemption for loans by an institution to its executive officers and directors in compliance with federal banking laws. Section 22(h) of the Federal Reserve Act, and FRB Regulation O adopted thereunder, governs loans by a savings bank or commercial bank to directors, executive officers, and principal shareholders. Under Section 22(h), loans to directors, executive officers, and shareholders who control, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of voting securities of an institution, and certain related interests of any of the foregoing, may not exceed, together with all other outstanding loans to such persons and affiliated entities, the institution’s total capital and surplus. Section 22(h) also prohibits loans above amounts prescribed by the appropriate federal banking agency to directors, executive officers, and shareholders who control 10% or more of the voting securities of an institution, and their respective related interests, unless such loan is approved in advance by a majority of the board of the institution’s directors. Any “interested” director may not participate in the voting. The loan amount (which includes all other outstanding loans to such person) as to which such prior board of director approval is required, is the greater of $25,000 or 5% of capital and surplus or any loans aggregating over $500,000. Further, pursuant to Section 22(h), loans to directors, executive officers, and principal shareholders must be made on terms substantially the same as those offered in comparable transactions to other persons. There is an exception for loans made pursuant to a benefit or compensation program that is widely available to all employees of the institution and does not give preference to executive officers over other employees. Section 22(g) of the Federal Reserve Act places additional limitations on loans to executive officers.

Community Reinvestment Act

Federal Regulation

Under the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”), as implemented by FDIC regulations, an institution has a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with its safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions, nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community, consistent with the CRA. The CRA requires the FDIC, in connection with its examinations, to assess the institution’s record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its evaluation of certain applications by such institution. The CRA requires public disclosure of an institution’s CRA rating and further requires the FDIC to provide a written evaluation of an institution’s CRA performance utilizing a four-tiered descriptive rating system. While our latest rating in Florida and Ohio, two of the markets we entered in December 2009 in connection with our FDIC-assisted AmTrust acquisition, was “needs improvement,” the latest overall CRA rating for the Community Bank was “Satisfactory,” as was the latest CRA rating for the Commercial Bank.

 

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New York State Regulation

The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are also subject to provisions of the New York State Banking Law that impose continuing and affirmative obligations upon a banking institution organized in New York State to serve the credit needs of its local community (the “NYCRA”). Such obligations are substantially similar to those imposed by the CRA. The NYCRA requires the NYDFS to make a periodic written assessment of an institution’s compliance with the NYCRA, utilizing a four-tiered rating system, and to make such assessment available to the public. The NYCRA also requires the Superintendent to consider the NYCRA rating when reviewing an application to engage in certain transactions, including mergers, asset purchases, and the establishment of branch offices or ATMs, and provides that such assessment may serve as a basis for the denial of any such application. The latest NYCRA rating received by the Community Bank was “outstanding” and the latest rating received by the Commercial Bank was “satisfactory.”

Federal Reserve System

Under FRB regulations, the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are required to maintain reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily NOW and regular checking accounts). The FRB regulations generally require that reserves be maintained against aggregate transaction accounts as follows: for that portion of transaction accounts aggregating $71.0 million or less (subject to adjustment by the FRB), the reserve requirement is 3%; for amounts greater than $71.0 million, the reserve requirement is 10% (subject to adjustment by the FRB between 8% and 14%). The first $11.5 million of otherwise reservable balances (subject to adjustments by the FRB) are exempted from the reserve requirements. The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are in compliance with the foregoing requirements.

Federal Home Loan Bank System

The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are members of the FHLB of New York (the “FHLB-NY”), one of 12 regional FHLBs comprising the FHLB system. Each regional FHLB manages its customer relationships, while the 12 FHLBs use their combined size and strength to obtain their necessary funding at the lowest possible cost. As members of the FHLB-NY, the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are required to acquire and hold shares of FHLB-NY capital stock. Including $25.2 million of FHLB-Cincinnati stock acquired in the AmTrust acquisition and $2.7 million of FHLB-San Francisco stock acquired in the Desert Hills acquisition, the Community Bank held total FHLB stock of $482.5 million at December 31, 2011. In addition, the Commercial Bank held FHLB-NY stock of $7.8 million at that date. FHLB stock continued to be valued at par, with no impairment loss required, at that date.

For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010, dividends from the FHLBs to the Community Bank amounted to $19.5 million and $23.3 million, respectively. Dividends from the FHLB-NY to the Commercial Bank amounted to $374,000 and $446,000, respectively, in the corresponding years.

Interstate Branching

Federal law allows the FDIC, and New York State Banking Law allows the Superintendent, to approve an application by a state banking institution to acquire interstate branches by merger, unless, in the case of the FDIC, the state of the target institution has opted out of interstate branching. New York State Banking Law authorizes savings banks and commercial banks to open and occupy de novo branches outside the state of New York. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC is authorized to approve a state bank’s establishment of a de novo interstate branch if the intended host state allows de novo branching by banks chartered by that state. The Community Bank currently maintains 51 branches in New Jersey, 25 branches in Florida, 28 branches in Ohio, and 14 branches in Arizona, in addition to its 123 branches in New York State.

In April 2008, the Banking Regulators in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (the “Interstate MOU”) to clarify their respective roles, as home and host state regulators, regarding interstate branching activity on a regional basis pursuant to the Riegle-Neal Amendments Act of 1997. The Interstate MOU establishes the regulatory responsibilities of the respective state banking regulators regarding bank regulatory examinations and is intended to reduce the regulatory burden on state-chartered banks branching within the region by eliminating duplicative host state compliance exams.

Under the Interstate MOU, the activities of branches established by the Community Bank or the Commercial Bank in New Jersey or Pennsylvania would be governed by New York State law to the same extent that federal law governs the activities of the branch of an out-of-state national bank in such host states. For the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank, issues regarding whether a particular host state law is preempted are to be determined in the first instance by the NYDFS. In the event that the NYDFS and the applicable host state regulator disagree regarding whether a particular host state law is pre-empted, the NYDFS and the applicable host state regulator would use their reasonable best efforts to consider all points of view and to resolve the disagreement.

 

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Holding Company Regulation

Federal Regulation

The Company is currently subject to examination, regulation, and periodic reporting under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”), as administered by the FRB.

The Company is required to obtain the prior approval of the FRB to acquire all, or substantially all, of the assets of any bank or bank holding company. Prior FRB approval would be required for the Company to acquire direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting securities of any bank or bank holding company if, after giving effect to such acquisition, it would, directly or indirectly, own or control more than 5% of any class of voting shares of such bank or bank holding company. In addition before any bank acquisition can be completed, prior approval thereof may also be required to be obtained from other agencies having supervisory jurisdiction over the bank to be acquired, including the NYDFS.

FRB regulations generally prohibit a bank holding company from engaging in, or acquiring, direct or indirect control of more than 5% of the voting securities of any company engaged in non-banking activities. One of the principal exceptions to this prohibition is for activities found by the FRB to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. Some of the principal activities that the FRB has determined by regulation to be so closely related to banking are: (i) making or servicing loans; (ii) performing certain data processing services; (iii) providing discount brokerage services; (iv) acting as fiduciary, investment, or financial advisor; (v) leasing personal or real property; (vi) making investments in corporations or projects designed primarily to promote community welfare; and (vii) acquiring a savings and loan association.

The FRB has adopted capital adequacy guidelines for bank holding companies (on a consolidated basis) substantially similar to, but somewhat less stringent than, those of the FDIC for the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank. (Please see “Capital Requirements” earlier in this report.) At December 31, 2011, the Company’s consolidated Total and Tier 1 capital exceeded these requirements. The Dodd-Frank Act required the FRB to issue consolidated regulatory capital requirements for bank holding companies that are at least as stringent as those applicable to insured depository institutions. Such regulations eliminated the use of certain instruments, such as cumulative preferred stock and trust preferred securities, as Tier 1 holding company capital. However, instruments issued before May 19, 2010 by bank holding companies with more than $15 billion of consolidated assets are subject to a three-year phase-out from inclusion as Tier 1 capital, beginning January 1, 2013. Based on the balance of cumulative preferred stock and trust preferred securities we held at December 31, 2011, and absent any reduction in that balance over the three years ending January 1, 2016, the elimination of such instruments would be expected to reduce our capital by $412.0 million, or 11.5%, at the end of the three-year phase-in, and reduce our Tier 1 leverage ratio by 105 basis points.

Bank holding companies are generally required to give the FRB prior written notice of any purchase or redemption of its outstanding equity securities if the gross consideration for the purchase or redemption, when combined with the net consideration paid for all such purchases or redemptions during the preceding twelve months, is equal to 10% or more of the Company’s consolidated net worth. The FRB may disapprove such a purchase or redemption if it determines that the proposal would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice, or would violate any law, regulation, FRB order or directive, or any condition imposed by, or written agreement with, the FRB. The FRB has adopted an exception to this approval requirement for well-capitalized bank holding companies that meet certain other conditions.

The FRB has issued a policy statement regarding the payment of dividends by bank holding companies. In general, the FRB’s policies provide that dividends should be paid only out of current earnings and only if the prospective rate of earnings retention by the bank holding company appears consistent with the organization’s capital needs, asset quality, and overall financial condition. The FRB’s policies also require that a bank holding company serve as a source of financial strength to its subsidiary banks by standing ready to use available resources to provide adequate capital funds to those banks during periods of financial stress or adversity, and by maintaining the financial flexibility and capital-raising capacity to obtain additional resources for assisting its subsidiary banks where necessary. The Dodd-Frank Act codifies the source of financial strength policy and requires regulations to facilitate its application. Under the prompt corrective action laws, the ability of a bank holding company to pay dividends may be restricted if a subsidiary bank becomes undercapitalized. These regulatory policies could affect the ability of the Company to pay dividends or otherwise engage in capital distributions.

Under the FDI Act, a depository institution may be liable to the FDIC for losses caused the DIF if a commonly controlled depository institution were to fail. The Community Bank and the Commercial Bank are commonly controlled within the meaning of that law.

 

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The status of the Company as a registered bank holding company under the BHCA does not exempt it from certain federal and state laws and regulations applicable to corporations generally, including, without limitation, certain provisions of the federal securities laws.

The Company, the Community Bank, the Commercial Bank, and their respective affiliates will be affected by the monetary and fiscal policies of various agencies of the United States Government, including the Federal Reserve System. In view of changing conditions in the national economy and in the money markets, it is difficult for management to accurately predict future changes in monetary policy or the effect of such changes on the business or financial condition of the Company, the Community Bank, or the Commercial Bank.

New York State Holding Company Regulation

With the addition of the Commercial Bank, the Company became subject to regulation as a “multi-bank holding company” under New York State law since it controls two banking institutions. Among other requirements, this means that the Company must receive the approval of the New York State Banking Board prior to the acquisition of 10% or more of the voting stock of another banking institution, or to otherwise acquire a banking institution by merger or purchase.

Acquisition of the Holding Company

Federal Restrictions

Under the Federal Change in Bank Control Act (“CIBCA”), a notice must be submitted to the FRB if any person (including a company), or group acting in concert, seeks to acquire 10% or more of the Company’s shares of outstanding common stock, unless the FRB has found that the acquisition will not result in a change in control of the Company. Under the CIBCA, the FRB generally has 60 days within which to act on such notices, taking into consideration certain factors, including the financial and managerial resources of the acquirer; the convenience and needs of the communities served by the Company, the Community Bank, and the Commercial Bank; and the anti-trust effects of the acquisition. Under the BHCA, any company would be required to obtain approval from the FRB before it may obtain “control” of the Company within the meaning of the BHCA. Control generally is defined to mean the ownership or power to vote 25% or more of any class of voting securities of the Company or the ability to control in any manner the election of a majority of the Company’s directors. An existing bank holding company would, under the BHCA, be required to obtain the FRB’s approval before acquiring more than 5% of the Company’s voting stock. Please see “Holding Company Regulation” earlier in this report.

New York State Change in Control Restrictions

In addition to the CIBCA and the BHCA, New York State Banking Law generally requires prior approval of the New York State Banking Board before any action is taken that causes any company to acquire direct or indirect control of a banking institution which is organized in New York.

Federal Securities Law

The Company’s common stock and certain other securities listed on the cover page of this report are registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The Company is subject to the information and proxy solicitation requirements, insider trading restrictions, and other requirements under the Exchange Act.

Registration of the shares of the common stock that were issued in the Community Bank’s conversion from mutual to stock form under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), does not cover the resale of such shares. Shares of the common stock purchased by persons who are not affiliates of the Company may be resold without registration. Shares purchased by an affiliate of the Company will be subject to the resale restrictions of Rule 144 under the Securities Act. If the Company meets the current public information requirements of Rule 144 under the Securities Act, each affiliate of the Company who complies with the other conditions of Rule 144 (including those that require the affiliate’s sale to be aggregated with those of certain other persons) would be able to sell in the public market, without registration, a number of shares not to exceed in any three-month period the greater of (i) 1% of the outstanding shares of the Company, or (ii) the average weekly volume of trading in such shares during the preceding four calendar weeks. Provision may be made by the Company in the future to permit affiliates to have their shares registered for sale under the Securities Act under certain circumstances.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Created under the Dodd-Frank Act, and given extensive implementation and enforcement powers, the 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. Abusive acts or practices are defined as those that (1) materially interfere with a consumer’s ability to understand a term or condition of a consumer financial product or service, or (2) take unreasonable advantage of a consumer’s (a) lack of financial savvy, (b) inability to protect himself in the selection or

 

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use of consumer financial products or services, or (c) reasonable reliance on a covered entity to act in the consumer’s interests. The CFPB has the authority to investigate possible violations of federal consumer financial law, hold hearings and commence civil litigation. The CFPB can issue cease-and-desist orders against banks and other entities that violate consumer financial laws. The CFPB may also institute a civil action against an entity in violation of federal consumer financial law in order to impose a civil penalty or an injunction. The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over all banks with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as their affiliates.

Mortgage Banking and Related Consumer Protection Regulations

The retail activities of banks, including our mortgage banking operation, are subject to a variety of statutes and regulations designed to protect consumers. Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by banks are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. Loan operations are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, such as:

 

   

The federal Truth-In-Lending Act and Regulation Z issued by the FRB, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;

 

   

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C issued by the FRB, requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the community it serves;

 

   

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B issued by the FRB, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed or other prohibited factors in extending credit;

 

   

The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V issued by the FRB, governing the use and provision of information to consumer reporting agencies;

 

   

The Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies; and

 

   

The guidance of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing such federal laws.

Deposit operations also are subject to:

 

   

The Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD issued by the FRB, which requires disclosure of deposit terms to consumers;

 

   

Regulation CC issued by the FRB, which relates to the availability of deposit funds to consumers;

 

   

The Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records; and

 

   

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E issued by the FRB, which governs automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services.

In addition, the Banks’ and their subsidiaries may also be subject to certain state laws and regulations designed to protect consumers.

Many of the foregoing laws and regulations are subject to change resulting from the provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, which in many cases calls for revisions to implementing regulations. In addition, oversight responsibilities of these and other consumer protection laws and regulations will, in large measure, transfer from the Banks’ primary regulators to the CFPB. We cannot predict the effect that being regulated by a new, additional regulatory authority focused on consumer financial protection, or any new implementing regulations or revisions to existing regulations that may result from the establishment of this new authority, will have on our businesses.

Enterprise Risk Management

The Company identifies, measures, and attempts to mitigate risks that affect, or have the potential to affect, our business. Proper risk management does not achieve the elimination of all risk but, rather, keeps risks within acceptable levels, and ensures that efforts are made to prioritize identified risks. The Company uses the COSO Enterprise Risk Management—Integrated Framework to manage risk. The framework applies at all levels, from the development of the Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) Program to the tactical operations of the front-line business team. The framework has eight key elements:

 

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1. Internal Environment—The internal environment sets the basis for how risk and control are viewed and addressed by the Company. Our employees, their individual attributes, including integrity, ethical values, and competence, along with the environment in which they operate, are all critical to setting a proper internal environment.

2. Objective Setting—Management sets the Company’s key objectives before proceeding to the challenge of identifying the potential events, risks, and other factors that could affect the achievement of those objectives. The ERM Program ensures that management has in place a process to set objectives and that such objectives support and align with the Company’s mission.

3. Risk Identification—The ERM Program focuses on recognizing and identifying existing risks to the core objectives of the Company, as well as risks that may arise from time to time from new business initiatives or from changes to the Company’s size, businesses, structure, personnel, or strategic interests.

4. Risk Measurement—Accurate and timely measurement of risks is a critical component of effective risk management. The sophistication of the risk measurement tools the Company uses reflects the complexity and levels of risk it has assumed. The Company periodically verifies the integrity of the measurement tools it uses. Risk measurement takes into account inherent risks (risks before controls are applied), residual risks (the level of risks remaining after controls are applied), and mitigating factors (e.g., insurance).

5. Risk Control—The Company establishes and communicates limits through policies, standards, and/or procedures that define responsibility and authority. These control limits are meaningful management tools that can be adjusted if conditions or risk tolerances change. The Company has a process to authorize exceptions or changes to risk limits when they are warranted.

6. Risk Monitoring—The Company monitors risk levels to ensure timely review of risk positions and exceptions. Monitoring reports compare actual performance metrics against benchmarks, and where applicable, against Board-established limits. Reports are produced with such frequency as management deems to be appropriate and a major effort is made to ensure that these reports are timely, accurate, and informative. These reports are distributed to appropriate individuals to ensure action, when needed.

7. Risk Response—Management addresses cases where actual risk levels are approaching or exceeding established limits, and considers alternative risk response options (taking into account appropriate cost/benefit analyses) in order to reduce residual risk to desired risk tolerances.

8. Information and Communication—Relevant information is communicated in a form and time frame that enable our employees to carry out their responsibilities. Effective communication occurs in a broader sense, flowing down, across, and up the Company, including Executive Management and, if appropriate, the applicable Board of Directors, and other relevant parties across the Company.

Risk Management Roles and Responsibilities

The proper management of risk starts at, and is driven by, the highest level within a company. The following groups play an integral role in the successful achievement of the Company’s ERM Program.

Board of Directors

The Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is responsible for oversight of the Company’s overall ERM function, including, but not limited to, the approval and oversight of the execution of the ERM Program; reviewing the Company’s risk profile; and reviewing risk indicators against established risk limits, including those identified in the reports presented by the Director of ERM.

Risk Assessment Committee

The Risk Assessment Committee of the Board is responsible for assisting the Board in its oversight of the Company’s risk management framework, including the policies and procedures used to manage the following risks: credit; interest rate; liquidity; market; operational; legal/compliance; loss share compliance; reputational; and strategic.

Senior Management

Senior Management is responsible for ensuring that a risk management process with adequate resources is effectively implemented; ensuring that the corporate structure supports risk management goals; and ensuring that a risk management process is integrated into the corporate culture.

 

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Director of Enterprise Risk Management

The Director of ERM is responsible for maintaining the Company’s overall ERM Policy; overseeing and implementing the ERM Program; reviewing each Business Process Owner’s self-risk assessment, and making recommendations regarding their risk scores; aggregating and categorizing risks; and reporting the Company’s risk profile and risk indicators to Senior Management, the Risk Assessment Committee, and the Board.

Business Process Owners

Each Business Process Owner is responsible for ensuring that proper controls are in place to prudently mitigate risk; performing periodic self-assessments of risks and controls which are reviewed by the Director of ERM; identifying changes in rules, laws, and regulations that could impact the business unit; and maintaining communication with the appropriate member(s) of senior management and the Director of ERM on emerging risk.

Internal Audit

Internal Audit is responsible for validating controls identified by Business Process Owners when performing internal audits and communicating its audit findings to the Director of ERM, who revisits the self-assessment performed by each Business Process Owner.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

There are various risks and uncertainties that are inherent in our business. Following is a discussion of the material risks and uncertainties that could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations, and that could cause the value of our common stock to decline significantly. Additional risks that are not currently known to us, or that we currently believe to be immaterial, may also have a material effect on our financial condition and results of operations. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to changes in interest rates:

Changes in interest rates may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Our primary source of income is net interest income, which is the difference between the interest income generated by our interest-earning assets (consisting primarily of loans and, to a lesser extent, securities) and the interest expense produced by our interest-bearing liabilities (consisting primarily of deposits and wholesale borrowings).

The cost of our deposits and short-term wholesale borrowings is largely based on short-term interest rates, the level of which is driven by the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. However, the yields generated by our loans and securities are typically driven by intermediate-term (i.e., five-year) interest rates, which are set by the market and generally vary from day to day. The level of net interest income is therefore influenced by movements in such interest rates, and the pace at which such movements occur. If the interest rates on our interest-bearing liabilities increase at a faster pace than the interest rates on our interest-earning assets, the result could be a reduction in net interest income and with it, a reduction in our earnings. Our net interest income and earnings would be similarly impacted were the interest rates on our interest-earning assets to decline more quickly than the interest rates on our interest-bearing liabilities.

In addition, such changes in interest rates could affect our ability to originate loans and attract and retain deposits; the fair values of our securities and other financial assets; the fair values of our liabilities; and the average lives of our loan and securities portfolios.

Changes in interest rates could also have an effect on loan refinancing activity which, in turn, would impact the amount of prepayment penalty income we receive on our multi-family and CRE loans. Because prepayment penalties are recorded as interest income, the extent to which they increase or decrease during any given period could have a significant impact on the level of net interest income and net income we generate during that time.

In addition, changes in interest rates could have an effect on the slope of the yield curve. If the yield curve were to invert or become flat, our net interest income and net interest margin could contract, adversely affecting our net income and cash flows and the value of our assets.

Our use of derivative financial instruments to mitigate our interest rate exposure may not be effective and may expose us to counterparty risk.

Our mortgage banking operation is actively engaged in the origination of one-to-four family loans for sale. In accordance with our operating policies, we may use various types of derivative financial instruments, including forward rate agreements, options, and other derivative transactions, to mitigate or reduce our exposure to losses from adverse changes in interest rates in connection with this business. These activities will vary in scope based on the types of assets held, the level and volatility of interest rates, and other changing market conditions. However, no strategy can completely insulate us from the

 

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interest rate risks to which we are exposed, and there is no guarantee that any strategy we implement will have the desired impact. Furthermore, although derivatives are intended to limit losses, they may actually have an adverse impact on our earnings, which could reduce our capital and the cash available to us for distribution to our shareholders in the form of dividends. Our derivative financial instruments also expose us to counterparty risk, which is the risk that other parties to the instruments will not fulfill their contractual obligations.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to our ability to fulfill our regulatory capital requirements.

We are subject to the comprehensive, consolidated supervision and regulation set forth by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (the “FRB”). Such regulation includes, among other matters, the level of leverage and risk-based capital ratios we are required to maintain. Our capital ratios can change, depending on general economic conditions, our financial condition, our risk profile, and our plans for growth. Compliance with the FRB’s capital requirements may limit our ability to engage in operations that require the intensive use of capital and therefore could adversely affect our ability to maintain our current level of business or to expand.

Furthermore, it is possible that future regulatory changes could result in more stringent capital requirements including, among other things, an increase in the levels of regulatory capital we are required to maintain, changes in the way regulatory capital is calculated, and increases in liquidity requirements, any and all of which could adversely affect our business and our ability to expand. For example, the implementation of certain proposed regulatory changes under the Dodd-Frank Act is expected to result in the disqualification of previously issued and outstanding trust preferred securities as Tier 1 capital. Any additional requirements to increase our capital ratios or liquidity could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, as this might necessitate our liquidating certain assets, perhaps on terms that are unfavorable to us or that are contrary to our business plans. Such a requirement could also compel us to issue additional securities, thus diluting the value of our common stock.

In addition, failure to meet the established capital requirements could result in the FRB placing limitations or conditions on our activities and further restricting the commencement of new activities. The failure to meet applicable capital guidelines could subject us to a variety of enforcement remedies available to the federal regulatory authorities, including limiting our ability to pay dividends; issuing a directive to increase our capital; and terminating our FDIC deposit insurance.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to liquidity.

“Liquidity” refers to our ability to generate sufficient cash flows to support our operations and to fulfill our obligations, including commitments to originate loans, to repay our wholesale borrowings and other liabilities, and to satisfy the withdrawal of deposits by our customers.

Our primary sources of liquidity are deposits, including those we gather organically through our branch network, those we acquire in connection with acquisitions, and the brokered deposits we accept; borrowed funds, primarily in the form of wholesale borrowings from the FHLB and various Wall Street brokerage firms; the cash flows generated through the repayment and sale of loans; and the cash flows generated through the repayment and sale of securities. In addition, and depending on current market conditions, we have the ability to access the capital markets from time to time.

Deposit flows, calls of investment securities and wholesale borrowings, and the prepayment of loans and mortgage-related securities are strongly influenced by such external factors as the direction of interest rates, whether actual or perceived; local and national economic conditions; and competition for deposits and loans in the markets we serve. Furthermore, changes to the FHLB’s underwriting guidelines for wholesale borrowings or lending policies may limit or restrict our ability to borrow, and could therefore have a significant adverse impact on our liquidity. In addition, replacing funds in the event of large-scale withdrawals of brokered deposits could require us to pay significantly higher interest rates on retail deposits or other wholesale funding sources, which would have an adverse impact on our net interest income and net income. A decline in available funding could adversely impact our ability to originate loans, invest in securities, and meet our expenses, or to fulfill such obligations as repaying our borrowings or meeting deposit withdrawal demands.

We are subject to credit risk:

Credit risk stemming from our held-for-investment lending activities:

The loans we originate for investment are primarily multi-family loans and, to a lesser extent, CRE loans. Such loans are generally larger, and have higher risk-adjusted returns and shorter maturities, than one-to-four family mortgage loans. Our credit risk would ordinarily be expected to increase with the growth of these loan portfolios.

 

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Payments on multi-family and CRE loans generally depend on the income produced by the underlying properties which, in turn, depends on their successful operation and management. Accordingly, the ability of our borrowers to repay these loans may be impacted by adverse conditions in the local real estate market and the local economy. While we seek to minimize these risks through our underwriting policies, which generally require that such loans be qualified on the basis of the collateral property’s cash flows, appraised value, and debt service coverage ratio, among other factors, there can be no assurance that our underwriting policies will protect us from credit-related losses or delinquencies.

We also originate ADC and C&I loans for investment, although to a far lesser degree than we originate multi-family and CRE loans. ADC financing typically involves a greater degree of credit risk than longer-term financing on multi-family and CRE properties. Risk of loss on an ADC loan largely depends upon the accuracy of the initial estimate of the property’s value at completion of construction or development, compared to the estimated costs (including interest) of construction. If the estimate of value proves to be inaccurate, the loan may be under-secured. While we seek to minimize these risks by maintaining consistent lending policies and rigorous underwriting standards, an error in such estimates, among other factors, could have a material adverse effect on the quality of our ADC loan portfolio, thereby resulting in material losses or delinquencies.

We seek to minimize the risks involved in C&I lending by underwriting such loans on the basis of the cash flows produced by the business; by requiring that such loans be collateralized by various business assets, including inventory, equipment, and accounts receivable, among others; and by requiring personal guarantees. However, the capacity of a borrower to repay a C&I loan is substantially dependent on the degree to which his or her business is successful. In addition, the collateral underlying such loans may depreciate over time, may not be conducive to appraisal, or may fluctuate in value, based upon the results of operation of the business.

Although our losses have been comparatively limited, despite the economic weakness in our markets, we cannot guarantee that this record will be maintained in future periods. The ability of our borrowers to repay their loans could be adversely impacted by a further decline in real estate values and/or a further increase in unemployment, which not only could result in our experiencing an increase in charge-offs, but also could necessitate our further increasing our provision for losses on non-covered loans. Either of these events would have an adverse impact on our net income.

Credit risk stemming from our covered loan portfolio:

The credit risk associated with the loans and OREO we acquired in our AmTrust and Desert Hills acquisitions is largely mitigated by our loss sharing agreements with the FDIC. Nonetheless, these assets are not without risk. Although the loans and OREO we acquired were initially accounted for at fair value, there is no assurance that they will not become impaired, which could result in their being charged off. Fluctuations in national, regional, and local economic conditions may increase the level of charge-offs on the loans we acquired in these transactions, and would therefore have an adverse impact on our net income. Such fluctuations are not predictable, cannot be controlled, and may have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial condition even if other favorable events occur.

In addition, although our loss sharing agreements call for the FDIC to bear a significant portion of any losses related to the acquired loan portfolios, we are not protected from all losses resulting from charge-offs with respect to the acquired loans. Also, the loss sharing agreements have limited terms. Charge-offs we experience on covered loans after the terms of the loss sharing agreements end may not be fully recoverable and this, too, could have an adverse impact on our net income.

Furthermore, the FDIC has the right to refuse or delay payment for losses on our covered loans if the loss sharing agreements are not managed in accordance with their terms.

Credit risk stemming from the geographic concentration of our held-for-investment loan portfolio:

Unlike larger national or superregional banks that serve a broader and more diverse geographic region, our business depends significantly on general economic conditions in the New York metropolitan region, where the majority of the buildings and properties securing the loans we originate for investment, and the businesses of the customers to whom we make C&I loans, are located.

Accordingly, the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans, and the value of the collateral securing such loans, may be significantly affected by economic conditions in this region or by changes in the local real estate market. A significant decline in general economic conditions caused by inflation, recession, unemployment, acts of terrorism, or other factors beyond our control, could therefore have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, because multi-family and CRE loans represent the majority of the loans in our portfolio, a decline in tenant occupancy or rents due to such factors, or for other reasons, could adversely impact the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans on a timely basis, which could have a negative impact on our net income.

 

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Risks with respect to our allowance for losses on non-covered loans:

In addition to mitigating credit risk through our underwriting process, we attempt to mitigate such risk through the establishment of an allowance for losses on non-covered loans. The process of determining whether or not this allowance is sufficient to cover potential non-covered loan losses is based on our evaluation of inherent losses in the held-for-investment loan portfolio, which requires that management make certain assumptions, estimates, and judgments regarding several factors, including the current and historical performance of the portfolio; its inherent risk characteristics; the level of non-performing non-covered loans and charge-offs; delinquency levels and trends; local economic and market conditions; declines in real estate values; and the levels of unemployment and vacancy rates.

If our assumptions, estimates, and judgments regarding such matters prove to be incorrect, our allowance for losses on such loans might not be sufficient, and additional non-covered loan loss provisions might need to be made. Depending on the amount of such loan loss provisions, the adverse impact on our earnings could be material.

In addition, as we continue to grow our held-for-investment loan portfolio, it may be necessary to increase the allowance for losses on such loans by making additional provisions, which also could adversely impact our operating results. Furthermore, bank regulators may require us to make a provision for non-covered loan losses or otherwise recognize further loan charge-offs following their periodic review of our held-for-investment loan portfolio, our underwriting procedures, and our allowance for losses on such loans. Any increase in the non-covered loan loss allowance or loan charge-offs as required by such regulatory authorities could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

For more information regarding our allowance for losses on non-covered loans in recent periods, please see “Allowance for Losses on Non-Covered Loans” in the discussion of “Critical Accounting Policies” and the discussion of “Asset Quality” that appear in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” later in this report.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to our dividend policy:

We may not pay dividends on our common stock.

Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such dividends as our Board of Directors may declare out of funds available for such payments under applicable law and regulatory guidance. Furthermore, regulatory agencies may impose further restrictions on the payment of dividends in the future. In addition, although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so. Any reduction of, or the elimination of, our common stock dividend in the future could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

We rely on the dividends we receive from our subsidiaries.

The Parent Company (i.e., the company on an unconsolidated basis) is a separate and distinct legal entity from the Banks, and a substantial portion of the revenues the Parent Company receives consists of dividends from the Banks. These dividends are the primary funding source for the dividends we pay on our common stock and the interest and principal payments on our debt. Various federal and state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that a bank may pay to its parent company. In addition, our right to participate in a distribution of assets upon the liquidation or reorganization of a subsidiary may be subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary’s creditors. If the Banks are unable to pay dividends to the Company, we may not be able to service our debt, pay our obligations, or pay dividends on our common stock. The inability to receive dividends from the Banks could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, our financial condition, and our results of operations, as well as our ability to maintain or increase the current level of cash dividends paid to our shareholders.

If we defer payments on our trust preferred capital debt securities or are in default under the related indentures, we will be prohibited from paying dividends or distributions on our common stock.

The terms of our outstanding trust preferred capital debt securities prohibit us from (1) declaring or paying any dividends or distributions on our capital stock, including our common stock; or (2) purchasing, acquiring, or making a liquidation payment on such stock, under the following circumstances: (a) if an event of default has occurred and is continuing under the applicable indenture; (b) if we are in default with respect to a guarantee payment under the guarantee of the related trust preferred securities; or (c) if we have given notice of our election to defer interest payments but the related deferral period has not yet commenced, or a deferral period is continuing. In addition, without notice to, or consent from, the holders of our common stock, we may issue additional series of trust preferred capital debt securities with similar terms, or enter into other financing agreements that limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock.

 

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The extensive laws, regulations, and regulatory enforcements to which we are subject pose certain risks:

We are subject to certain risks with respect to our ability to comply with certain laws and regulations.

We are subject to regulation, supervision, and examination by the following entities: (1) the NYDFS, the chartering authority for both the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank; (2) the FDIC, as the insurer of the Banks’ deposits; (3) the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in accordance with objectives and standards of the U.S. Federal Reserve System; and (4) the CFPB, which was established in 2011 under Dodd-Frank and given broad authority to regulate financial service providers and financial products.

Such regulation and supervision governs the activities in which a bank holding company and its banking subsidiaries may engage, and is intended primarily for the protection of the DIF, the banking system in general, and customers, and not for the benefit of a company’s stockholders. These regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities, including with respect to the imposition of restrictions on the operation of a bank or a bank holding company, the imposition of significant fines, the ability to delay or deny merger or other regulatory applications, the classification of assets by a bank, and the adequacy of a bank’s allowance for loan losses, among other matters. Any failure to comply with, or any change in, such regulation and supervision, or change in regulation or enforcement by such authorities, whether in the form of policy, regulations, legislation, rules, orders, enforcement actions, or decisions, could have a material impact on the Company, our subsidiary banks and other affiliates, and our operations.

Our operations are also subject to extensive legislation enacted, and regulation implemented, by other federal, state, and local governmental authorities, and to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing requirements and restrictions on part or all of our operations. While we believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations, including those pertaining to banking, lending, and taxation, among other matters, we may be subject to future changes in such laws, rules, and regulations that could have a material impact on our results of operations.

The broader regulatory regime established under the Dodd-Frank Act may adversely affect our business and our results of operations.

The enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in July 2010 significantly changed the regulation of the financial services industry. In addition to creating the CFPB, the Act established new standards relating to regulatory oversight of systemically important financial institutions, derivatives transactions, asset-backed securitization, and mortgage underwriting, and limited the revenues banks can derive from debit card interchange fees. Extensive regulatory guidance is needed to implement and clarify many of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and, although certain U.S. agencies have begun to initiate the required administrative processes, it is still too early in those processes to fully assess the impact of this legislation on our business, the rest of the banking industry, and the broader financial services industry.

Additional legislative and regulatory proposals may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

In addition to the numerous regulatory actions expected in connection with the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, additional legislative and regulatory proposals are being considered by the U.S. Congress and various federal regulators that also may significantly impact the financial services industry and our business. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank has proposed guidance on incentive compensation at the banking organizations it regulates, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the federal banking regulators have issued statements calling for higher capital and liquidity requirements for banks. Complying with any new legislative or regulatory requirements, and any programs established thereunder by federal and state governments to address the continuing economic weakness, could have an adverse impact on our results of operations, our ability to fill positions with the most qualified candidates available, and our ability to maintain our dividend.

Furthermore, the current Administration has announced plans to dramatically transform the role of government in the U.S. housing market, including by winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by reducing other government support to such markets. Congressional leaders have voiced similar plans for future legislation. It is too early to determine the nature and scope of any legislation that may develop along these lines, or what roles Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or the private sector will play in future housing markets. However, it is possible that legislation will be proposed over the near term that would result in the nature of GSE guarantees being considerably limited relative to historical measurements, which could have broad adverse implications for the market and significant implications for our business.

 

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Our enterprise risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating the risks we are subject to or in reducing the potential for losses in connection with such risks.

As a financial institution, we are subject to a number of risks, including credit, interest rate, liquidity, market, operational, legal/compliance, loss sharing compliance, reputational, and strategic. Our enterprise risk management framework is designed to minimize the risks to which we are subject, as well as any losses stemming from such risks. Although we seek to identify, measure, monitor, report, and control our exposure to such risks, and employ a broad and diversified set of risk monitoring and mitigation techniques in the process, those techniques are inherently limited because they cannot anticipate the existence or development of risks that are currently unknown and unanticipated.

For example, recent economic conditions, heightened legislative and regulatory scrutiny of the financial services industry, and increases in the overall complexity of our operations, among other developments, have resulted in the creation of a variety of risks that were previously unknown and unanticipated, highlighting the intrinsic limitations of our risk monitoring and mitigation techniques. As a result, the further development of previously unknown or unanticipated risks may result in our incurring losses in the future that could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to certain risks in connection with our strategy of growing through mergers and acquisitions.

Mergers and acquisitions have contributed significantly to our growth in the past, and remain a component of our business model. Accordingly, it is possible that we could acquire other financial institutions, financial service providers, or branches of banks in the future, either through negotiated transactions or FDIC-assisted acquisitions.

However, our ability to engage in future mergers and acquisitions depends on various factors, including: (1) our ability to identify suitable merger partners and acquisition opportunities; (2) our ability to finance and complete negotiated transactions on acceptable terms and at acceptable prices; (3) our ability to bid competitively for FDIC-assisted transactions; (4) our ability to receive the necessary regulatory approvals; and (5) when, required, our ability to receive the necessary shareholder approvals.

Our inability to engage in an acquisition or merger for any of these reasons could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations. As acquisitions have been a significant source of deposits, the inability to complete a business combination could require that we increase the interest rates we pay on deposits in order to attract such funding through our current branch network, or that we increase our use of wholesale funds. Increasing our cost of funds could adversely impact our net interest income, and therefore our results of operations. Furthermore, the funding we obtain in acquisitions is generally used to fund our loan production or to reduce our higher funding costs. The absence of an acquisition could therefore impact our ability to meet our loan demand.

Furthermore, mergers and acquisitions involve a number of risks and challenges, including:

 

   

Our ability to integrate the branches and operations we acquire, and the internal controls and regulatory functions into our current operations;

 

   

Our ability to limit the outflow of deposits held by our new customers in the acquired branches and to successfully retain and manage the loans we acquire;

 

   

Our ability to attract new deposits, and to generate new interest-earning assets, in geographic areas we have not previously served;

 

   

Our success in deploying any cash received in a transaction into assets bearing sufficiently high yields without incurring unacceptable credit or interest rate risk;

 

   

Our ability to control the incremental non-interest expense from the acquired branches in a manner that enables us to maintain a favorable overall efficiency ratio;

 

   

Our ability to retain and attract the appropriate personnel to staff the acquired branches and conduct any acquired operations;

 

   

Our ability to earn acceptable levels of interest and non-interest income, including fee income, from the acquired branches;

 

   

The diversion of management’s attention from existing operations;

 

   

Our ability to address an increase in working capital requirements; and

 

   

Limitations on our ability to successfully reposition the post-merger balance sheet, when deemed appropriate.

 

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Additionally, no assurance can be given that the operation of acquired branches would not adversely affect our existing profitability; that we would be able to achieve results in the future similar to those achieved by our existing banking business; that we would be able to compete effectively in the market areas served by acquired branches; or that we would be able to manage any growth resulting from a transaction effectively. In particular, our ability to compete effectively in new markets is dependent on our ability to understand those markets and their competitive dynamics, and our ability to retain certain key employees from the acquired institution who know those markets better than we do.

Any of these factors, among others, could adversely affect our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions we undertake and could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, perhaps materially.

Furthermore, the acquisition of assets and liabilities of financial institutions in FDIC-sponsored or assisted transactions involves risks similar to those faced when acquiring existing financial institutions, even though the FDIC might provide assistance to mitigate certain risks, e.g., by entering into loss sharing arrangements. However, because such acquisitions are structured in a manner that does not allow the time normally associated with evaluating and preparing for the integration of an acquired institution, we face the additional risk that the anticipated benefits of such an acquisition may not be realized fully or at all, or within the time period expected.

Economic conditions could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Financial institutions continue to be affected by economic weakness in the form of high unemployment and soft real estate values. Although we have taken, and continue to take, steps to reduce our exposure to the risks that stem from such conditions, we nonetheless could be impacted by them to the degree that they affect the loans we originate, the securities we invest in, and our portfolios of covered and non-covered loans.

Declines in the value of our investment securities could result in our recording losses on the other-than-temporary impairment of securities, which would reduce our earnings and, therefore, our capital. Declines in real estate values and home sales, and an increase in the financial stress on borrowers stemming from high unemployment, among other economic conditions, could have an adverse effect on our borrowers or their customers, which could adversely impact the repayment of the loans we have made. Further deterioration in economic conditions also could subject us and our industry to increased regulatory scrutiny and could result in an increase in loan delinquencies, an increase in problem assets and foreclosures, and a decline in the value of the collateral for our loans, which could reduce our customers’ borrowing power. Deterioration in local economic conditions could drive the level of loan losses beyond the level we have provided for in our loan loss allowances; this, in turn, could necessitate an increase in our provisions for loan losses, which would reduce our earnings and capital. Additionally, continued economic weakness could reduce the demand for our products and services, which would adversely impact our liquidity and the revenues we produce.

We face significant competition for loans and deposits.

We face significant competition for loans and deposits from other banks and financial institutions, both within and beyond our local markets. We compete with commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions, and investment banks for deposits, and with the same financial institutions and others (including mortgage brokers, finance companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, and brokerage houses) for loans. We also compete with companies that solicit loans and deposits over the Internet.

Many of our competitors (including money center, national, and superregional banks) have substantially greater resources and higher lending limits than we do, and may offer certain products and services that we cannot. Because our profitability stems from our ability to attract deposits and originate loans, our continued ability to compete for depositors and borrowers is critical to our success.

Our success as a competitor depends on a number of factors, including our ability to develop, maintain, and build long-term relationships with our customers by providing them with convenience, in the form of multiple branch locations and extended hours of service; access, in the form of alternative delivery channels, such as online banking, banking by phone, and ATMs; a broad and diverse selection of products and services; interest rates and service fees that compare favorably with those of our competitors; and skilled and knowledgeable personnel to assist our customers with their financial needs. External factors that may impact our ability to compete include changes in local economic conditions and real estate values, changes in interest rates, and the consolidation of banks and thrifts within our marketplace.

In addition, our mortgage banking operation originates one-to-four family loans for sale throughout the nation, and therefore competes nationally with other major banks and mortgage brokers for this business.

 

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The level of revenues we produce is unpredictable.

The net interest income we produce includes prepayment penalty income, which depends on the volume of loans that refinance or prepay. Such activity is largely dependent on current market conditions, the perceived or actual direction of market interest rates, and the contractual repricing and maturity dates of our multi-family and CRE loans. As a result, the level of prepayment penalty income we record will vary from period to period, and is difficult to predict.

Similarly, the revenues we generate in the form of net interest income are complemented by the non-interest income we produce. Our primary source of non-interest income is the mortgage banking income we generate through our origination of one-to-four-family loans for sale, which includes income from originations and servicing income. The level of mortgage banking income we produce depends on various factors, including the level of residential market interest rates, the level of refinancing activity and new home sales, conditions in the U.S. housing market, and competition with other banks and mortgage banking firms. As a result, the mortgage banking income we produce is unpredictable in nature and also may vary from one period to the next.

We are subject to certain risks in connection with our use of technology:

Our security measures may not be sufficient to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack.

Communications and information systems are essential to the conduct of our business, as we use such systems to manage our customer relationships, our general ledger, our deposits, and our loans. Our operations rely on the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential and other information in our computer systems and networks. Although we take protective measures and endeavor to modify them as circumstances warrant, the security of our computer systems, software, and networks may be vulnerable to breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other malicious code and cyber attacks that could have a security impact.

In addition, breaches of security may occur through intentional or unintentional acts by those having authorized or unauthorized access to our confidential or other information or the confidential or other information of our customers, clients, or counterparties. If one or more of such events were to occur, the confidential and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks could potentially be jeopardized, or could otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations or the operations of our customers, clients, or counterparties. This could cause us significant reputational damage or result in our experiencing significant losses.

Furthermore, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures arising from operational and security risks. Also, we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance we maintain.

In addition, we routinely transmit and receive personal, confidential, and proprietary information by e-mail and other electronic means. We have discussed and worked with our customers, clients, and counterparties to develop secure transmission capabilities, but we do not have, and may be unable to put in place, secure capabilities with all of these constituents, and we may not be able to ensure that these third parties have appropriate controls in place to protect the confidentiality of such information. Any interception, misuse, or mishandling of personal, confidential, or proprietary information being sent to or received from a customer, client, or counterparty could result in legal liability, regulatory action, and reputational harm, and could have a significant adverse effect on our competitive position, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our security measures may not protect us from systems failures or interruptions.

While we have established policies and procedures to prevent or limit the impact of systems failures and interruptions, there can be no assurance that such events will not occur or that they will be adequately addressed if they do. In addition, we outsource certain aspects of our data processing to certain third-party providers. If our third-party providers encounter difficulties, or if we have difficulty in communicating with them, our ability to adequately process and account for customer transactions could be affected, and our business operations could be adversely impacted. Threats to information security also exist in the processing of customer information through various other vendors and their personnel.

The occurrence of any systems failure or interruption could damage our reputation and result in a loss of customers and business, could subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or could expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We may not be able to keep pace with changes in bank technology.

Financial products and services have become increasingly technology-driven. To some degree, our ability to meet the needs of our customers competitively, and in a cost-efficient manner, is dependent on our ability to keep pace with technological advances and to invest in new technology as it becomes available. Many of our competitors have greater resources to invest in technology than we do and may be better equipped to market new technology-driven products and services. The ability to keep pace with technological change is important, and the failure to do so on our part could have a material adverse impact on our business and therefore on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our goodwill may become impaired.

We test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently, if necessary. Quoted market prices in active markets are the best evidence of fair value and are to be used as the basis for measuring impairment, when available. Other acceptable valuation methods include present-value measurements based on multiples of earnings or revenues, or similar performance measures. If we were to determine that the carrying amount of our goodwill exceeded its implied fair value, we would be required to write down the value of the goodwill on our balance sheet. This, in turn, would result in a charge against earnings and, thus, a reduction in our stockholders’ equity.

The results of our most recent internal stress test might not accurately predict the impact of a decline in economic conditions on our financial condition.

We regularly perform an internal analysis of our capital position. In doing so, we apply many of the same methodologies that the U.S. Treasury applies in estimating our loan losses, the resources available to us to absorb such losses, and any necessary additions to capital that could be required, in periods of economic stress. The assumptions we utilize for our stress tests may not be the same as those used by our regulators or others, and may include less severe loss assumptions than those under “more adverse” stress test scenarios. Accordingly, results of our stress tests may not be comparable to the results of stress tests performed by others (including those performed by our regulators), and our estimates for loan losses or other losses based on such testing may be lower than those derived by using other assumptions.

The results of our internal stress tests involve many assumptions about the economy, future loan losses, and default rates, and may not accurately reflect the impact on our financial condition if the economy does not improve or deteriorates. Deterioration of the economy could result in our recording significantly higher credit losses than those predicted by our internal stress tests, and could have a corresponding impact on our financial condition and capital.

We are subject to risks associated with taxation.

The amount of income taxes we are required to pay on our earnings is based on federal and state legislation and regulations. We provide for current and deferred taxes in our financial statements, based on our results of operations, business activity, legal structure, interpretation of tax statutes, assessment of risk of adjustment upon audit, and application of financial accounting standards. We may take tax return filing positions for which the final determination of tax is uncertain. Our net income and earnings per share may be reduced if a federal, state, or local authority assesses additional taxes that have not been provided for in our consolidated financial statements. There can be no assurance that we will achieve our anticipated effective tax rate either due to a change in tax law, a change in regulatory or judicial guidance, or an audit assessment that denies previously recognized tax benefits.

We may be required to pay significantly higher FDIC premiums, special assessments, or taxes that could adversely affect our earnings.

Market developments have significantly depleted the insurance fund of the FDIC and reduced the ratio of reserves to insured deposits in recent years. As a result, we may be required to pay significantly higher premiums or additional special assessments or taxes that could adversely affect our earnings. We are generally unable to control the amount of premiums that we are required to pay for FDIC insurance. If there are additional bank or financial institution failures, we may be required to pay even higher FDIC premiums than the higher levels imposed in 2011. These increases and any future increases or required prepayments in FDIC insurance premiums or taxes may have a material adverse affect on our results of operations.

We may not be able to attract and retain key personnel.

To a large degree, our success depends on our ability to attract and retain key personnel whose expertise, knowledge of our markets, and years of industry experience would make them difficult to replace. Competition for skilled leaders in our industry can be intense, and we may not be able to hire or retain the people we would like to have working for us. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel could have a material adverse impact on our business, given the specialized knowledge of such personnel and the difficulty of finding qualified replacements on a timely basis. To attract and retain personnel with the skills and knowledge to support our business, we offer a variety of benefits that may reduce our earnings.

 

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Damage to our reputation could significantly harm the businesses we engage in, as well as our competitive position and prospects for growth.

Our ability to attract and retain investors, customers, clients, and employees could be adversely affected if our reputation were damaged. Significant harm to our reputation could arise from many sources, including employee misconduct, litigation or regulatory outcomes, failure to deliver minimum standards of service and quality, compliance failures, unethical behavior, unintended disclosure of confidential information, and the activities of our clients, customers, and/or counterparties. Actions by the financial services industry in general, or by certain entities or individuals within it, also could have a significantly adverse impact on our reputation.

Our actual or perceived failure to address various issues also could give rise to reputational risk that could significantly harm us and our business prospects, including failure to properly address operational risks. These issues include legal and regulatory requirements; privacy; properly maintaining customer and associated personal information; record keeping; protecting against money-laundering; sales and trading practices; ethical issues; and the proper identification of the legal, reputational, credit, liquidity, and market risks inherent in our products and services.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to the value of our common stock.

The market price of our common stock could be subject to significant fluctuations due to changes in sentiment in the market regarding our operations or business prospects. Among other factors, these risks may be affected by:

 

   

Operating results that vary from the expectations of our management or of securities analysts and investors;

 

   

Developments in our business or in the financial services sector generally;

 

   

Regulatory or legislative changes affecting our industry generally or our business and operations;

 

   

Operating and securities price performance of companies that investors consider to be comparable to us;

 

   

Changes in estimates or recommendations by securities analysts or rating agencies;

 

   

Announcements of strategic developments, acquisitions, dispositions, financings, and other material events by us or our competitors;

 

   

Changes or volatility in global financial markets and economies, general market conditions, interest or foreign exchange rates, stock, commodity, credit, or asset valuations; and

 

   

Significant fluctuations in the capital markets.

Although the economy showed some signs of improvement in 2011, renewed economic or market turmoil could occur in the near or long term, which could negatively affect our business, our financial condition, and our results of operations, as well as volatility in the price and trading volume of our common stock.

 

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ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

In addition to owning certain branches and other bank business facilities, we also lease a majority of our branch offices and facilities under various lease and license agreements that expire at various times. (Please see Note 9, “Commitments and Contingencies: Lease and License Commitments” in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”). We believe that our facilities are adequate to meet our present and immediately foreseeable needs.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

In the ordinary course of our business, we are defendants in or parties to a number of legal proceedings. We believe we have meritorious defenses with respect to these cases and intend to defend them vigorously.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

 

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

The common stock of the Company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “NYB.”

At December 31, 2011, the number of outstanding shares was 437,344,796 and the number of registered owners was approximately 13,500. The latter figure does not include those investors whose shares were held for them by a bank or broker at that date.

Dividends Declared per Common Share and Market Price of Common Stock

The following table sets forth the dividends declared per common share, and the intra-day high/low price range and closing prices for the Company’s common stock, as reported by the NYSE, in each of the four quarters of 2011 and 2010:

 

            Market Price  
     Dividends
Declared per
Common Share
     High      Low      Close  

2011

           

1st Quarter

   $ 0.25       $ 19.23       $ 17.10       $ 17.26   

2nd Quarter

     0.25         17.55         14.66         14.99   

3rd Quarter

     0.25         15.67         11.45         11.90   

4th Quarter

     0.25         13.65         11.13         12.37   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

2010

           

1st Quarter

   $ 0.25       $ 17.44       $ 14.24       $ 16.54   

2nd Quarter

     0.25         18.19         14.40         15.27   

3rd Quarter

     0.25         17.81         14.93         16.25   

4th Quarter

     0.25         19.32         16.09         18.85   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Please see the discussion of “Liquidity” in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” for information regarding restrictions on the Company’s ability to pay dividends.

On July 1, 2011, our President and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph R. Ficalora, submitted to the NYSE his Annual CEO certification confirming our compliance with the NYSE’s corporate governance listing standards, as required by Section 303A.12(a) of the NYSE Listed Company Manual.

Stock Performance Graph

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in any of the Company’s previous filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that might incorporate future filings, including this Form 10-K, in whole or in part, the following stock performance graph shall not be incorporated by reference into any such filings.

The following graph provides a comparison of total shareholder returns on the Company’s common stock since December 31, 2006 with the cumulative total returns of a broad market index and a peer group index. The S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index was chosen as the broad market index in connection with the Company’s trading activity on the NYSE. The peer group index chosen was the SNL U.S. Bank and Thrift Index, which currently is comprised of 472 bank and thrift institutions, including the Company. The data for the indices included in the graph were provided by SNL Financial.

 

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Comparison of 5-Year Cumulative Total Return

Among New York Community Bancorp, Inc.,

S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index, and SNL U.S. Bank and Thrift Index

LOGO

ASSUMES $100 INVESTED ON DEC. 31, 2006

ASSUMES DIVIDEND REINVESTED

FISCAL YEAR ENDING DEC. 31, 2011

 

     12/31/2006      12/31/2007      12/31/2008      12/31/2009      12/31/2010      12/31/2011  

New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

   $ 100.00       $ 115.77       $ 83.67       $ 110.88       $ 152.98       $ 107.35   

S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index

   $ 100.00       $ 107.97       $ 68.84       $ 94.57       $ 119.77       $ 117.70   

SNL U.S. Bank and Thrift Index

   $ 100.00       $ 76.26       $ 43.85       $ 43.27       $ 48.30       $ 37.56   

 

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Share Repurchase Program

From time to time, we repurchase shares of our common stock on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, and hold such shares in our Treasury account. Repurchased shares may be utilized for various corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, merger transactions and the exercise of stock options.

During the three months ended December 31, 2011, we allocated $927,000 toward share repurchases, as outlined in the following table:

 

Period

   (a)
Total Number
of Shares (or
Units)
Purchased(1)
     (b)
Average Price
Paid per Share
(or Unit)
     (c)
Total Number of
Shares (or Units)
Purchased as Part of
Publicly  Announced
Plans or Programs
     (d)
Maximum Number (or
Approximate Dollar
Value) of Shares (or
Units) that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs(2)
 

Month #1:

October 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011

     15,926         $12.73         15,926         818,176   

Month #2:

November 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011

     1,600         11.57         1,600         816,576   

Month #3:

December 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011

     58,683         12.02         58,683         757,893   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     76,209         $12.16         76,209      
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

(1) All shares were purchased in privately negotiated transactions.
(2) On April 20, 2004, the Board authorized the repurchase of up to five million shares. Of this amount, 757,893 shares were still available for repurchase at December 31, 2011. Shares may be repurchased on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions until completion or the Board’s earlier termination of the repurchase authorization.

 

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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

     At or For the Years Ended December 31,  
(dollars in thousands, except share data)    2011     2010(1)     2009(2)     2008     2007(3)  

EARNINGS SUMMARY:

          

Net interest income (4)

   $ 1,200,421      $ 1,179,963      $ 905,325      $ 675,495      $ 616,530   

Provision for losses on non-covered loans

     79,000        91,000        63,000        7,700        —     

Provision for losses on covered loans(5)

     21,420        11,903        —          —          —     

Non-interest income

     235,325        337,923        157,639        15,529        111,092   

Non-interest expense:

          

Operating expenses

     574,683        546,246        384,003        320,818        299,575   

Debt repositioning charges

     —          —          —          285,369        3,190   

Amortization of core deposit intangibles

     26,066        31,266        22,812        23,343        22,758   

Income tax expense (benefit)

     254,540        296,454        194,503        (24,090     123,017   

Net income

     480,037        541,017        398,646        77,884        279,082   

Basic earnings per share

     $1.09        $1.24        $1.13        $0.23        $0.90   

Diluted earnings per share

     1.09        1.24        1.13        0.23        0.90   

Dividends paid per common share

     1.00        1.00        1.00        1.00        1.00   

SELECTED RATIOS:

          

Return on average assets

     1.17     1.29     1.20     0.25     0.94

Return on average stockholders’ equity

     8.73        10.03        9.29        1.86        7.13   

Operating expenses to average assets

     1.40        1.31        1.15        1.03        1.01   

Average stockholders’ equity to average assets

     13.38        12.89        12.89        13.41        13.21   

Efficiency ratio (4)

     40.03        35.99        36.13        46.43        41.17   

Interest rate spread (4)

     3.37        3.45        2.98        2.25        2.11   

Net interest margin (4)

     3.46        3.45        3.12        2.48        2.38   

Dividend payout ratio

     91.74        80.65        88.50        434.78        111.11   

BALANCE SHEET SUMMARY:

          

Total assets

   $ 42,024,302      $ 41,190,689      $ 42,153,869      $ 32,466,906      $ 30,579,822   

Loans, net of allowances for loan losses

     30,152,154        29,041,595        28,265,208        22,097,844        20,270,454   

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans

     137,290        158,942        127,491        94,368        92,794   

Allowance for losses on covered loans(5)

     33,323        11,903        —          —          —     

Securities

     4,540,516        4,788,891        5,742,243        5,901,493        5,743,901   

Deposits

     22,274,130        21,809,051        22,316,411        14,375,648        13,235,801   

Borrowed funds

     13,960,413        13,536,116        14,164,686        13,496,710        12,915,672   

Stockholders’ equity

     5,565,704        5,526,220        5,366,902        4,219,246        4,182,313   

Common shares outstanding

     437,344,796        435,646,845        433,197,332        344,985,111        323,812,639   

Book value per share (6)

     $12.73        $12.69        $12.40        $12.25        $12.95   

Stockholders’ equity to total assets

     13.24     13.42     12.73     13.00     13.68

ASSET QUALITY RATIOS (excluding covered assets):

          

Non-performing non-covered loans to total non-covered loans

     1.28     2.63     2.47     0.51     0.11

Non-performing non-covered assets to total non-covered assets

     1.07        1.77        1.41        0.35        0.07   

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans to non-performing non-covered loans

     42.14        25.45        22.05        83.00        418.14   

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans to total non-covered loans

     0.54        0.67        0.55        0.43        0.46   

Net charge-offs to average loans

     0.35        0.21        0.13        0.03        0.00   

ASSET QUALITY RATIOS (including covered assets): (5)

          

Total non-performing loans to total loans

     2.30        3.52        2.23        —          —     

Total non-performing assets to total assets

     1.97        2.61        1.54        —          —     

Allowances for loan losses to total non-performing loans

     25.34        17.34        20.10        —          —     

Allowances for loan losses to total loans

     0.58        0.61        0.45        —          —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) The Company acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of Desert Hills Bank on March 26, 2010. Accordingly, the Company’s 2010 earnings reflect combined operations from that date.
(2) The Company acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of AmTrust Bank (“AmTrust”) on December 4, 2009. Accordingly, the Company’s 2009 earnings reflect combined operations from that date.
(3) The Company completed three business combinations in 2007: the acquisition of PennFed Financial Services, Inc. on April 2nd; the acquisition of Doral Bank, FSB’s branch network in New York City and certain assets and liabilities on July 26th; and the acquisition of Synergy Financial Group, Inc. on October 1st. Accordingly, the Company’s 2007 earnings reflect nine months, five months, and three months of combined operations with the respective institutions.
(4) The 2008 amount/measure reflects the impact of a $39.6 million debt repositioning charge that was recorded in interest expense.
(5) Prior to the AmTrust acquisition on December 4, 2009, the Company had no covered assets.
(6) Excludes unallocated Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) shares from the number of shares outstanding at December 31, 2009, 2008, and 2007. (Please see the definition of “book value per share” in the Glossary earlier in this report.)

 

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

For the purpose of this discussion and analysis, the words “we,” “us,” “our,” and the “Company” are used to refer to New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and our consolidated subsidiaries, including New York Community Bank (the “Community Bank”) and New York Commercial Bank (the “Commercial Bank”) (collectively, the “Banks”).

Executive Summary

The U.S. economy showed certain signs of improvement in 2011, as the unemployment rate declined to 8.5% at the end of December from 9.4% at December 31, 2010. Although unemployment rates declined in Florida, Arizona, and Ohio—three of the five states served by our branch network—the unemployment rates held steady in New York and New Jersey, the other two. In New York City, where most of our branches and the properties securing our multi-family and commercial real estate loans are located, unemployment rose two basis points, to 8.8%.

Nonetheless, the year-over-year rise in unemployment in New York City occurred in tandem with improvements in certain other local economic indices. For example, personal bankruptcy filings throughout Metro New York fell 9.2% over the course of 2011, while business bankruptcy filings declined 25.2%. Furthermore, in Manhattan, which is home to 34.4% and 52.6%, respectively, of our multi-family and commercial real estate credits, the office vacancy rate improved to 10.4% at December 31, 2011 from 11.9% at December 31, 2010.

While our market for multi-family and commercial real estate loans strengthened in 2011, the much broader market for the one-to-four family loans we produce for sale generally did not. Average home prices fell 4.0% year-over-year throughout the U.S. in 2011, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and the volume of new home sales declined to a 48-year low, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report. In addition, refinancing activity declined in the first half of the year, as residential market interest rates increased, but picked up again in the second half as such interest rates declined.

Against this backdrop, and by adhering to our long-held business model, we generated solid earnings for the year. Among the factors contributing to the strength of our 2011 performance were:

 

   

A significant increase in the volume of multi-family and commercial real estate loans originated for investment, as the decline in market interest rates triggered an increase in refinancing activity, as well as an increase in property purchases and sales;

 

   

A significant increase in prepayment penalty income, as refinancing activity rose year-over-year in New York City, where most of the properties securing our multi-family and commercial real estate loans are located;

 

   

A continued, albeit modest, decline in our cost of funds, as the federal funds rate was maintained in the range of zero to 0.25% throughout 2011, and as the liquidity provided by the repayment and sale of loans and securities enabled us to refrain from pricing our deposits higher to compete for such funds with our peers;

 

   

The stability of our net interest margin at a time when margins were being pressured;

 

   

An improvement in the quality of our non-covered assets, as market conditions improved in our primary lending market; and

 

   

A reduction in staff in the fourth quarter of 2011, which tempered the impact of a year-over-year increase in non-interest expense.

These contributing factors were only partly offset by the factors that follow:

 

   

The replenishment of the loan portfolio at lower yields as market interest rates declined and refinancing activity increased;

 

   

A reduction in the volume of one-to-four family loans originated for sale as residential mortgage interest rates rose in the first six months of 2011, and as the purchase of new homes and refinancing activity were discouraged by continued economic weakness and high unemployment throughout the U.S.;

 

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A reduction in mortgage banking income, reflecting the aforementioned decline in one-to-four family loan production and the expiration of our subservicing arrangement with the FDIC in the fourth quarter of 2010; and

 

   

An increase in operating expenses, partly reflecting an increase in our FDIC deposit insurance premiums as well as the legal and other costs associated with the acquisition and management of foreclosed real estate.

As a result of these factors, and others described later in this report, we generated earnings of $480.0 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, in 2011 and, at the end of the year, recorded assets of $42.0 billion, including loans and securities of $30.3 billion and $4.5 billion; deposits of $22.3 billion; and stockholders’ equity of $5.6 billion. In addition, our tangible stockholders’ equity totaled $3.1 billion, representing 7.78% of tangible assets, after distributing cash dividends of $436.9 million over the course of the year. (Please see the discussion and reconciliations of stockholders’ equity and tangible stockholders’ equity, total assets and tangible assets, and the related measures that appear later in this report.)

Recent Events

Dividend Declaration

On January 24, 2012, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share, payable on February 17, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 7, 2012.

Critical Accounting Policies

We consider certain accounting policies to be critically important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations, since they require management to make complex or subjective judgments, some of which may relate to matters that are inherently uncertain. The inherent sensitivity of our consolidated financial statements to these critical accounting policies, and the judgments, estimates, and assumptions used therein, could have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations.

We have identified the following to be critical accounting policies: the determination of the allowances for loan losses; the valuation of loans held for sale; the determination of whether an impairment of securities is other than temporary; the determination of the amount, if any, of goodwill impairment; and the determination of the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets.

The judgments used by management in applying these critical accounting policies may be influenced by a further and prolonged deterioration in the economic environment, which may result in changes to future financial results. In addition, the current economic environment has increased the degree of uncertainty inherent in our judgments, estimates, and assumptions.

Allowances for Loan Losses

Allowance for Losses on Non-Covered Loans

The allowance for losses on non-covered loans is increased by provisions for non-covered loan losses that are charged against earnings, and is reduced by net charge-offs and/or reversals, if any, that are credited to earnings. Although non-covered loans are held by either the Community Bank or the Commercial Bank, and a separate loan loss allowance is established for each, the total of the two allowances is available to cover all losses incurred. In addition, except as otherwise noted below, the process for establishing the allowance for losses on non-covered loans is the same for each of the Community Bank and the Commercial Bank. In determining the respective allowances for loan losses, management considers the Community Bank’s and the Commercial Bank’s current business strategies and credit processes, including compliance with guidelines approved by the respective Boards of Directors with regard to credit limitations, loan approvals, underwriting criteria, and loan workout procedures.

The allowance for losses on non-covered loans is established based on our evaluation of the probable inherent losses in our portfolio in accordance with GAAP, and are comprised of both specific valuation allowances and general valuation allowances.

Specific valuation allowances are established based on management’s analyses of individual loans that are considered impaired. If a non-covered loan is deemed to be impaired, management measures the extent of the impairment and establishes a specific valuation allowance for that amount. A non-covered loan is classified as “impaired” when, based on current information and events, it is probable that we will be unable to collect both the principal and interest due under the contractual terms of the loan agreement. We apply this classification as necessary to non-covered loans individually evaluated for

 

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impairment in our portfolios of multi-family; commercial real estate; acquisition, development, and construction; and commercial and industrial loans. Smaller balance homogenous loans and loans carried at the lower of cost or fair value are evaluated for impairment on a collective, rather than individual, basis.

We generally measure impairment on an individual loan and determine the extent to which a specific valuation allowance is necessary by comparing the loan’s outstanding balance to either the fair value of the collateral, less the estimated cost to sell, or the present value of expected cash flows, discounted at the loan’s effective interest rate. A specific valuation allowance is established when the fair value of the collateral, net of the estimated costs to sell, or the present value of the expected cash flows, is less than the recorded investment in the loan.

We also follow a process to assign general valuation allowances to non-covered loan categories. General valuation allowances are established by applying our loan loss provisioning methodology, and reflect the inherent risk in outstanding held-for-investment loans. This loan loss provisioning methodology considers various factors in determining the appropriate quantified risk factors to use to determine the general valuation allowances. The factors assessed begin with the historical loan loss experience for each of the major loan categories we maintain. Our historical loan loss experience is then adjusted by considering qualitative or environmental factors that are likely to cause estimated credit losses associated with the existing portfolio to differ from historical loss experience, including, but not limited to:

 

   

Changes in lending policies and procedures, including changes in underwriting standards and collection, charge-off, and recovery practices;

 

   

Changes in international, national, regional, and local economic and business conditions and developments that affect the collectability of the portfolio, including the condition of various market segments;

 

   

Changes in the nature and volume of the portfolio and in the terms of loans;

 

   

Changes in the volume and severity of past due loans, the volume of non-accrual loans, and the volume and severity of adversely classified or graded loans;

 

   

Changes in the quality of our loan review system;

 

   

Changes in the value of the underlying collateral for collateral-dependent loans;

 

   

The existence and effect of any concentrations of credit, and changes in the level of such concentrations;

 

   

Changes in the experience, ability, and depth of lending management and other relevant staff; and

 

   

The effect of other external factors, such as competition and legal and regulatory requirements, on the level of estimated credit losses in the existing portfolio.

By considering the factors discussed above, we determine quantified risk factors that are applied to each non-impaired loan or loan type in the loan portfolio to determine the general valuation allowances.

In recognition of prevailing macroeconomic and real estate market conditions, the time periods considered for historical loss experience continue to be the last three years and the current period. We also evaluate the sufficiency of the overall allocations used for the allowance for losses on non-covered loans by considering the loss experience in the current and prior calendar year.

The process of establishing the allowance for losses on non-covered loans also involves:

 

   

Periodic inspections of the loan collateral by qualified in-house and external property appraisers/inspectors, as applicable;

 

   

Regular meetings of executive management with the pertinent Board committee, during which observable trends in the local economy and/or the real estate market are discussed;

 

   

Assessment of the aforementioned factors by the pertinent members of the Boards of Directors and executive management when making a business judgment regarding the impact of anticipated changes on the future level of loan losses; and

 

   

Analysis of the portfolio in the aggregate, as well as on an individual loan basis, taking into consideration payment history, underwriting analyses, and internal risk ratings.

In order to determine their overall adequacy, each of the respective loan loss allowances is reviewed quarterly by management and by the Mortgage and Real Estate Committee of the Community Bank’s Board of Directors (the “Mortgage Committee”) or the Credit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Bank (the “Credit Committee”), as applicable.

 

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We charge off loans, or portions of loans, in the period that such loans, or portions thereof, are deemed uncollectible. The collectability of individual loans is determined through an assessment of the financial condition and repayment capacity of the borrower and/or through an estimate of the fair value of any underlying collateral. Generally, the time period in which this assessment is made is within the same quarter that the loan is considered impaired and quarterly thereafter. For non-real estate-related consumer credits, the following past-due time periods determine when charge-offs are typically recorded: (1) closed-end credits are charged off in the quarter that the loan becomes 120 days past due; (2) open-end credits are charged off in the quarter that the loan becomes 180 days past due; and (3) both closed-end and open-end credits are typically charged off in the quarter that the credit is 60 days past the date we received notification that the borrower has filed for bankruptcy.

The level of future additions to the respective non-covered loan loss allowances is based on many factors, including certain factors that are beyond management’s control such as changes in economic and local market conditions, including declines in real estate values, and increases in vacancy rates and unemployment. Management uses the best available information to recognize losses on loans or to make additions to the loan loss allowances; however, the Community Bank and/or the Commercial Bank may be required to take certain charge-offs and/or recognize further additions to their loan loss allowances, based on the judgment of regulatory agencies with regard to information provided to them during their examinations of the Banks.

Allowance for Losses on Covered Loans

We have elected to account for the loans acquired in the AmTrust and Desert Hills acquisitions (i.e., our covered loans) based on expected cash flows. This election is in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 310-30, “Loans and Debt Securities Acquired with Deteriorated Credit Quality” (“ASC 310-30”). In accordance with ASC 310-30, we will maintain the integrity of a pool of multiple loans accounted for as a single asset and with a single composite interest rate and an aggregate expectation of cash flows.

Under our loss sharing agreements with the FDIC, covered loans are reported exclusive of the FDIC loss share receivable. The covered loans acquired in the AmTrust and Desert Hills acquisitions are, and will continue to be, reviewed for collectability based on the expectations of cash flows from these loans. Covered loans have been aggregated into pools of loans with common characteristics. In determining the allowance for losses on covered loans, we periodically perform an analysis to estimate the expected cash flows for each of the loan pools. We record a provision for losses on covered loans to the extent that the expected cash flows from a loan pool have decreased for credit-related items since the acquisition date. Accordingly, if there is a decrease in expected cash flows due to an increase in estimated credit losses compared to the estimates made at the respective acquisition dates, the decrease in the present value of expected cash flows will be recorded as a provision for covered loan losses charged to earnings, and the allowance for covered loan losses will be increased. A related credit to non-interest income and an increase in the FDIC loss share receivable will be recognized at the same time, and will be measured based on the loss sharing agreement percentages.

Please see Note 4, “Loans” in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” for a further discussion of our allowance for losses on covered loans as well as additional information about our allowance for losses on non-covered loans.

Loans Held for Sale

We carry at fair value the one-to-four family mortgage loans we originate for sale to investors. The fair value of such loans is primarily based on quoted market prices for securities backed by similar types of loans. Changes in fair value, which are recorded as a component of mortgage banking income, are largely driven by changes in interest rates subsequent to loan funding, and changes in the fair value of servicing associated with mortgage loans held for sale. In addition, we use various derivative instruments to mitigate the economic effect of changes in the fair value of the underlying loans.

Investment Securities

The securities portfolio primarily consists of mortgage-related securities and, to a lesser extent, debt and equity (together, “other”) securities. Securities that are classified as “available for sale” are carried at their estimated fair value, with any unrealized gains or losses, net of taxes, reported as accumulated other comprehensive income or loss in stockholders’ equity. Securities that we have the intent and ability to hold to maturity are classified as “held to maturity” and carried at amortized cost, less the non-credit portion of other-than-temporary impairment (“OTTI”) recorded in accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax (“AOCL”).

 

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The fair values of our securities—and particularly our fixed-rate securities—are affected by changes in market interest rates and credit spreads. In general, as interest rates rise and/or credit spreads widen, the fair value of fixed-rate securities will decline; as interest rates fall and/or credit spreads tighten, the fair value of fixed-rate securities will rise. We regularly conduct a review and evaluation of our securities portfolio to determine if the decline in the fair value of any security below its carrying amount is other than temporary. If we deem any decline in value to be other than temporary, the security is written down to its current fair value, creating a new cost basis, and the resultant loss (other than the OTTI on debt securities attributable to non-credit factors) is charged against earnings and recorded in non-interest income. Our assessment of a decline in fair value includes judgment as to the financial position and future prospects of the entity that issued the investment security, as well as a review of the security’s underlying collateral. Broad changes in the overall market or interest rate environment generally will not lead to a write-down.

In accordance with OTTI accounting guidance, unless we have the intent to sell, or it is more likely than not that we may be required to sell a security before recovery, OTTI is recognized as a realized loss on the income statement to the extent that the decline in fair value is credit-related. If there is a decline in fair value of a security below its carrying amount and we have the intent to sell it, or it is more likely than not that we may be required to sell the security before recovery, the entire amount of the decline in fair value is charged to earnings.

Goodwill Impairment

Goodwill is presumed to have an indefinite useful life and is tested for impairment, rather than amortized, at the reporting unit level, at least once a year. In addition to being tested annually, goodwill would be tested if there were a “triggering event.” Currently, the goodwill impairment analysis is a two-step test. (Please see “Significant Accounting Policies” under Note 2, “Impact of Recent Accounting Pronouncements,” in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” regarding changes in accounting guidance relating to goodwill impairment testing.) The first step (“Step 1”) is used to identify potential impairment, and involves comparing each reporting segment’s estimated fair value to its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the estimated fair value of a reporting segment exceeds its carrying amount, goodwill is considered not to be impaired. If the carrying amount exceeds the estimated fair value, there is an indication of potential impairment and the second step (“Step 2”) is performed to measure the amount.

Step 2 involves calculating an implied fair value of goodwill for each reporting segment for which impairment was indicated in Step 1. The implied fair value of goodwill is determined in a manner similar to the amount of goodwill calculated in a business combination, i.e., by measuring the excess of the estimated fair value of the reporting segment, as determined in Step 1, over the aggregate estimated fair values of the individual assets, liabilities, and identifiable intangibles, as if the reporting segment were being acquired in a business combination at the impairment test date. If the implied fair value of goodwill exceeds the carrying amount of goodwill assigned to the reporting segment, there is no impairment. If the carrying amount of goodwill assigned to a reporting segment exceeds the implied fair value of the goodwill, an impairment charge is recorded for the excess. An impairment loss cannot exceed the carrying amount of goodwill assigned to a reporting segment, and the loss establishes a new basis in the goodwill. Subsequent reversal of goodwill impairment losses is not permitted.

Quoted market prices in active markets are the best evidence of fair value and are used as the basis for measurement, when available. Other acceptable valuation methods include present-value measurements based on multiples of earnings or revenues, or similar performance measures. Differences in the identification of reporting units and in valuation techniques could result in materially different evaluations of impairment.

For the purpose of goodwill impairment testing, management has determined that the Company has two reporting segments: Banking Operations and Residential Mortgage Banking. All of our recorded goodwill has resulted from prior acquisitions and, accordingly, is attributed to Banking Operations. There is no goodwill associated with Residential Mortgage Banking, as this operation was acquired in our FDIC-assisted AmTrust Bank (“AmTrust”) acquisition, which resulted in a bargain purchase gain. In order to perform our annual goodwill impairment test, we determined the carrying value of the Banking Operations segment to be the carrying value of the Company and compared it to the fair value of the Banking Operations segment as the fair value of the Company.

We performed our annual goodwill impairment test as of December 31, 2011 and found no indication of goodwill impairment at that date.

Income Taxes

In estimating income taxes, management assesses the relative merits and risks of the tax treatment of transactions, taking into account statutory, judicial, and regulatory guidance in the context of our tax position. In this process, management also

 

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relies on tax opinions, recent audits, and historical experience. Although we use the best available information to record income taxes, underlying estimates and assumptions can change over time as a result of unanticipated events or circumstances such as changes in tax laws and judicial guidance influencing our overall or transaction-specific tax position.

We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, and the carryforward of certain tax attributes such as net operating losses. A valuation allowance is maintained for deferred tax assets that we estimate are more likely than not to be unrealizable, based on available evidence at the time the estimate is made. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we estimate future taxable income, considering the prudence and feasibility of tax planning strategies and the realizability of tax loss carryforwards. Valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets can be affected by changes to tax laws, statutory tax rates, and future taxable income levels. In the event we were to determine that we would not be able to realize all or a portion of our net deferred tax assets in the future, we would reduce such amounts through a charge to income tax expense in the period in which that determination was made. Conversely, if we were to determine that we would be able to realize our deferred tax assets in the future in excess of the net carrying amounts, we would decrease the recorded valuation allowance through a decrease in income tax expense in the period in which that determination was made. Subsequently recognized tax benefits associated with valuation allowances recorded in a business combination would be recorded as an adjustment to goodwill.

In July 2009, new tax laws were enacted that were effective for the determination of our New York City income tax liability beginning in calendar year 2009. In general, these laws conformed the New York City tax rules to those of New York State. These tax laws include a provision that requires the inclusion of income earned by a subsidiary taxed as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for federal tax purposes, regardless of the location in which the REIT subsidiary conducts its business or the timing of its distribution of earnings. The law provided for 25% of such income to be excluded from tax in 2009 and 2010; beginning in 2011, the income earned by a subsidiary taxed as a REIT was fully taxable. As a result of certain earlier business combinations, we have six REIT subsidiaries that have been subject to this tax provision since 2009.

In August 2010, new tax laws were enacted by the State and City of New York that repealed the preferential deduction for bad debts that had been permitted in the determination of our New York State and City income tax liabilities. These laws have been applied to the determination of our tax liability since calendar year 2010.

FINANCIAL CONDITION

Balance Sheet Summary

At December 31, 2011, our assets totaled $42.0 billion, reflecting an $833.6 million increase from the balance at December 31, 2010. Loans rose $1.1 billion year-over-year, to $30.3 billion, more than offsetting the impact of a $248.4 million decline in the balance of securities to $4.5 billion.

Borrowed funds rose $424.3 million year-over-year, to $14.0 billion, the net effect of a $938.5 million increase in wholesale borrowings to $13.4 billion and a $514.2 million decline in other borrowings. Total deposits also rose, to $22.3 billion, as a $461.9 million decline in certificates of deposit (“CDs”) to $7.4 billion was exceeded by a $927.0 million increase in core deposits to $14.9 billion. Core deposits consist of NOW and money market accounts, savings accounts, and non-interest-bearing deposits, i.e., all deposits other than CDs.

Stockholders’ equity rose $39.5 million year-over-year, to $5.6 billion, representing 13.24% of total assets and a book value per share of $12.73. Tangible stockholders’ equity rose $65.6 million year-over-year, to $3.1 billion, representing 7.78% of tangible assets and a tangible book value per share of $7.04. (Please see the discussion and reconciliations of stockholders’ equity and tangible stockholders’ equity, total assets and tangible assets, and the related measures that appear later in this report.)

Loans

Loans represented $30.3 billion, or 72.1%, of total assets at December 31, 2011, an increase from $29.2 billion, or 70.9%, of total assets at December 31, 2010. Included in the balance at December 31, 2011 were covered loans of $3.8 billion and non-covered loans of $26.5 billion. Included in non-covered loans were $25.5 billion of loans held for investment and $1.0 billion of loans held for sale.

 

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Covered Loans

“Covered loans” refers to the loans we acquired in our FDIC-assisted AmTrust and Desert Hills Bank (“Desert Hills”) acquisitions, and are referred to as such because they are covered by loss sharing agreements with the FDIC. At $3.8 billion, covered loans represented 12.4% of total loans at December 31, 2011, and were down $544.8 million from the balance at December 31, 2010.

One-to-four family loans represented $3.4 billion of total covered loans at the end of this December, with all other types of covered loans representing $386.6 million, combined. Covered one-to-four family loans include both fixed and adjustable rate loans. Covered other loans consist of commercial real estate (“CRE”) loans; acquisition, development, and construction (“ADC”) loans; multi-family loans; commercial and industrial (“C&I”) loans; home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”); and consumer loans.

The AmTrust and Desert Hills loss sharing agreements each require the FDIC to reimburse us for 80% of losses up to a specified threshold, and for 95% of losses beyond that threshold with respect to covered loans and covered other real estate owned (“OREO”).

In 2011, we recorded a provision for losses on covered loans of $21.4 million, as compared to $11.9 million in 2010. The increase was largely attributable to credit deterioration in the portfolio of C&I loans acquired in the Desert Hills acquisition and in the portfolios of HELOCs acquired in the acquisitions of both AmTrust and Desert Hills. The respective provisions were largely offset by FDIC indemnification income of $17.6 million and $11.3 million, recorded in non-interest income in the corresponding years.

 

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Geographical Analysis of the Covered Loan Portfolio

The following table presents a geographical analysis of our covered loan portfolio at December 31, 2011:

 

(in thousands)       

California

   $ 657,909   

Florida

     630,284   

Arizona

     362,793   

Ohio

     235,298   

Massachusetts

     168,153   

Michigan

     165,310   

Illinois

     129,286   

New York

     113,745   

Nevada

     97,109   

Texas

     96,046   

Maryland

     88,700   

New Jersey

     83,432   

Washington

     82,370   

Colorado

     82,062   

All other states

     760,534   
  

 

 

 

Total covered loans

   $ 3,753,031   
  

 

 

 

Loan Maturity and Repricing: Covered Loans

The following table sets forth the maturity or period to repricing of our covered loan portfolio at December 31, 2011. Loans that have adjustable rates are shown as being due in the period during which the interest rates are next subject to change.

 

     Covered Loans at December 31, 2011  
(in thousands)    One-to-Four
Family
     All Other
Loans
     Total
Loans
 

Amount due:

        

Within one year

   $ 1,918,717       $ 336,956       $ 2,255,673   

After one year:

        

One to five years

     172,306         37,312         209,618   

Over five years

     1,275,433         12,307         1,287,740   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total due or repricing after one year

     1,447,739         49,619         1,497,358   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total amounts due or repricing, gross

   $ 3,366,456       $ 386,575       $ 3,753,031   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The following table sets forth, as of December 31, 2011, the dollar amount of all covered loans due after December 31, 2012, and indicates whether such loans have fixed or adjustable rates of interest.

 

     Due after December 31, 2012  
(in thousands)    Fixed      Adjustable      Total  

One-to-four family

   $ 1,058,258       $ 389,481       $ 1,447,739   

All other loans

     18,038         31,581         49,619   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total loans

   $ 1,076,296       $ 421,062       $ 1,497,358   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment

Non-covered loans held for investment totaled $25.5 billion at December 31, 2011, representing 84.2% of total loans and 60.7% of total assets, and a $1.8 billion, or 7.6%, increase from the balance recorded at December 31, 2010. In addition to multi-family loans and CRE loans, the held-for-investment portfolio includes substantially smaller balances of ADC loans, one-to-four family loans, and other loans. C&I loans comprise the bulk of our “other” loan portfolio. The vast majority of our non-covered loans held for investment consist of loans that we ourselves originated or, in some cases, were acquired in our business combinations prior to 2009.

Originations of held-for-investment loans rose to $9.0 billion in 2011 from $4.3 billion in 2010. The increase reflects the continued improvement in the Metro New York market where the vast majority of our held-for-investment loans are originated, as well as a year-over-year decline in market interest rates. As market interest rates declined, property transactions and refinancing activity increased, particularly in the markets for our multi-family and CRE loans. While portfolio growth was limited by an increase in repayments, we benefited from the related rise in prepayment penalty income, as further discussed under “Net Interest Income” later in this report.

 

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Multi-Family Loans

Multi-family loans are our principal asset, and non-luxury residential apartment buildings with below-market rents in New York City constitute our primary lending niche. Consistent with our emphasis on multi-family lending, multi-family loan originations represented $5.8 billion, or 64.1%, of the loans we produced for investment in 2011, a $3.2 billion, or 127.1%, increase from the volume produced in 2010. At December 31st, the balance of multi-family loans represented $17.4 billion, or 68.3%, of total non-covered loans held for investment, reflecting a year-over-year increase of $622.7 million. The average multi-family loan at that date had a principal balance of $4.0 million and the portfolio had an average loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratio of 51.5%, based on appraisals that primarily were received at the time of origination.

The vast majority of our multi-family loans are made to long-term owners of buildings with apartments that are subject to rent regulation, and therefore feature below-market rents. Our borrowers typically use the funds we provide to make improvements to certain apartments, as a result of which they are able to increase the rents their tenants pay. In doing so, the borrower creates more cash flows to borrow against in future years. We also make loans to building owners seeking to expand their real estate holdings with the purchase of additional properties.

In addition to underwriting multi-family loans on the basis of the buildings’ income and condition, we consider the borrowers’ credit history, profitability, and building management expertise. Borrowers are required to present evidence of their ability to repay the loan from the buildings’ current rent rolls, their financial statements, and related documents.

Our multi-family loans typically feature a term of ten years, with a fixed rate of interest for the first five years of the loan, and an alternative rate of interest in years six through ten. The rate charged in the first five years is generally based on intermediate-term interest rates plus a spread. During years six through ten, the loan resets to an annually adjustable rate that is tied to the prime rate of interest, as reported in The New York Times, plus a spread. Alternatively, the borrower may opt for a fixed rate that is tied to the five-year fixed advance rate of the Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) of New York (the “FHLB-NY”), plus a spread. The fixed-rate option also requires the payment of an amount equal to one percentage point of the then-outstanding loan balance. In either case, the minimum rate at repricing is equivalent to the rate in the initial five-year term.

As the rent roll increases, the typical property owner seeks to refinance the mortgage, and generally does so before the loan reprices in year six. Notably, the expected weighted average life of the multi-family loan portfolio was 3.3 years at December 31, 2011, as compared to 4.1 years at December 31, 2010. While refinancing activity had been constrained by uncertainty in the real estate market in the wake of the economic crisis, the increase in such activity in 2011 resulted in the year-over-year reduction in the expected weighted average life of our multi-family loan portfolio.

Multi-family loans that refinance within the first five years are typically subject to an established prepayment penalty schedule. Depending on the remaining term of the loan at the time of prepayment, the penalties normally range from five percentage points to one percentage point of the then-current loan balance. If a loan extends past the fifth year and the borrower selects the fixed rate option, the prepayment penalties typically reset to a range of five points to one point over years six through ten.

Prepayment penalties are recorded as interest income and are therefore reflected in the average yields on our loans and assets, our interest rate spread and net interest margin, and the level of net interest income we record. No assumptions are involved in the recognition of prepayment penalty income, as such income is only recorded when cash is received.

Our success as a multi-family lender partly reflects the solid relationships we have developed with the market’s leading mortgage brokers, who are familiar with our lending practices, our underwriting standards, and our long-standing practice of basing our loans on the cash flows produced by the properties. Because the multi-family market is largely broker-driven, the process of producing such loans is expedited, with loans generally taking four to six weeks to process, and the related expenses being substantially reduced.

At December 31, 2011, the vast majority of our multi-family loans were secured by rental apartment buildings. In addition, 79.2% of our multi-family loans were secured by buildings in New York City, with Manhattan accounting for the largest share. Of the loans secured by buildings outside New York City, the State of New York was home to 6.0%, with New Jersey and Pennsylvania accounting for 7.9% and 2.9%, respectively. The remaining 3.9% of multi-family loans were secured by buildings outside these markets.

 

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Our emphasis on multi-family loans is driven by several factors, including their structure, which reduces our exposure to interest rate volatility to some degree. Another factor driving our focus on multi-family lending has been the comparative quality of the loans we produce. Reflecting the nature of the buildings securing our loans, our underwriting standards, and the generally conservative LTV ratios our multi-family loans feature at origination, a relatively small percentage of the multi-family loans that have transitioned to non-performing status have actually resulted in losses during the most recent downturn in the credit cycle, as well as historically.

We primarily underwrite our multi-family loans based on the current cash flows produced by the collateral property, with a reliance on the “income” approach to appraising the properties, rather than the “sales” approach. The sales approach is subject to fluctuations in the real estate market, as well as general economic conditions, and is therefore likely to be more risky in the event of a downward credit cycle turn. We also consider a variety of other factors, including the physical condition of the underlying property; the net operating income of the mortgaged premises prior to debt service and depreciation; the debt service coverage ratio, which is the ratio of the property’s net operating income to its debt service; and the ratio of the loan amount to the appraised value of the property. The multi-family loans we are originating today generally represent no more than 75% of the lower of the appraised value or the sales price of the underlying property, and typically feature an amortization period of up to 30 years. In addition to requiring a minimum debt service coverage ratio of 120% on multi-family buildings, we obtain a security interest in the personal property located on the premises, and an assignment of rents and leases.

Accordingly, while our multi-family lending niche has not been immune to the downturn of the credit cycle, we continue to believe that the multi-family loans we produce involve less credit risk than certain other types of loans. In general, buildings that are subject to rent regulation have tended to be stable, with occupancy levels remaining more or less constant over time. Because the rents are typically below market and the buildings securing our loans are generally maintained in good condition, we believe that they are reasonably likely to retain their tenants in adverse economic times. In addition, we underwrite our multi-family loans on the basis of the current cash flows generated by the underlying properties, and exclude any partial property tax exemptions and abatement benefits the property owners receive.

Commercial Real Estate Loans

In 2011, CRE loans represented $2.4 billion, or 26.3%, of loans originated for investment, a $1.4 billion, or 149.4%, increase from the volume produced in the prior year. Although the growth of the portfolio was somewhat tempered by the level of repayments, the balance of CRE loans rose $1.4 billion, or 26.0%, year-over-year to $6.9 billion at December 31, 2011, representing 26.9% of the total held-for-investment portfolio at that date. At December 31st, the average CRE loan had a principal balance of $3.9 million, and the portfolio had an average LTV ratio at origination of 50.9%. The increase in CRE loan production was primarily due to the decline in market interest rates and the improvement in market conditions, as well as the origination of certain larger CRE loans.

The CRE loans we produce are secured by income-producing properties such as office buildings, retail centers, mixed-use buildings, and multi-tenanted light industrial properties. At December 31, 2011, 71.6% of our CRE loans were secured by properties in New York City, primarily in Manhattan, while properties on Long Island and in New Jersey accounted for 12.8% and 7.4%, respectively.

The pricing of our CRE loans is similar to the pricing of our multi-family credits, i.e., with a fixed rate of interest for the first five years of the loan that is generally based on intermediate-term interest rates plus a spread. During years six through ten, the loan resets to an annually adjustable rate that is tied to the prime rate of interest, as reported in The New York Times, plus a spread. Alternately, the borrower may opt for a fixed rate that is tied to the five-year fixed advance rate of the FHLB-NY plus a spread. The fixed-rate option also requires the payment of an amount equal to one percentage point of the then-outstanding loan balance. In either case, the minimum rate at repricing is equivalent to the rate in the initial five-year term.

Prepayment penalties also apply, with five percentage points of the then-current balance generally being charged on loans that refinance in the first year, scaling down to one percentage point of the then-current balance on loans that refinance in year five. Our CRE loans tend to refinance within five years of origination. Reflecting the same factors that contributed to the reduction in the expected weighted average life of our multi-family loan portfolio, the expected weighted average life of the CRE portfolio declined to 3.4 years at December 31, 2011 from 4.0 years at December 31, 2010. If a loan remains outstanding in the sixth year, and the borrower selects the fixed-rate option, a schedule of prepayment penalties ranging from five points to one point begins again in year six.

The repayment of loans secured by commercial real estate is often dependent on the successful operation and management of the underlying properties. To minimize our credit risk, we originate CRE loans in adherence with conservative underwriting standards, and require that such loans qualify on the basis of the property’s current income stream and debt

 

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service coverage ratio. The approval of a loan also depends on the borrower’s credit history, profitability, and expertise in property management, and generally requires a minimum debt service coverage ratio of 130% and a maximum LTV ratio of 65%. In addition, the origination of CRE loans typically requires a security interest in the furniture, fixtures, equipment, and other personal property of the borrower and/or an assignment of the rents and/or leases.

Acquisition, Development, and Construction Loans

In the interest of reducing our exposure to credit risk in a declining real estate market, we have limited our production of ADC loans to loans that have limited market risk and low LTV ratios and are made to reputable borrowers who have significant collateral. As a result, ADC loans represented $150.4 million, or 1.7%, of the loans we produced for investment in 2011, and the portfolio of ADC loans declined $123.9 million to $445.7 million year-over-year. ADC loans thus represented 1.7% of total loans held for investment at December 31, 2011, down from 2.2% at December 31, 2010.

At December 31, 2011, 48.5% of the loans in our ADC portfolio were for land acquisition and development; the remaining 51.5% consisted of loans that were provided for the construction of owner-occupied homes and commercial properties. Such loans are typically originated for terms of 18 to 24 months, and feature a floating rate of interest tied to prime, with a floor. They also generate origination fees that are recorded as interest income and amortized over the lives of the loans.

In addition, 69.6% of the loans in the ADC portfolio were for properties in New York City, with Manhattan accounting for more than half of New York City’s share. Long Island accounted for 16.3% of our ADC loans, with other parts of New York State and New Jersey accounting for 11.1%, combined. Reflecting the limited extent to which ADC loans have been originated beyond our immediate market, 3.0% of our ADC loans are secured by properties beyond these two states.

Because ADC loans are generally considered to have a higher degree of credit risk, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle, borrowers are required to provide a personal guarantee of repayment and completion. In the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, we recovered losses against personal guarantees of $120,000; no losses were recovered from personal guarantees in the prior year. The risk of loss on an ADC loan is largely dependent upon the accuracy of the initial appraisal of the property’s value upon completion of construction; the estimated cost of construction, including interest; and the estimated time to complete and/or sell or lease such property. If the appraised value proves to be inaccurate, the cost of completion is greater than expected, or the length of time to complete and/or sell or lease the collateral property is greater than anticipated, the property could have a value upon completion that is insufficient to assure full repayment of the loan. Reflecting the disposition of certain non-performing assets, 6.7% of the loans in our ADC loan portfolio were non-performing at the end of this December, as compared to 16.1% at December 31, 2010.

When applicable, as a condition to closing an ADC loan, it is our practice to require that residential properties be pre-sold or that borrowers secure permanent financing commitments from a recognized lender for an amount equal to, or greater than, the amount of our loan. In some cases, we ourselves may provide permanent financing. We typically require pre-leasing for ADC loans on commercial properties.

One-to-Four Family Loans

The majority of the one-to-four family loans in our portfolio of loans held for investment are loans that were acquired in our business combinations prior to 2009. Reflecting repayments, and our general practice of originating one-to-four family loans for sale, the balance of one-to-four family loans held for investment declined $43.0 million year-over-year to $127.4 million, representing one-half of 1% of our total held-for-investment loan portfolio at December 31, 2011.

To meet the needs of our customers, we originate agency-conforming one-to-four family loans through several selected clients of our mortgage banking operation, and aggregate those loans with others produced by our mortgage banking clients throughout the United States. These loans are generally sold, servicing retained, to government-sponsored enterprises (“GSEs”). (For more detailed information about our production of one-to-four family loans for sale, please see “Non-Covered Loans Held for Sale” later in this section.)

Other Loans

Primarily reflecting the sale of our insurance premium financing business in the second quarter, other loans declined $57.3 million year-over-year to $669.9 million, representing 2.6% of total loans at December 31, 2011. C&I loans accounted for $600.0 million of the year-end 2011 total, reflecting a $41.7 million reduction from the prior year-end amount. Of the $715.2 million of other loans originated for investment in 2011, C&I loans represented $705.8 million, or 98.7%.

 

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The vast majority of our C&I loans are made to small and mid-size businesses in New York City and Long Island, and are tailored to meet the specific needs of our borrowers. The loans we produce include term loans, demand loans, revolving lines of credit, letters of credit, and, to a lesser extent, loans that are partly guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. A broad range of C&I loans, both collateralized and unsecured, are made available to businesses for working capital (including inventory and accounts receivable), business expansion, the purchase of machinery and equipment, and other general corporate needs. In determining the term and structure of a C&I loan, several factors are considered, including its purpose, the collateral, and the anticipated sources of repayment. C&I loans are typically secured by business assets and personal guarantees of the borrower, and include financial covenants to monitor the borrower’s financial stability.

The interest rates on C&I loans can be fixed or floating, with floating rate loans being tied to prime or some other market index, plus an applicable spread. Our floating rate loans may or may not feature a floor rate of interest. The decision to require a floor on C&I loans depends on the level of competition we face for such loans from other institutions, the direction of market interest rates, and the profitability of our relationship with the borrower.

A benefit of C&I lending is the opportunity to establish full-scale banking relationships with our C&I customers. As a result, many of our borrowers provide us with deposits, and many take advantage of our fee-based cash management, investment, and trade finance services.

The remainder of the portfolio of other loans consists primarily of home equity loans and lines of credit, as well as a variety of consumer loans, most of which were originated by our pre-2009 merger partners prior to their joining the Company. We currently do not offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

Lending Authority

The loans we originate for investment are subject to federal and state laws and regulations, and are underwritten in accordance with loan underwriting policies and procedures approved by the Mortgage Committee, the Credit Committee, and the respective Boards of Directors.

In accordance with the Banks’ policies, all loans are presented to the Mortgage Committee or the Credit Committee, as applicable, for approval, and all loans of $10.0 million or more are reported to the respective Boards of Directors. In 2011, 145 loans of $10.0 million or more were originated by the Banks, with an aggregate loan balance of $5.0 billion at origination. In 2010, 66 of such loans were originated by the Banks, with an aggregate loan balance at origination of $1.6 billion.

We also place a limit on the amount of loans that may be made to one borrower. At December 31, 2011, the largest concentration of loans to one borrower consisted of a $546.2 million multi-family loan provided by the Community Bank to Riverbay Corporation—Co-op City, a residential community with 15,372 units in the Bronx, New York, which was created under New York State’s Mitchell-Lama Housing Program in the late 1960s to provide affordable housing for middle-income residents of the State. The loan was originally made on September 30, 2004 and, as of December 31, 2011, has been current since origination. The interest rate on the loan was 5.75% at December 31st.

Geographical Analysis of the Portfolio of Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment (1)

The following table presents a geographical analysis of the multi-family, CRE, and ADC loans in our held-for-investment portfolio at December 31, 2011:

 

     At December 31, 2011  
     Multi-Family Loans     Commercial
Real Estate Loans
    Acquisition, Development,
and  Construction Loans
 
(dollars in thousands)    Amount      Percent
of Total
    Amount      Percent
of Total
    Amount      Percent
of Total
 

New York City:

               

Manhattan

   $ 5,996,851         34.40   $ 3,607,711         52.63   $ 152,692         34.26

Brooklyn

     3,214,501         18.44        395,981         5.78        42,287         9.49   

Bronx

     2,653,367         15.22        209,394         3.05        38,564         8.65   

Queens

     1,816,636         10.42        625,180         9.12        65,596         14.72   

Staten Island

     122,259         0.70        71,522         1.04        11,291         2.53   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total New York City

   $ 13,803,614         79.18   $ 4,909,788         71.62   $ 310,430         69.65
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Long Island

     546,203         3.14        879,334         12.83        72,424         16.25   

Other New York State

     506,350         2.91        146,570         2.14        7,458         1.68   

New Jersey

     1,382,604         7.93        505,327         7.37        42,159         9.46   

Pennsylvania

     512,904         2.94        268,429         3.91        —           —     

All other states

     678,953         3.90        145,796         2.13        13,200         2.96   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 17,430,628         100.00   $ 6,855,244         100.00   $ 445,671         100.00
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) The vast majority of other loans held for investment are secured by properties and/or businesses in the Metro New York region.

 

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Loan Maturity and Repricing Analysis of the Portfolio of Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment

The following table sets forth the maturity or period to repricing of our portfolio of non-covered loans held for investment at December 31, 2011. Loans that have adjustable rates are shown as being due in the period during which the interest rates are next subject to change.

 

     Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment at December 31, 2011  
(in thousands)    Multi-
Family
     Commercial
Real Estate
     Acquisition,
Development,

and  Construction
     One-to-Four
Family
     Other      Total
Loans
 

Amount due:

                 

Within one year

   $ 943,392       $ 565,073       $ 412,246       $ 33,916       $ 388,257       $ 2,342,884   

After one year:

                 

One to five years

     8,401,067         2,954,859         31,394         30,187         144,922         11,562,429   

Over five years

     8,086,169         3,335,312         2,031         63,258         136,714         11,623,484   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total due or repricing after one year

     16,487,236         6,290,171         33,425         93,445         281,636         23,185,913   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total amounts due or repricing, gross

   $ 17,430,628       $ 6,855,244       $ 445,671       $ 127,361       $ 669,893       $ 25,528,797   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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The following table sets forth, as of December 31, 2011, the dollar amount of all non-covered loans held for investment that are due after December 31, 2012, and indicates whether such loans have fixed or adjustable rates of interest:

 

     Due after December 31, 2012  
(in thousands)    Fixed      Adjustable      Total  

Mortgage Loans:

        

Multi-family

   $ 5,709,951       $ 10,777,285       $ 16,487,236   

Commercial real estate

     2,473,350         3,816,821         6,290,171   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     33,425         —           33,425   

One-to-four family

     82,769         10,676         93,445   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total mortgage loans

     8,299,495         14,604,782         22,904,277   

Other loans

     276,340         5,296         281,636   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total loans

   $ 8,575,835       $ 14,610,078       $ 23,185,913   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Non-Covered Loans Held for Sale

Although we generally do not originate one-to-four family loans for investment, we are actively engaged in the origination of one-to-four family loans for sale. Our mortgage banking operation serves approximately 1,000 clients—community banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and mortgage brokers—who utilize our proprietary web-accessible mortgage banking platform to originate full-documentation, prime credit one-to-four family loans in all 50 states.

In 2011, we originated one-to-four family loans for sale of $7.2 billion, reflecting a $3.7 billion reduction from the year-earlier amount. The reduction was attributable to the continued weakness in the U.S. housing market, as an increase in residential mortgage interest rates in the first half of the year combined with the high level of unemployment to further discourage the purchase and refinancing of one-to-four family homes. The vast majority of the held-for-sale loans we produced were agency-conforming loans sold to GSEs. To a much lesser extent, we utilized our mortgage banking platform to originate jumbo loans under contract for sale to other financial institutions, a practice we initiated in the first quarter of 2011.

At December 31, 2011 and 2010, the respective balances of one-to-four family loans held for sale were $1.0 billion and $1.2 billion, representing 3.4% and 4.1%, respectively, of total loans at the corresponding dates.

To mitigate the risks inherent in originating and reselling residential mortgage loans, we utilize processes, proprietary technologies, and third-party software application tools that seek to ensure that the loans meet investors’ program eligibility, underwriting, and collateral requirements. In addition, compliance verification and fraud detection tools are utilized throughout the processing, underwriting, and loan closing stages to assist in the determination that the loans we originate and acquire are in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Controlling, auditing, and validating the data upon which the credit decision is made (and the loan documents created) substantially mitigates the risk of our originating or acquiring a loan that subsequently is deemed to be in breach of loan sale representations and warranties made by us to loan investors.

We require the use of our proprietary processes, origination systems, and technologies for all loans we close. Collectively, these tools and processes are known internally as our proprietary “Gemstone” system. By mandating usage of Gemstone for all table-funded loan originations, we are able to tightly control key risk aspects across the spectrum of loan origination activities. Our clients access Gemstone via secure Internet protocols, and initiate the process by submitting required loan application data and other required income, asset, debt, and credit documents to us electronically. Key data is then verified by a combination of trusted third-party validations and internal reviews conducted by our loan underwriters and quality control specialists. Once key data is independently verified, it is “locked down” within the Gemstone system to further ensure the integrity of the transaction.

In addition, all “trusted source” third-party vendors are directly connected to the Gemstone system via secure electronic data interfaces. Within the Gemstone system, these trusted sources provide key risk and control services throughout the origination process, including ordering and receipt of credit report information, independent collateral appraisals, and private mortgage insurance, automated underwriting and program eligibility determinations, flood insurance determination, fraud detection, local/state/federal regulatory compliance, predatory or “high cost” loan reviews, and legal document preparation services. Our employees augment the automated system controls by performing audits during the process, which include the final underwriting of the loan file (the credit decision), and various other pre-funding and post-funding quality control reviews.

 

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The agency-conforming one-to-four family loans we originate for sale to GSEs require that we make certain representations and warranties with regard to the underwriting, documentation, and legal/regulatory compliance, and we may be required to repurchase a loan or loans from the GSEs if it is found that a breach of the representations and warranties has occurred. In such case, we would be exposed to any subsequent credit loss on the mortgage loans that might or might not be realized in the future.

As governed by our agreements with the GSEs, the representations and warranties we make relate to several factors, including, but not limited to, the ownership of the loan; the validity of the lien securing the loan; the absence of delinquent taxes or liens against the property securing the loan as of its closing date; the process used to select the loan for inclusion in a transaction; and the loan’s compliance with any applicable criteria, including underwriting standards, loan program guidelines, and compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

We record a liability for estimated losses relating to these representations and warranties, which is included in “other liabilities” in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Condition. The related expense is recorded in “mortgage banking income” in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income. At December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, the respective liabilities for estimated possible future losses relating to these representations and warranties were $5.3 million and $3.5 million. The methodology used to estimate the liability for representations and warranties is a function of the representations and warranties given and considers a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, actual default experience, estimated future defaults, historical loan repurchase rates and the frequency and potential severity of defaults, probability that a repurchase request will be received, and the probability that a loan will be required to be repurchased.

The following table sets forth the activity in our representation and warranty reserve during the periods indicated:

Representation and Warranty Reserve

 

     For the Years Ended
December 31,
 
(in thousands)    2011      2010  

Balance, beginning of period

   $ 3,537       $ —     

Provision for repurchase losses:

     

Loan sales

     1,783         3,537   

Change in estimates

     —           —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Balance, end of period

   $ 5,320       $ 3,537   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Because the level of mortgage loan repurchase losses is dependent on economic factors, investor demand strategies, and other external conditions that may change over the lives of the underlying loans, the level of the liability for mortgage loan repurchase losses is difficult to estimate and requires considerable management judgment. However, we believe the amount and range of reasonably possible losses in excess of our reserve is not material to our operations or to our financial condition or results of operations.

 

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The following table sets forth our GSE repurchase requests in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011:

Repurchase Request Activity

 

     For the Year Ended
December 31, 2011
 
(dollars in thousands)    Number
of Loans
    Amount(1)  

Balance, beginning of period

     1      $ 155   

New repurchase requests (2)

     95        21,913   

Successful rebuttal/rescission

     (82     (18,928

Indemnifications (3)

     (5     (1,392

Loan repurchases (3)

     (1     (165
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance, end of period (4)

     8      $ 1,583   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) Represents the loan balance at origination.
(2) All requests are from GSEs and relate to one-to-four family loans originated for sale since December 2009. No repurchase requests were received during the year ended December 31, 2010.
(3) The Company protects a GSE against a loss on a loan under an indemnification agreement. All five loans that were indemnified in 2011, along with the one loan repurchased by us, were fully performing as of December 31, 2011.
(4) Of the eight period-end requests, five were from Fannie Mae and three were from Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae allows 90 days to respond, whereas Freddie Mac allows 30 days. Failure to respond to a request in a timely manner could result in the Company having an obligation to repurchase the loan.

Please see Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk,” for a discussion of the strategies we employ to mitigate the interest rate risk associated with our production of one-to-four family loans for sale.

Loan Origination Analysis

The following table summarizes our production of loans held for investment and loans held for sale in the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010:

 

     For the Years Ended December 31,  
     2011     2010  
(dollars in thousands)    Amount      Percent
of Total
    Amount      Percent
of Total
 

Mortgage Loan Originations for Investment:

          

Multi-family

   $ 5,761,004         35.69   $ 2,537,145         16.70

Commercial real estate

     2,361,541         14.63        946,982         6.23   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     150,363         0.93        127,154         0.84   

One-to-four family

     147         0.01        6,711         0.04   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total mortgage loan originations for investment

     8,273,055         51.26        3,617,992         23.81   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Other Loan Originations for Investment:

          

Commercial and industrial

     705,794         4.37        703,716         4.63   

Other

     9,416         0.06        7,271         0.05   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other loan originations for investment

     715,210         4.43        710,987         4.68   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total loan originations for investment

   $ 8,988,265         55.69   $ 4,328,979         28.49

One-to-four family loan originations for sale

     7,151,083         44.31        10,864,188         71.51   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total loan originations

   $ 16,139,348         100.00   $ 15,193,167         100.00
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Loan Portfolio Analysis

The following table summarizes the composition of our loan portfolio at each year-end for the five years ended December 31, 2011:

 

    At December 31,  
    2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  
(dollars in thousands)   Amount     Percent
of Total
Loans
    Percent  of
Non-

Covered
Loans
    Amount     Percent
of Total
Loans
    Percent  of
Non-

Covered
Loans
    Amount     Percent
of Total
Loans
    Percent of
Non-

Covered
Loans
    Amount     Percent
of Total
Loans
    Amount     Percent
of Total
Loans
 

Non-Covered Mortgage Loans:

                         

Multi-family

  $ 17,430,628        57.49     65.61   $ 16,807,913        57.52     67.44   $ 16,737,721        58.94     71.59   $ 15,728,264        70.85   $ 14,052,298        69.00

Commercial real estate

    6,855,244        22.61        25.81        5,439,611        18.62        21.83        4,988,649        17.57        21.34        4,553,550        20.51        3,828,334        18.80   

Acquisition, development, and construction

    445,671        1.47        1.68        569,537        1.95        2.29        666,440        2.35        2.85        778,364        3.51        1,138,851        5.59   

One-to-four family

    127,361        0.42        0.48        170,392        0.58        0.68        216,078        0.76        0.92        266,307        1.20        380,824        1.87   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-covered mortgage loans

    24,858,904        81.99        93.58        22,987,453        78.67        92.24        22,608,888        79.62        96.70        21,326,485        96.07        19,400,307        95.26   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Non-Covered Other Loans:

                         

Commercial and industrial

    599,986        1.98        2.26        641,663        2.20        2.58        653,159        2.30        2.79        713,099        3.21        705,810        3.47   

Other loans

    69,907        0.23        0.26        85,559        0.29        0.34        118,445        0.42        0.51        160,340        0.72        259,395        1.27   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-covered other loans

    669,893        2.21        2.52        727,222        2.49        2.92        771,604        2.72        3.30        873,439        3.93        965,205        4.74   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

         

Loans held for sale

    1,036,918        3.42        3.90        1,207,077        4.13        4.84        —          —          —          —          —          —          —     
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-covered loans

  $ 26,565,715        87.62        100.00   $ 24,921,752        85.29        100.00   $ 23,380,492        82.34        100.00   $ 22,199,924        100.00      $ 20,365,512        100.00   
     

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

         

Covered loans

    3,753,031        12.38          4,297,869        14.71          5,016,100        17.66          —          —          —          —     
 

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total loans

  $ 30,318,746        100.00     $ 29,219,621        100.00     $ 28,396,592        100.00     $ 22,199,924        100.00   $ 20,365,512        100.00
   

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

     

 

 

 

Net deferred loan origination costs/(fees)

    4,021            (7,181         (3,893         (7,712       (2,264  

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans

    (137,290         (158,942         (127,491         (94,368       (92,794  

Allowance for losses on covered loans

    (33,323         (11,903         —              —            —       
 

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

     

 

 

   

Total loans, net

  $ 30,152,154          $ 29,041,595          $ 28,265,208          $ 22,097,844        $ 20,270,454     
 

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

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Outstanding Loan Commitments

At December 31, 2011, we had outstanding loan commitments of $2.7 billion, a $1.0 billion increase from the level at December 31, 2010. Included in the current year-end amount were commitments to originate loans for investment of $1.6 billion and commitments to originate loans for sale of $1.1 billion, exceeding the year-earlier levels by $622.3 million and $420.0 million, respectively. Multi-family and CRE loans represented $1.1 billion of held-for-investment loan commitments at December 31, 2011, while ADC loans and other loans represented $93.0 million and $423.9 million, respectively.

In addition to loan commitments, we had commitments to issue financial stand-by, performance, and commercial letters of credit totaling $172.9 million at December 31, 2011, as compared to $133.6 million at December 31, 2010.

Financial stand-by letters of credit primarily are issued for the benefit of other financial institutions or municipalities, on behalf of certain of our current borrowers, and obligate us to guarantee payment of a specified financial obligation.

Performance letters of credit are primarily issued for the benefit of local municipalities on behalf of certain of our borrowers. These borrowers are mainly developers of residential subdivisions with whom we currently have a lending relationship. Performance letters of credit obligate us to make payments in the event that a specified third party fails to perform under non-financial contractual obligations.

Commercial letters of credit act as a means of ensuring payment to a seller upon shipment of goods to a buyer. Although commercial letters of credit are used to effect payment for domestic transactions, the majority are used to settle payments in international trade. Typically, such letters of credit require the presentation of documents that describe the commercial transaction, and provide evidence of shipment and the transfer of title.

The fees we collect in connection with the issuance of letters of credit are included in “fee income” in the Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income.

Asset Quality

Non-Covered Loans Held for Investment and Non-Covered Other Real Estate Owned

The quality of our assets improved over the course of 2011 as conditions improved in the markets where we do most of our held-for-investment lending, enabling some of our borrowers to bring their loans current and facilitating the disposition and sale of certain foreclosed loans and properties.

Specifically, non-performing non-covered loans declined $298.6 million, or 47.8%, year-over-year to $325.8 million at December 31, 2011, representing 1.28% of total non-covered loans at that date. At December 31, 2010, non-performing non-covered loans totaled $624.4 million and represented 2.63% of total non-covered loans.

Non-performing multi-family and CRE loans accounted for the bulk of these improvements, having declined $122.8 million and $94.4 million, respectively, year-over-year. Non-performing ADC loans declined $62.0 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, while non-performing one-to-four family and other loans declined more modestly.

 

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The following table sets forth the changes in non-performing loans for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011:

 

(in thousands)       

Balance at December 31, 2010

   $ 624,431   

New non-accrual in the period

     213,995   

Charge-offs

     (67,645

Transferred to other real estate owned

     (58,844

Loan payoffs including dispositions and principal amortization

     (338,170

Restored to performing status

     (47,952
  

 

 

 

Balance at December 31, 2011

   $ 325,815   
  

 

 

 

All of our non-performing loans at December 31, 2011 and 2010 were non-accrual loans.

Non-accrual mortgage loans accounted for $314.9 million of non-performing non-covered loans at December 31, 2011 in contrast to $600.0 million at December 31, 2010. Other non-accrual loans also declined during this time, to $10.9 million from $24.5 million. A loan generally is classified as a “non-accrual” loan when it is over 90 days past due. When a loan is placed on non-accrual status, we cease the accrual of interest owed, and previously accrued interest is reversed and charged against interest income.

A loan is generally returned to accrual status when the loan is less than 90 days past due and we have reasonable assurance that the loan will be fully collectible.

We monitor non-accrual loans both within and beyond our primary lending area in the same manner. Monitoring loans generally involves inspecting and re-appraising the collateral properties; holding discussions with the principals and managing agents of the borrowing entities and/or retained legal counsel, as applicable; requesting financial, operating, and rent roll information; confirming that hazard insurance is in place or force-placing such insurance; monitoring tax payment status and advancing funds as needed; and appointing a receiver, whenever possible, to collect rents, manage the operations, provide information, and maintain the collateral properties.

It is our policy to order updated appraisals for all non-performing loans, irrespective of loan type, that are collateralized by multi-family buildings, CRE properties, or land, in the event that such a loan is more than 90 days past due, and if the most recent appraisal on file for the property is more than one year old. Appraisals are ordered annually until such time as the loan becomes performing and is returned to accrual status. It is not our policy to obtain updated appraisals for performing loans. However, appraisals may be ordered for performing loans when a borrower requests an increase in the loan amount, or when a borrower requests an extension of a maturing loan. We do not analyze current LTV ratios on a portfolio-wide basis. We believe that disclosing the average LTV ratios at origination for our multi-family and CRE loan portfolios provides insight into the quality of these portfolios, as well as our stringent underwriting standards.

Non-performing loans are reviewed regularly by management and reported on a monthly basis to the Mortgage Committee, the Credit Committee, and the Boards of Directors of the Banks. In accordance with our charge-off policy, non-performing loans are written down to their current appraised values, less certain transaction costs. Workout specialists from our Loan Recovery Unit actively pursue borrowers who are delinquent in repaying their loans in an effort to collect payment. In addition, outside counsel with experience in foreclosure proceedings are retained to institute such action with regard to such borrowers.

Properties that are acquired through foreclosure are classified as OREO, and are recorded at the lower of the unpaid principal balance or fair value at the date of acquisition, less the estimated cost of selling the property. It is our policy to require an appraisal and environmental assessment of properties classified as OREO before foreclosure, and to re-appraise the properties on an as-needed basis until they are sold. We dispose of such properties as quickly and prudently as possible, given current market conditions and the property’s condition.

Although OREO rose $56.5 million year-over-year, to $84.6 million, the increase was exceeded by the reduction in non-performing loans. As a result, the balance of non-performing assets improved to $410.4 million at December 31, 2011, reflecting a $242.1 million, or 37.1%, reduction from the balance at December 31, 2010. Non-performing non-covered assets represented 1.07% of total non-covered assets at December 31, 2011, in contrast to 1.77% at December 31, 2010.

 

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The improvement in asset quality also was reflected in the balance of loans 30 to 89 days past due, which declined $39.4 million from the year-earlier balance to $111.7 million at December 31, 2011. The reduction was primarily due to a $74.5 million decline in multi-family loans 30 to 89 days past due to $46.7 million, as certain loans migrated to non-accrual status and other loans were brought current by the borrowers. In addition, the balances of one-to-four family loans and other loans 30 to 89 days past due declined $3.0 million and $8.8 million, respectively, to $2.7 million and $1.9 million year-over-year. These improvements were somewhat offset by a $45.6 million increase in 30-to-89 day past due CRE loans, to $53.8 million, and by a far more modest increase in the balance of 30-to-89 day past due ADC loans. The increase in CRE loans 30 to 89 days past due includes a $26.2 million loan collateralized by a 12-story office building located in Manhattan.

Reflecting the improvements in non-performing loans and loans 30 to 89 days past due, total delinquencies declined $281.5 million, or 35.0%, year-over-year to $522.0 million at December 31, 2011.

To mitigate the potential for credit losses, we underwrite our loans in accordance with credit standards that we consider prudent. In the case of multi-family and CRE loans, we look first at the consistency of the cash flows being generated by the property to determine its economic value, and then at the market value of the property that collateralizes the loan. The amount of the loan is then based on the lower of the two values, with the economic value more typically used.

The condition of the collateral property is another critical factor. Multi-family buildings and CRE properties are inspected from rooftop to basement as a prerequisite to approval by management and the Mortgage or Credit Committee, as applicable. A member of the Mortgage or Credit Committee participates in inspections on multi-family loans to be originated in excess of $4.0 million. Similarly, a member of the Mortgage or Credit Committee participates in inspections on CRE loans to be originated in excess of $2.5 million. Furthermore, independent appraisers, whose appraisals are carefully reviewed by our experienced in-house appraisal officers, perform appraisals on collateral properties.

In addition, we work with a select group of mortgage brokers who are familiar with our credit standards and whose track record with our lending officers is typically greater than ten years. Furthermore, in New York City, where the majority of the buildings securing our multi-family loans are located, the rents that tenants may be charged on certain apartments are typically restricted under certain rent-control or rent-stabilization laws. As a result, the rents that tenants pay for such apartments are generally lower than current market rents. Buildings with a preponderance of such rent-regulated apartments are less likely to experience vacancies in times of economic adversity.

To further manage our credit risk, our lending policies limit the amount of credit granted to any one borrower, and typically require a minimum debt service coverage ratio of 120% for multi-family loans and 130% for CRE loans. Although we typically will lend up to 75% of the appraised value on multi-family buildings and up to 65% on commercial properties, the average LTV ratios of such credits at origination, as previously noted, were below those amounts at December 31, 2011. Exceptions to these LTV limitations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, requiring the approval of the Mortgage or Credit Committee, as applicable.

The repayment of loans secured by commercial real estate is often dependent on the successful operation and management of the underlying properties. To minimize our credit risk, we originate CRE loans in adherence with conservative underwriting standards, and require that such loans qualify on the basis of the property’s current income stream and debt service coverage ratio. The approval of a loan also depends on the borrower’s credit history, profitability, and expertise in property management.

Although the reasons for a loan to default will vary from credit to credit, our multi-family and CRE loans, in particular, typically have not resulted in significant losses. Such loans are generally originated at conservative LTV ratios, as previously stated. Furthermore, in the case of multi-family loans, the cash flows generated by the properties generally have significant value.

The Boards of Directors also take part in the ADC lending process, with all ADC loans requiring the approval of the Mortgage or Credit Committee, as applicable. In addition, a member of the pertinent committee participates in inspections when the loan amount exceeds $2.5 million. ADC loans primarily have been made to well-established builders who have borrowed from us in the past. We typically lend up to 75% of the estimated as-completed market value of multi-family and residential tract projects; however, in the case of home construction loans to individuals,

 

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the limit is 80%. With respect to commercial construction loans, which are not our primary focus, we typically lend up to 65% of the estimated as-completed market value of the property. Credit risk is also managed through the loan disbursement process. Loan proceeds are disbursed periodically in increments as construction progresses, and as warranted by inspection reports provided to us by our own lending officers and/or consulting engineers.

Our loan portfolio has been structured to manage our exposure to both credit and interest rate risk. The vast majority of the loans in our portfolio are intermediate-term credits, with multi-family and CRE loans typically repaying or refinancing within three to five years of origination, and the duration of ADC loans ranging up to 36 months, with 18 to 24 months more the norm. Furthermore, our multi-family loans are largely secured by buildings with rent-regulated apartments that tend to maintain a high level of occupancy, regardless of economic conditions in our marketplace.

C&I loans are typically underwritten on the basis of the cash flows produced by the borrower’s business, and are generally collateralized by various business assets, including, but not limited to, inventory, equipment, and accounts receivable. As a result, the capacity of the borrower to repay is substantially dependent on the degree to which the business is successful. Furthermore, the collateral underlying the loan may depreciate over time, may not be conducive to appraisal, and may fluctuate in value, based upon the operating results of the business. Accordingly, personal guarantees are also a normal requirement for C&I loans.

The procedures we follow with respect to delinquent loans are generally consistent across all categories, with late charges assessed, and notices mailed to the borrower, at specified dates. We attempt to reach the borrower by telephone to ascertain the reasons for delinquency and the prospects for repayment. When contact is made with a borrower at any time prior to foreclosure or recovery against collateral property, we attempt to obtain full payment, and will consider a repayment schedule to avoid taking such action. Delinquencies are addressed by our Loan Recovery Unit and every effort is made to collect rather than initiate foreclosure proceedings.

Fair values for all multi-family buildings, CRE properties, and land are determined based on the appraised value. If an appraisal is more than one year old and the loan is classified as either non-performing or as an accruing troubled debt restructuring (“TDR”), then an updated appraisal is required to determine fair value. Estimated disposition costs are deducted from the fair value of the property to determine estimated net realizable value. In the instance of an outdated appraisal on an impaired loan, we adjust the original appraisal by using a third-party index value to determine the extent of impairment until an updated appraisal is received.

While we strive to originate loans that will perform fully, the severity of the credit cycle resulted in a greater number of loans transitioning to non-accrual status and a greater volume of net charge-offs than we incurred before the downward cycle turn. Although the level of non-performing non-covered loans and assets reflected steady improvement over the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, net charge-offs rose $41.1 million to $100.7 million during this time. Reflecting this increase, our ratio of net charge-offs to average loans was 0.35% in 2011, as compared to 0.21% in 2010.

Multi-family and CRE loans represented $70.5 million and $10.6 million, respectively, of net charge-offs in 2011, while ADC, one-to-four family, and other loans accounted for $8.6 million, $1.2 million, and $9.8 million, respectively.

Reflecting the $79.0 million provision for losses on non-covered loans recorded in 2011 and the year’s net charge-offs, our allowance for losses on non-covered loans declined to $137.3 million at December 31, 2011 from $158.9 million at December 31, 2010. The current year-end amount was equivalent to 42.14% of non-performing non-covered loans at the end of this December, while the year-earlier amount was equivalent to 25.45% of non-performing non-covered loans at the prior year-end.

Although our asset quality showed signs of improvement in 2011, the allowance for losses on non-covered loans was not reduced to the same degree as the level of non-performing assets because we maintain the allowance at a level to cover potential losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Based upon all relevant and available information at December 31, 2011, management believes that the allowance for losses on non-covered loans was appropriate at that date.

Historically, our level of charge-offs has been relatively low in adverse credit cycles, even when the volume of non-performing loans has increased. This distinction has largely been due to the nature of our primary lending niche (multi-family loans collateralized by non-luxury apartment buildings in New York City that feature below-market rents), and to our conservative underwriting practices that require, among other things, low LTV ratios.

 

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Reflecting the strength of the underlying collateral for these loans and the collateral structure, a relatively small percentage of our non-performing multi-family loans have resulted in losses over time. Low LTV ratios provide a greater likelihood of full recovery and reduce the possibility of incurring a severe loss on a credit. Furthermore, in many cases, low LTV ratios result in our having fewer loans with a potential for the borrower to “walk away” from the property. Although borrowers may default on loan payments, they have a greater incentive to protect their equity in the collateral property and to return their loans to performing status.

Given that our CRE loans are underwritten in accordance with underwriting standards that are similar to those that apply to our multi-family credits, an increase in non-performing CRE loans historically has not resulted in a corresponding increase in losses on such loans.

To further mitigate our credit risk, we continue to de-emphasize the production of ADC and other loans, as well as one-to-four family loans, for portfolio. At December 31, 2011, ADC loans, one-to-four family loans, and other loans represented 1.74%, 0.50%, and 2.63%, respectively, of total non-covered loans held for investment, as compared to 2.40%, 0.72%, and 3.06%, respectively, at December 31, 2010. At the current year-end 6.71%, 19.35%, and 1.63% of ADC loans, one-to-four family loans, and other loans, respectively, were non-performing loans.

Although our asset quality showed signs of improvement in 2011, the allowance for losses on non-covered was not reduced to the same degree as the level of non-performing assets because we maintain the allowance at a level to cover potential losses inherent in the loan portfolio.

In view of these factors, we do not believe that the level of our non-performing non-covered loans will result in a comparable level of loan losses and will not necessarily require a significant increase in our loan loss provision or allowance for non-covered loans in any given period. As indicated, non-performing non-covered loans represented 1.28% of total non-covered loans at December 31, 2011; the ratio of net charge-offs to average loans for the twelve months ended at that date was 0.35%.

The following tables present the number and amount of non-performing multi-family and CRE loans by originating bank at December 31, 2011 and 2010:

 

$162,400 $162,400 $162,400 $162,400
December 31, 2011    Non-Performing
Multi-Family
Loans
     Non-Performing
Commercial
Real Estate Loans
 
(dollars in thousands)    Number      Amount      Number      Amount  

New York Community Bank

     85       $ 204,116         49       $ 58,437   

New York Commercial Bank

     2         948         6         9,595   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     87       $ 205,064         55       $ 68,032   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

$162,400 $162,400 $162,400 $162,400
December 31, 2010    Non-Performing
Multi-Family
Loans
     Non-Performing
Commercial

Real Estate  Loans
 
(dollars in thousands)    Number      Amount      Number      Amount  

New York Community Bank

     128       $ 323,751         53       $ 130,132   

New York Commercial Bank

     3         4,141         12         32,268   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     131       $ 327,892         65       $ 162,400   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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The following table presents information about our five largest non-performing loans at December 31, 2011, all of which are non-covered loans:

 

     Loan No. 1     Loan No. 2     Loan No. 3     Loan No. 4     Loan No. 5  

Type of Loan

   Multi-family     Multi-family     Construction     Multi-family     Multi-family  

Origination Date

     6/29/2005        4/17/2008        9/12/2007        3/10/2005        5/23/2011   

Origination Balance

   $ 41,116,000      $ 17,500,000      $ 4,292,189      $ 11,400,000      $ 8,806,889   

Full Commitment Balance

   $ 45,531,750      $ 17,500,000      $ 27,155,875      $ 11,400,000      $ 8,498,165   

Balance at December 31, 2011

   $ 45,340,123      $ 16,255,108      $ 15,886,260      $ 10,903,319      $ 8,498,165   

Associated Allowance

     None        None        None        None        None   

Non-Accrual Date

     February 2009        June 2011        July 2011        May 2010        August 2011   

Origination LTV Ratio

     76     73     77     81     97

Current LTV Ratio

     82     91     90     89     97

Last Appraisal

     November 2011        April 2011        March 2011        March 2011        February 2011   

The following is a description of the five loans identified in the preceding table. It should be noted that none of these loans required that an allocation be made to the allowance for losses on non-covered loans, as determined by using the fair value of collateral method defined in ASC 310-10 and -40.

 

No. 1 -

   The borrower is based in New Jersey and is an owner of real estate throughout the U.S. This loan is collateralized by a complex of four multi-family buildings with 672 residential units and four commercial units in Washington, D.C.

No. 2 -

   The borrower is based in Connecticut and is an owner of real estate throughout the Metro New York region. The loan is collateralized by a multi-family building with 144 residential units in the Bronx, New York.

No. 3 -

   The borrower is based in New York and is an owner of real estate throughout the Metro New York region. This loan is collateralized by a property in Astoria, Queens that is being developed into a seven-story condominium building with 33 residential units and 9,498 square feet of retail or professional space. Construction on this project was 99% completed at December 31, 2011.

No. 4 -

   The borrower is based in New York and is an owner of real estate throughout the Metro New York region. The loan is collateralized by a multi-family building with 167 residential units in the Bronx, New York.

No. 5 -

   The borrower is based in Connecticut and is an owner of real estate throughout the Metro New York region. The loan is collateralized by a multi-family building with 130 condominium units in Hartford, Connecticut. The origination date is the date on which the loan was modified as a TDR. The LTV ratio is based on the most recent re-appraisal of the collateral property. The initial origination date was December 21, 2007.

Troubled Debt Restructurings

In accordance with GAAP, we are required to account for certain loan modifications or restructurings as TDRs. In general, a modification or restructuring of a loan constitutes a TDR if we grant a concession to a borrower experiencing financial difficulty. Loans modified as TDRs are placed on non-accrual status until we determine that future collection of principal and interest is reasonably assured, which generally requires that the borrower demonstrate performance according to the restructured terms for at least six consecutive months.

In April 2011, the FASB issued guidance regarding the determination of whether a restructuring is a TDR. In anticipation of this action, we began applying these stricter, more conservative metrics at the beginning of that year. Accordingly, we did not record any additional TDRs as a result of adopting the FASB’s new guidance when it became effective.

Loans modified as TDRs totaled $287.1 million at December 31, 2011, including accruing loans of $63.8 million and non-accrual loans of $223.3 million.

 

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Analysis of Troubled Debt Restructurings

The following table presents information regarding our TDRs as of December 31, 2011 and 2010:

 

     December 31, 2011      December 31, 2010  
(in thousands)    Accruing      Non-Accrual      Total      Accruing      Non-Accrual      Total  

Loan Category:

                 

Multi-family

   $ 60,454       $ 166,248       $ 226,702       $ 148,738       $ 123,435       $ 272,173   

Commercial real estate

     3,389         39,054         42,443         3,917         56,814         60,731   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     —           15,886         15,886         —           17,666         17,666   

Commercial and industrial

     —           667         667         —           5,381         5,381   

One-to-four family

     —           1,411         1,411         —           1,520         1,520   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 63,843       $ 223,266       $ 287,109       $ 152,655       $ 204,816       $ 357,471   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

In an effort to proactively manage delinquent loans, we have selectively extended to certain borrowers concessions such as rate reductions and extension of maturity dates, as well as forbearance agreements. As of December 31, 2011, loans on which concessions were made with respect to rate reductions and/or extension of maturity dates amounted to $246.7 million; loans in connection with which forbearance agreements were reached amounted to $40.4 million.

The eligibility of a borrower for work-out concessions of any nature depends upon the facts and circumstances of each transaction, which may change from period to period, and involve judgment regarding the likelihood that the concession will result in the maximum recovery for the Company.

Except for the non-accrual loans, loans over 90 days past due and still accruing interest, and TDRs disclosed in this filing, we did not have any potential problem loans at December 31, 2011 that would have caused management to have serious doubts as to the ability of a borrower to comply with present loan repayment terms and that would have resulted in such disclosure if that were the case.

 

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Asset Quality Analysis (Excluding Covered Loans, Covered OREO, and Non-Covered Loans Held for Sale)

The following table presents information regarding our allowance for losses on non-covered loans, our non-performing non-covered assets, and our non-covered loans 30 to 89 days past due at each year-end in the five years ended December 31, 2011. Covered loans are considered to be performing due to the application of the yield accretion method, as discussed later in this section. Therefore, covered loans are not reflected in the amounts or measures provided in this table.

 

     At December 31,  
(dollars in thousands)    2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  

Allowance for Losses on Non-Covered Loans:

          

Balance at beginning of year

   $ 158,942      $ 127,491      $ 94,368      $ 92,794      $ 85,389   

Provision for losses on non-covered loans

     79,000        91,000        63,000        7,700        —     

Charge-offs:

          

Multi-family

     (71,187     (27,042     (15,261     (175     —     

Commercial real estate

     (11,900     (3,359     (530     (16     —     

Acquisition, development, and construction

     (9,153     (9,884     (5,990     (2,517     —     

One-to-four family

     (1,208     (931     (322     —          —     

Other loans

     (12,462     (19,569     (7,828     (3,460     (431
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total charge-offs

     (105,910     (60,785     (29,931     (6,168     (431

Recoveries

     5,258        1,236        54        42        —     

Allowance acquired in merger transactions

     —          —          —          —          7,836   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance at end of year

   $ 137,290      $ 158,942      $ 127,491      $ 94,368      $ 92,794   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Non-Performing Non-Covered Assets:

          

Non-accrual non-covered mortgage loans:

          

Multi-family

   $ 205,064      $ 327,892      $ 393,113      $ 53,153      $ 3,061   

Commercial real estate

     68,032        162,400        70,618        12,785        3,293   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     29,886        91,850        79,228        24,839        2,939   

One-to-four family

     11,907        17,813        14,171        11,155        5,598   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-accrual non-covered mortgage loans

     314,889        599,955        557,130        101,932        14,891   

Other non-accrual non-covered loans

     10,926        24,476        20,938        11,765        7,301   

Loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing interest

     —          —          —          —          —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-performing non-covered loans (1)

   $ 325,815      $ 624,431      $ 578,068      $ 113,697      $ 22,192   

Other real estate owned (2)

     84,567        28,066        15,205        1,107        658   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-performing non-covered assets

   $ 410,382      $ 652,497      $ 593,273      $ 114,804      $ 22,850   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Asset Quality Measures:

          

Non-performing non-covered loans to total non-covered loans

     1.28     2.63     2.47     0.51     0.11

Non-performing non-covered assets to total non-covered assets

     1.07        1.77        1.41        0.35        0.07   

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans to non-performing non-covered loans

     42.14        25.45        22.05        83.00        418.14   

Allowance for losses on non-covered loans to total non-covered loans

     0.54        0.67        0.55        0.43        0.46   

Net charge-offs during the period to average loans outstanding during the period

     0.35        0.21        0.13        0.03        0.00   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loans 30-89 Days Past Due:

          

Multi-family

   $ 46,702      $ 121,188      $ 155,790      $ 37,266      $ 15,461   

Commercial real estate

     53,798        8,207        42,324        29,090        1,762   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     6,520        5,194        48,838        21,380        2,870   

One-to-four family

     2,712        5,723        5,019        4,885        4,875   

Other loans

     1,925        10,728        21,036        10,170        9,333   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total loans 30-89 days past due (3)

   $ 111,657      $ 151,040      $ 273,007      $ 102,791      $ 34,301   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) The December 31, 2011, 2010, and 2009 amounts exclude loans 90 days or more past due of $347.4 million, $360.8 million, and $56.2 million, respectively, that are covered by FDIC loss sharing agreements.
(2) The December 31, 2011 and 2010 amounts exclude OREO totaling $71.4 million and $62.4 million, respectively, that are covered by FDIC loss sharing agreements.
(3) The December 31, 2011, 2010, and 2009 amounts exclude loans 30 to 89 days past due of $112.0 million, $130.5 million, and $110.1 million, respectively, that are covered by FDIC loss sharing agreements.

 

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Summary of the Allowance for Losses on Non-Covered Loans

The following table sets forth the allocation of the consolidated allowance for losses on non-covered loans held for investment at each year-end in the five years ended December 31, 2011. At December 31, 2008 and 2007, all of our loans were non-covered loans.

 

    2011     2010     2009     2008     2007  
(dollars in thousands)   Amount     Percent of
Loans in
Each
Category

to Total
Non-

Covered
Loans Held
for
Investment
    Amount     Percent of
Loans in
Each
Category

to Total
Non-
Covered
Loans Held

for
Investment
    Amount     Percent of
Loans in
Each
Category

to Total
Non-
Covered
Loans Held

for
Investment
    Amount     Percent of
Loans in
Each
Category

to Total
Loans
    Amount     Percent of
Loans in
Each
Category
to Total
Loans
 

Multi-family loans

  $ 66,745        68.28   $ 75,314        70.88   $ 75,567        71.59   $ 43,908        70.85   $ 43,066        69.00

Commercial real estate loans

    43,262        26.85        42,145        22.94        32,079        21.34        29,622        20.51        29,461        18.80   

Acquisition, development, and construction loans

    11,016        1.75        20,302        2.40        8,276        2.85        10,289        3.51        10,243        5.59   

One-to-four family loans

    972        0.50        1,190        0.72        1,530        0.92        1,685        1.20        1,884        1.87   

Other loans

    15,295        2.62        19,991        3.06        10,039        3.30        8,864        3.93        8,140        4.74   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total loans

  $ 137,290        100.00   $ 158,942        100.00   $ 127,491        100.00   $ 94,368        100.00   $ 92,794        100.00
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The preceding allocation is based upon an estimate of various factors, as discussed in “Critical Accounting Policies” earlier in this report, and a different allocation methodology may be deemed to be more appropriate in the future. In addition, it should be noted that the portion of the allowance for losses on non-covered loans held for investment allocated to each non-covered loan category does not represent the total amount available to absorb losses that may occur within that category, since the total loan loss allowance is available for the entire non-covered held-for-investment loan portfolio.

 

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Covered Loans and Covered Other Real Estate Owned

The credit risk associated with the assets acquired in our AmTrust and Desert Hills transactions has been substantially mitigated by our loss sharing agreements with the FDIC. Under the terms of the loss sharing agreements, the FDIC will reimburse us for 80% of losses (and share in 80% of any recoveries) up to a specified threshold with respect to the loans and OREO acquired in the transactions. In each case, the FDIC will reimburse us for 95% of any losses (and share in 95% of any recoveries) with respect to the acquired assets beyond the initial amounts. The loss sharing (and reimbursement) agreements applicable to one-to-four family mortgage loans and HELOCs are effective for a ten-year period. Under the loss sharing agreements applicable to other loans and OREO, the FDIC will reimburse us for losses for a five-year period; the period for sharing in recoveries on other loans and OREO extends for a period of eight years.

We consider our covered loans to be performing due to the application of the yield accretion method under ASC 310-30, which allows us to aggregate credit-impaired loans acquired in the same fiscal quarter into one or more pools, provided that the loans have common risk characteristics. A pool is then accounted for as a single asset with a single composite interest rate and an aggregate expectation of cash flows. Accordingly, loans that may have been classified as non-performing loans by AmTrust or Desert Hills were no longer classified as non-performing at the dates of acquisition because we believed at that time that we would fully collect the new carrying value of those loans. The new carrying value represents the contractual balance, reduced by the portion expected to be uncollectible (referred to as the “non-accretable difference”) and by an accretable yield (discount) that is recognized as interest income. It is important to note that management’s judgment is required in reclassifying loans subject to ASC 310-30 as performing loans, and is dependent on having a reasonable expectation about the timing and amount of the cash flows to be collected, even if a loan is contractually past due.

In connection with the AmTrust and Desert Hills loss sharing agreements, we established FDIC loss share receivables of $740.0 million and $69.6 million, which were the acquisition date fair values of the respective loss sharing agreements (i.e., the expected reimbursements from the FDIC over the terms of the agreements). The loss share receivables may increase if the losses increase, and may decrease if the losses fall short of the expected amounts. Increases in estimated reimbursements will be recognized in income in the same period that they are identified and that the allowance for losses on the related covered loans is recognized. In 2011, indemnification income of $17.6 million was recorded in “non-interest income” as a result of an increase in expected reimbursements from the FDIC under our loss sharing agreements. This benefit partially offset a provision for losses on covered loans of $21.4 million.

Decreases in estimated reimbursements from the FDIC, if any, will be recognized in income prospectively over the life of the related covered loans (or, if shorter, over the remaining term of the loss sharing agreement). Related additions to the accretable yield on the covered loans will be recognized in income prospectively over the lives of the loans. Gains and recoveries on covered assets will offset losses, or be paid to the FDIC at the applicable loss share percentage at the time of recovery.

The loss share receivables may also increase due to accretion, which was $24.0 million in 2011 and $44.4 million in 2010. Accretion of the FDIC loss share receivable relates to the difference between the discounted, versus the undiscounted, expected cash flows of covered loans subject to the FDIC loss sharing agreements. These cash flows were discounted to reflect the uncertainty of the timing and receipt of the loss sharing reimbursements from the FDIC. In the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, we received FDIC reimbursements of $160.5 million.

 

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Asset Quality Analysis (Including Covered Loans and Covered OREO)

The following table presents information regarding our non-performing assets and loans past due at December 31, 2011 and 2010, including covered loans and covered OREO (collectively, “covered assets”):

 

     December 31,  
(dollars in thousands)    2011     2010  

Covered Loans 90 Days or More Past Due:

    

Multi-family

   $ 161      $ 410   

Commercial real estate

     8,599        12,060   

Acquisition, development, and construction

     5,082        12,664   

One-to-four family

     314,821        310,929   

Other

     18,779        24,764   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total covered loans 90 days or more past due

     347,442        360,827   

Covered other real estate owned