Washington, D.C. 20549


(Mark One)


For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022



For the transition period from ______________ to_______________

Commission File Number 001-38895

South Plains Financial, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
5219 City Bank Parkway
Lubbock, Texas
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (806) 792-7101

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

Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share
The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES ☐ NO

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. YES ☐ NO

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

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

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

Large accelerated filer   ☐
Accelerated filer   ☒
Non-accelerated filer   ☐
Smaller reporting company  
Emerging growth company  

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If the securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. 

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recover period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). YES NO ☒

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC on June 30, 2022, was $306.4 million.

The number of shares of registrant’s common stock outstanding as of March 8, 2023 was 17,047,883.


Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled to be held on May 16, 2023, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


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Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Item 15.
Item 16.



This Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 (“Report”) contains statements that we believe are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “might,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “strive,” “projection,” “goal,” “target,” “outlook,” “aim,” “would,” “annualized” and “outlook,” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words or phrases of a future or forward-looking nature. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control. Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions, estimates and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

There are or will be important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following:

our ability to effectively execute our expansion strategy and manage our growth, including identifying and consummating suitable acquisitions;

business and economic conditions, particularly those affecting our market areas, as well as the concentration of our business in such market areas, and the uncertain inflationary outlook in the United States and our market areas;

the impact, duration and severity of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and any current or future variants thereof, and the response of governmental authorities to the COVID-19 pandemic;

high concentrations of loans secured by real estate located in our market areas;

risks associated with our commercial loan portfolio, including the risk for deterioration in value of the general business assets that secure such loans;

potential changes in the prices, values and sales volumes of commercial and residential real estate securing our real estate loans;

risks associated with our agricultural loan portfolio, including the heightened sensitivity to weather conditions, commodity prices, and other factors generally outside the borrowers and our control;

risks associated with the sale of crop insurance products, including termination of or substantial changes to the federal crop insurance program;

risks related to the significant amount of credit that we have extended to a limited number of borrowers and in a limited geographic area;

public funds deposits comprising a relatively high percentage of our deposits;

potential impairment on the goodwill we have recorded or may record in connection with business acquisitions;

our ability to maintain our reputation;

our ability to successfully manage our credit risk and the sufficiency of our allowance for loan losses;

our ability to attract, hire and retain qualified management personnel;

our dependence on our management team, including our ability to retain executive officers and key employees and their customer and community relationships;

interest rate fluctuations, which could have an adverse effect on our profitability;

competition from banks, credit unions and other financial services providers;

our ability to keep pace with technological change or difficulties we may experience when implementing new technologies;

system failures, service denials, cyber-attacks and security breaches;

our ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting;

employee error, fraudulent activity by employees or customers and inaccurate or incomplete information about our customers and counterparties;

increased capital requirements imposed by banking regulators, which may require us to raise capital at a time when capital is not available on favorable terms or at all;

our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and to raise necessary capital to fund our acquisition strategy and operations or to meet increased minimum regulatory capital levels;

costs and effects of litigation, investigations or similar matters to which we may be subject, including any effect on our reputation;

natural disasters, severe weather, acts of god, acts of war or terrorism, outbreaks of hostilities, public health outbreaks (such as coronavirus), other international or domestic calamities, and other matters beyond our control;

changes in tariffs and trade barriers;

compliance with governmental and regulatory requirements, including the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (“EGRRCPA”), and others relating to banking, consumer protection, securities and tax matters;

changes in the laws, rules, regulations, interpretations or policies that apply to the Company’s business and operations, and any additional regulations, or repeals that may be forthcoming as a result thereof, which could cause the Company to incur additional costs and adversely affect the Company’s business environment, operations and financial results; and

our ability to navigate the uncertain impacts of current and future governmental monetary and fiscal policies, including the current and future policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve”) and as a result of initiatives of the Biden administration.

The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements included in this Report and the “Risk Factors” set forth under Part I, Item IA of this Report. Because of these risks and other uncertainties, our actual future results, performance or achievements, or industry results, may be materially different from the results indicated by the forward-looking statements in this Report. In addition, our past results of operations are not necessarily indicative of our future results. Accordingly, you should not rely on any forward-looking statements, which represent our beliefs, assumptions and estimates only as of the dates on which such forward-looking statements were made. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

Part I

Item 1.


South Plains Financial, Inc. (the “Company” or “SPFI”) is a bank holding company headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, and City Bank, SPFI’s wholly-owned banking subsidiary, is one of the largest independent banks in West Texas (“City Bank” or the “Bank”). The Company is hereafter collectively referred to as “we,” “us” or “our.”

We have additional banking operations in the Dallas, El Paso, Greater Houston, the Permian Basin, and College Station, Texas markets, and the Ruidoso, New Mexico market. Through City Bank, we provide a wide range of commercial and consumer financial services to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in our market areas. Our principal business activities include commercial and retail banking, along with insurance, investment, trust and mortgage services.

We had total assets of $3.94 billion, gross loans held for investment of $2.75 billion, total deposits of $3.41 billion, and total shareholders’ equity of $357.0 million as of December 31, 2022.

Our history dates back over 80 years. We trace our beginnings to the founding of First State Bank of Morton, a community bank headquartered in West Texas that held approximately $1 million of total assets in 1941. In 1962, the bank was sold to new management, including J.K. Griffith, the father of our current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Curtis C. Griffith. Since Mr. Griffith was elected Chairman of First State Bank of Morton in 1984, the Bank has transformed from a small-town institution with approximately $30 million in total assets and a single branch location into one of the largest community banks in West Texas. The parent company to First State Bank of Morton acquired South Plains National Bank of Levelland, Texas in 1991 and changed its name to South Plains Bank. The Company became the holding company to First State Bank of Morton and South Plains Bank in 1993, the same year we acquired City Bank. City Bank was originally established in Lubbock in 1984. We merged First State Bank of Morton and South Plains Bank into City Bank in 1998 and 1999, respectively. We had more than $175 million in assets upon the closing of these acquisitions. We acquired West Texas State Bank, Odessa, Texas, approximately $430 million in assets, in 2019 through the merger of West Texas State Bank with and into the Bank.

We currently operate 25 full-service banking locations across seven geographic markets resulting from six acquisitions, de novo branch establishments, and the formation of a de novo bank in Ruidoso, New Mexico, which we later merged into the Bank. We also operate 11 loan production offices both in our banking markets and in certain key areas in Texas that focus on mortgage loan origination. We build long-lasting relationships with our customers by delivering high quality products and services and have sought to capitalize on the opportunities presented by continued consolidation in the banking industry. We believe a major contributor to our historical success has been our focus on becoming the community bank of choice in the markets that we serve.

We operate in two reportable segments of business: community banking, which includes City Bank, our sole banking subsidiary, and insurance, which includes Windmark Insurance Agency, Inc. (“Windmark”).

Market Area

We operate in the following markets (deposit information is as of December 31, 2022):

Lubbock/South Plains - We operate 10 branches holding $2.1 billion of deposits in the Lubbock metropolitan statistical area (“MSA”) and the surrounding South Plains region of Texas.

Dallas - We operate three branches with $474.1 million of deposits and five loan production offices, which we refer to as mortgage offices, in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, which we refer to as the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

El Paso - We operate two bank branches with $199.7 million of deposits and one mortgage office in the El Paso MSA.

Houston - We operate one branch with $37.9 million of deposits in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland MSA, which we refer to as Greater Houston. This branch is located in the city of Houston.

Bryan/College Station - We operate one branch and one mortgage office in the city of College Station, Texas, which has $66.4 million in deposits. We refer to the Bryan-College Station MSA as Bryan/College Station.

The Permian Basin - We operate six branches with $358.7 million of deposits in the Permian Basin region of Texas.

Ruidoso, New Mexico - We operate two branches with $180.8 million of deposits in the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico.

We believe our exposure to these dynamic and complementary markets provides us with economic diversification and the opportunity for expansion across Texas and New Mexico.


The banking and financial services industry is highly competitive, and we compete with a wide range of financial institutions within our markets, including local, regional and national commercial banks and credit unions. We also compete with mortgage companies, trust companies, brokerage firms, consumer finance companies, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, third-party payment processors, financial technology companies and other financial intermediaries for certain of our products and services. Some of our competitors are not subject to the regulatory restrictions and level of regulatory supervision applicable to us.

Interest rates on loans and deposits, as well as prices on fee-based services, are typically significant competitive factors within the banking and financial services industry. Many of our competitors are much larger financial institutions that have greater financial resources than we do and compete aggressively for market share. These competitors attempt to gain market share through their financial product mix, pricing strategies and banking center locations. Other important competitive factors in our industry and markets include office locations and hours, quality of customer service, community reputation, continuity of personnel and services, capacity and willingness to extend credit, and ability to offer excellent banking products and services. While we seek to remain competitive with respect to fees charged, interest rates and pricing, we believe that our broad suite of financial solutions, our high-quality customer service culture, our positive reputation and our long-standing community relationships will enable us to compete successfully within our markets and enhance our ability to attract and retain customers.

Human Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2022, we had approximately 673 total employees, which included 600 full-time employees and 73 part-time employees. None of our employees are covered under a collective bargaining agreement and management considers its employee relations to be satisfactory.

We believe that the success of a business is largely due to the quality of its employees and the development of each employee’s full potential. We encourage and support the development of our employees and, whenever possible, strive to fill vacancies from within. Employee retention helps us operate efficiently and achieve our business objectives. We believe our ability to attract and retain employees is a key to our success. Accordingly, we strive to offer competitive salaries and employee benefits to all employees and monitor salaries in our market areas. In addition to competitive base salaries and benefits, additional employee programs include annual bonus opportunities, Company matched 401(k) Plan contributions, healthcare and insurance benefits, health savings and flexible spending accounts, long-term care and long-term disability benefits, life insurance benefits, a robust wellness program, and paid-time off.

Lending Activities

General. We adhere to what we believe are disciplined underwriting standards, but also remain cognizant of serving the credit needs of customers in our primary market areas by offering flexible loan solutions in a responsive and timely manner. We maintain asset quality through an emphasis on local market knowledge, long-term customer relationships, consistent and thorough underwriting and a conservative credit culture. We also seek to maintain a broadly diversified loan portfolio across customer, product and industry types. These components, together with active credit management, are the foundation of our credit culture, which we believe is critical to enhancing the long-term value of our organization to our customers, employees, shareholders and communities.

We have a service-driven, relationship-based, business-focused credit culture, rather than a price-driven, transaction-based culture. Substantially all of our loans are made to borrowers located or operating in our primary market areas with whom we have ongoing relationships across various product lines. The few loans secured by properties outside of our primary market areas were made to borrowers who are otherwise well-known to us.

Credit Concentrations. In connection with the management of our credit portfolio, we actively manage the composition of our loan portfolio, including credit concentrations. Our loan approval policies establish concentrations limits with respect to industry and loan product type to enhance portfolio diversification. Commercial real estate concentrations are monitored by the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the Bank, at least quarterly and the limits are reviewed bi-monthly as part of our credit analytics Board Credit Risk Committee program. The Board Credit Risk Committee is comprised of outside directors and two Bank officers, including the Chairman of the Board and the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer.

Loan Approval Process. We seek to achieve an appropriate balance between prudent, disciplined underwriting and flexibility in our decision-making and responsiveness to our customers. Our Board requires news loans over $5 million to relationships in excess of $20 million to be reported to the Board Credit Risk Committee. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank had a legal lending limit of approximately $103.6 million. As of that date, our 20 largest borrowing relationships ranged from approximately $22.2 million to $50.9 million (including unfunded commitments) and totaled approximately $622.0 million in total commitments (representing, in the aggregate, 18.1% of our total outstanding commitments).

Our credit approval policies provide for various levels of officer and senior management lending authority for new credits and renewals, which are based on position, capability and experience. Loans in excess of an individual officer’s lending limit up to $3 million may be approved with joint authorities of a market president and a senior credit officer. Loan relationships over $3 million are approved by our Executive Loan Committee. These limits are reviewed periodically by the Bank’s Board. We believe that our credit approval process provides for thorough underwriting and efficient decision-making.

Credit Risk Management. Credit risk management involves a partnership between our loan officers and our credit approval, credit administration and collections personnel. Loan delinquencies and exceptions are constantly monitored by credit personnel and consultations with loan officers occur as often as daily. Our performance evaluation program for our loan officers includes significant credit quality metric goals, such as the percentages of past due loans and charge-offs to total loans in the officer’s portfolio, that we believe motivate the loan officers to focus on the origination and maintenance of high quality credits consistent with our strategic focus on asset quality.

Our policies require rapid notification of delinquency and prompt initiation of collection actions. Loan officers, credit administration personnel, and senior management proactively support collection activities.

In accordance with our credit risk management procedures, we perform annual asset reviews of our larger relationships. As part of these asset review procedures, we analyze recent financial statements of the property, borrower and any guarantor, the borrower’s revenues and expenses, and any deterioration in the relationship or in the borrower’s and any guarantor’s financial condition. Upon completion, we update the grade assigned to each loan. Our credit policy requires that loan officers promptly update risk ratings for all loans as warranted by changing circumstances of the borrower or the credit and to notify credit administration personnel of any risks developing in a portfolio or in an individual borrowing relationship. We maintain a list of loans that receive additional attention if we believe there may be a potential credit risk.

Loans that are adversely classified undergo a detailed quarterly review by loan review personnel. This review includes an evaluation of the market conditions, the property’s trends, the borrower and guarantor status, the level of reserves required and loan accrual status. These reports are reviewed by a group of lending and credit personnel to evaluate collection effectiveness for each loan reported. Additionally, we periodically have an independent, third-party review performed on our loan grades and our credit administration functions. Our external loan review firm schedules two to three visits per year and, in combination with our internal loan review function, attempts to achieve a combined review of at least 60% of the total dollar amount of the loan portfolio. Finally, we perform, at least annually, a stress test of our loan portfolio, in which we evaluate the impact of declining economic conditions on the portfolio based on previous recessionary periods. Credit personnel review these reports and present them to the Board Credit Risk Committee. These asset review procedures provide management with additional information for assessing our asset quality and lending strategies.


We manage our securities portfolio primarily for liquidity purposes, including depositor and borrower funding requirements and availability as collateral for public fund deposits, with a secondary focus on interest income. Our securities portfolio is classified as either available-for-sale or held-to-maturity and can be used for pledging on public deposits, selling under repurchase agreements and meeting unforeseen liquidity needs. The investments in our securities portfolio are a variety of high-grade securities, including government agency securities, government guaranteed mortgage backed securities and municipal securities.

Our investment policy is reviewed annually by the Bank’s Board. Overall investment goals are established by the Bank’s Board and the Bank’s Investment/Asset Liability Committee. The Bank’s Board has delegated the responsibility of monitoring our investment activities to the Investment/Asset Liability Committee.

Sources of Funds


Deposits represent the Company’s primary and most vital source of funds. We offer a variety of deposit products including demand deposits accounts, interest-bearing products, savings accounts and certificate of deposits. We put continued effort into gathering noninterest-bearing demand deposit accounts through loan production, customer referrals, marketing staffs, mobile and online banking and various involvements with community networks.


In addition to deposits, we may utilize advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (the “FHLB”), and other borrowings, such as a line of credit with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (the “FRB”), uncollateralized lines of credit with multiple banks, subordinated debt, and junior subordinated deferrable interest debentures as supplementary funding sources to finance our operations.

Other Banking Services

Mortgage Banking

Our mortgage originations totaled $719.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 and sold approximately 89% of those mortgages. We originate mortgages primarily from our branches or loan production offices in Lubbock, El Paso, College Station, Abilene, Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Dripping Springs, Forney, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Midland, Southlake, and Waco, Texas. We refer to our loan production offices as mortgage offices. While our mortgage operation represents a sizable component of our total noninterest income, comprising 41%, or $31.4 million, for the year ended December 31, 2022, we view the mortgage business as an ancillary part of our operations. Within our mortgage origination portfolio, refinances of existing mortgages represented 31% of total mortgage originations in the year ended December 31, 2022. We retain mortgage servicing rights from time to time when we sell mortgages to third parties. As of December 31, 2022, we serviced $2.0 billion of mortgages that we originated and sold to third parties.

We leverage a variety of digital reporting tools to increase the efficiency of the underwriting process, enhance loan production and boost overall margins while keeping expenses to a minimum. New market expansion will depend primarily on opportunities to hire and retain high quality loan origination staff. Additionally, existing markets are monitored for profitability and efficiencies to determine if we would need to exit any locations.


Windmark Insurance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank, offers a variety of crop insurance products through offices in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Colorado and by acting as the general agency for independent agents in 17 states. Windmark Insurance’s operations contributed $10.6 million of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. That revenue was derived from a total insurance premium base of over $211 million. Crop insurance is offered to producers of many different crops from 14 approved providers who operate under agreements with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). We conduct business with five of these approved providers. The USDA shares underwriting losses with those providers and also reimburses them for certain administrative and operational expenses. Our revenue is based on a share of those reimbursements and profit sharing when underwriting losses are minimized by those providers. This program has been in place under prior federal farm bills and has been reauthorized until December 31, 2023 under the recently enacted Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill.

Trust Services

City Bank Trust, a division of City Bank, provides a range of traditional trust products and services along with several retirement services and products, including estate administration, family trust administration, revocable and irrevocable trusts (including life insurance trusts), real estate administration, charitable trusts for individuals and corporations, 401(k) plans, self-directed individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), simplified employee pensions plans, employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), defined benefit plans, profit-sharing plans, Keoghs and managed IRAs. Our trust department had $411 million of assets under management at December 31, 2022, and contributed $2.4 million of fee income for the year ended December 31, 2022.

Investment Services

The Investment Center at City Bank provides a variety of investments offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC) including self-directed IRAs, money market funds, 401(k) plans, mutual funds, annuities and tax-deferred annuities, stocks and bonds, investments for non-U.S. residents, treasury bills, treasury notes and bonds and tax-exempt municipal bonds. Gross revenue derived from our investment services for the year ended December 31, 2022 was $1.8 million with $509.3 million in assets under management at December 31, 2022.


The following is a general summary of the material aspects of certain statutes and regulations that are applicable to us. These summary descriptions are not complete, and you should refer to the full text of the statutes, regulations, and corresponding guidance for more information. These statutes and regulations are subject to change, and additional statutes, regulations, and corresponding guidance may be adopted. We are unable to predict these future changes or the effects, if any, that these changes could have on our business or our revenues.


We are extensively regulated under U.S. federal and state law. As a result, our growth and earnings performance may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the Texas Department of Banking (“TDB”), the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). Furthermore, tax laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), securities laws administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and state securities authorities and anti-money laundering, or AML, laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) also impact our business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and rules are significant to our financial condition and results of operations. Further, the nature and extent of future legislative, regulatory or other changes affecting financial institutions are impossible to predict with any certainty.

Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of banks, their holding companies and their affiliates. These laws are intended primarily for the protection of depositors, customers and the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”), rather than for shareholders. Federal and state laws, and the related regulations of the bank regulatory agencies, affect, among other things, the scope of business, the kinds and amounts of investments banks may make, reserve requirements, capital levels relative to operations, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, the ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with insiders and affiliates and the payment of dividends.

This supervisory and regulatory framework subjects banks and bank holding companies to regular examination by their respective regulatory agencies, which results in examination reports and ratings that, while not publicly available, can affect the conduct and growth of their businesses. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but also capital levels, asset quality and risk, management’s ability and performance, earnings, liquidity and various other factors. These regulatory agencies have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity where the agencies determine, among other things, that such operations are unsafe or unsound, fail to comply with applicable law or are otherwise inconsistent with laws and regulations or with the supervisory policies of these agencies.

The following is a summary of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and the Bank. It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.

Regulatory Capital Requirements

The federal banking agencies require that banking organizations meet several risk-based capital adequacy requirements. These risk-based capital adequacy requirements are intended to provide a measure of capital adequacy that reflects the perceived degree of risk associated with a banking organization’s operations, both for transactions reported on the banking organization’s balance sheet as assets and for transactions that are recorded as off-balance sheet items, such as letters of credit and recourse arrangements. The risk-based guidelines apply on a consolidated basis to bank holding companies with consolidated assets of $3 billion or more, such as the Company, or with a material amount of equity securities outstanding that are registered with the SEC. The federal banking agencies may change existing capital guidelines or adopt new capital guidelines in the future and often expect high growth or acquisitive bank holding companies to maintain capital positions substantially above the minimum supervisory levels. In addition, the federal banking agencies have required many banks and bank holding companies subject to enforcement actions to maintain capital ratios in excess of the minimum ratios otherwise required to be deemed “well-capitalized” and have subjected such institutions to restrictions on various activities, including a bank’s ability to accept or renew brokered deposits.

In 2013, the federal bank regulatory agencies issued final rules, or the Basel III Capital Rules, establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for banking organizations. The Basel III Capital Rules implement the Basel Committee’s December 2010 framework for strengthening international capital standards and certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Basel III Capital Rules became effective on January 1, 2015.

The Basel III Capital Rules require the Bank and the Company, to comply with four minimum capital standards: a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 4.0%; a common equity Tier 1, or CET1, to risk-weighted assets ratio of 4.5%; a Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of at least 6.0%; and a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of at least 8.0%. CET1 capital is generally comprised of common shareholders’ equity and retained earnings. Tier 1 capital is generally comprised of CET1 and additional Tier 1 capital. Additional Tier 1 capital generally includes certain noncumulative perpetual preferred stock and related surplus and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries. Total capital includes Tier 1 capital (CET1 capital plus additional Tier 1 capital) and Tier 2 capital. Tier 2 capital is generally comprised of capital instruments and related surplus meeting specified requirements, and may include cumulative preferred stock and long-term perpetual preferred stock, mandatory convertible securities, intermediate preferred stock and subordinated debt. Also included in Tier 2 capital is the allowance limited to a maximum of 1.25% of risk-weighted assets and, for institutions that have exercised an opt-out election regarding the treatment of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, or AOCI, up to 45% of net unrealized gains on available-for-sale equity securities with readily determinable fair market values. Institutions that have not exercised the AOCI opt-out have AOCI incorporated into CET1 capital (including unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale-securities). The calculation of all types of regulatory capital is subject to deductions and adjustments specified in the regulations.

The Basel III Capital Rules also establish a “capital conservation buffer” of 2.5% above the regulatory minimum risk-based capital requirements. An institution is subject to limitations on certain activities, including payment of dividends, share repurchases and discretionary bonuses to executive officers, if its capital level is below the buffered ratio.

The Basel III minimum capital ratios are summarized in the table below.

Basel III
for Capital
Basel III
Basel III
Ratio with
Total risk based capital (total capital to risk-weighted assets)
Tier 1 risk based capital (Tier 1 to risk-weighted assets)
Common equity Tier 1 risk based capital (CET1 to risk-weighted assets)
Tier 1 leverage ratio (Tier 1 to average assets)

In determining the amount of risk-weighted assets for purposes of calculating risk-based capital ratios, a banking organization’s assets, including certain off-balance sheet assets (e.g., recourse obligations, direct credit substitutes, residual interests), are multiplied by a risk weight factor assigned by the regulations based on perceived risks inherent in the type of asset. As a result, higher levels of capital are required for asset categories believed to present greater risk. For example, a risk weight of 0% is assigned to cash and U.S. government securities, a risk weight of 50% is generally assigned to prudently underwritten first lien 1-4 family residential mortgages, a risk weight of 100% is assigned to commercial and consumer loans, a risk weight of 150% is assigned to certain past due loans and a risk weight of between 0% to 600% is assigned to permissible equity interests, depending on certain specified factors. The Basel III Capital Rules increased the risk weights for a variety of asset classes, including certain commercial real estate mortgages. Additional aspects of the Basel III Capital Rules’ risk-weighting requirements that are relevant to the Company and the Bank include:

assigning exposures secured by single-family residential properties to either a 50% risk weight for first-lien mortgages that meet prudent underwriting standards or a 100% risk weight category for all other mortgages;

providing for a 20% credit conversion factor for the unused portion of a commitment with an original maturity of one year or less that is not unconditionally cancellable (increased from 0% under the previous risk-based capital rules);

assigning a 150% risk weight to all exposures that are nonaccrual or 90 days or more past due (increased from 100% under the previous risk-based capital rules), except for those secured by single-family residential properties, which will be assigned a 100% risk weight, consistent with the previous risk-based capital rules;

applying a 150% risk weight instead of a 100% risk weight for certain high-volatility commercial real estate, or HVCRE, loans, or acquisition, development, and construction, or ADC, loans; and

applying a 250% risk weight to the portion of mortgage servicing rights and deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks that are not deducted from CET1 capital (increased from 100% under the previous risk-based capital rules).

As of December 31, 2022, the Company’s and the Bank’s capital ratios exceeded the minimum capital adequacy guideline percentage requirements under the Basel III Capital Rules on a fully phased-in basis.

Community Bank Leverage Ratio

On September 17, 2019, the federal banking agencies jointly finalized a rule effective as of January 1, 2020 and intended to simplify the regulatory capital requirements described above for qualifying community banking organizations, or QCBO, that opt into the Community Bank Leverage Ratio, or CBLR, framework, as required by Section 201 of the EGRRCPA. The final rule became effective on January 1, 2020, and the CBLR framework became available for banks to use beginning with their March 31, 2020 Call Reports. Under the final rule, if a QCBO opts into the CBLR framework and meets all requirements under the framework, it will be considered to have met the well-capitalized ratio requirements under the Prompt Corrective Action regulations described below and will not be required to report or calculate risk-based capital.

A QCBO, is defined as a bank, savings association, bank holding company or savings and loan holding company with:

a CBLR of greater than 9%;

total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion;

total off-balance sheet exposures (excluding derivatives other than credit derivatives and unconditionally cancelable commitments) of 25% or less of total consolidated assets;

total trading assets and trading liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets; and

non-advanced approaches institution.

The numerator of the CBLR is referred to as “CBLR tangible equity” and is calculated as the QCBO’s total capital as reported in compliance with the reporting instructions to the Call Report or the FR Y-9C, or Reporting Instructions (prior to including non-controlling interests in consolidated subsidiaries) less:

Accumulated other comprehensive income, or AOCI;

Intangible assets, calculated in accordance with Reporting Instructions, other than mortgage servicing assets; and

Deferred tax assets that arise from net operating loss and tax credit carry forwards net of any related valuations allowances.

The denominator of the CBLR is the QCBO’s average assets, calculated in accordance with Reporting Instructions and less intangible assets and deferred tax assets deducted from CBLR tangible equity.

Although the Company and the Bank are QCBOs, the Company and the Bank have currently not elected to opt in to the CBLR framework at this time and will continue to follow the capital requirements under the Basel III Capital Rules as described above.

Prompt Corrective Action

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDIA”) requires federal banking agencies to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to depository institutions that do not meet minimum capital requirements. For purposes of prompt corrective action, the law establishes five capital tiers: “well-capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized.” A depository institution’s capital tier depends on its capital levels and certain other factors established by regulation. The applicable FDIC regulations have been amended to incorporate the increased capital requirements required by the Basel III Capital Rules that became effective on January 1, 2015. Under the amended regulations, an institution is deemed to be “well-capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.0% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% or greater, a CET1 ratio of 6.5% or greater and a leverage ratio of 5.0% or greater. Accordingly, a financial institution may be considered “well-capitalized” under the prompt corrective action framework, but not satisfy the full Basel III capital ratios. Generally, a financial institution must be “well capitalized” before the Federal Reserve will approve an application by a bank holding company to acquire a bank or merge with a bank holding company. The FDIC applies the same requirement in approving bank merger applications.

At each successively lower capital category, a bank is subject to increased restrictions on its operations. For example, a bank is generally prohibited from making capital distributions and paying management fees to its holding company if doing so would make the bank “undercapitalized.” Asset growth and branching restrictions apply to undercapitalized banks, which are required to submit written capital restoration plans meeting specified requirements (including a guarantee by the parent holding company, if any). “Significantly undercapitalized” banks are subject to broad regulatory restrictions, including among other things, capital directives, forced mergers, restrictions on the rates of interest they may pay on deposits, restrictions on asset growth and activities, and prohibitions on paying bonuses or increasing compensation to senior executive officers without FDIC approval. “Critically undercapitalized” are subject to even more severe restrictions, including, subject to a narrow exception, the appointment of a conservator or receiver within 90 days after becoming critically undercapitalized.

The appropriate federal banking agency may determine (after notice and opportunity for a hearing) that the institution is in an unsafe or unsound condition or deems the institution to be engaging in an unsafe or unsound practice. The appropriate agency is also permitted to require an adequately capitalized or undercapitalized institution to comply with the supervisory provisions as if the institution were in the next lower category (but not treat a significantly undercapitalized institution as critically undercapitalized) based on supervisory information other than the capital levels of the institution.

The capital classification of a bank affects the frequency of regulatory examinations, the bank’s ability to engage in certain activities and the deposit insurance premium paid by the bank. A bank’s capital category is determined solely for the purpose of applying prompt correct action regulations and the capital category may not accurately reflect the bank’s overall financial condition or prospects.

As of December 31, 2022, the Bank met the requirements for being deemed “well-capitalized” for purposes of the prompt corrective action regulations.

Enforcement Powers of Federal and State Banking Agencies

The federal bank regulatory agencies have broad enforcement powers, including the power to terminate deposit insurance, impose substantial fines and other civil and criminal penalties, and appoint a conservator or receiver for financial institutions. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us and our officers and directors to administrative sanctions and potentially substantial civil money penalties. In addition to the grounds discussed above under “Prompt Corrective Actions,” the appropriate federal bank regulatory agency may appoint the FDIC as conservator or receiver for a depository institution (or the FDIC may appoint itself, under certain circumstances) if any one or more of a number of circumstances exist, including, without limitation, the fact that the depository institution is undercapitalized and has no reasonable prospect of becoming adequately capitalized, fails to become adequately capitalized when required to do so, fails to submit a timely and acceptable capital restoration plan or materially fails to implement an accepted capital restoration plan. The TDB also has broad enforcement powers over us, including the power to impose orders, remove officers and directors, impose fines and appoint supervisors and conservators.

The Company

General. As a bank holding company, the Company is subject to regulation and supervision by the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, or the BHCA. Under the BHCA, the Company is subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve. The Company is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of its operations and such additional information as the Federal Reserve may require.

Acquisitions, Activities and Change in Control. The BHCA generally requires the prior approval by the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company or a bank holding company’s acquisition of more than 5% of a class of voting securities of any additional bank or bank holding company or to acquire all or substantially all of the assets of any additional bank or bank holding company. In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the Federal Reserve considers, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the capital position and managerial resources of the combined organization, the risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system, the applicant’s performance record under the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) and the effectiveness of all organizations involved in the merger or acquisition in combating money laundering activities. In addition, failure to implement or maintain adequate compliance programs could cause bank regulators not to approve an acquisition where regulatory approval is required or to prohibit an acquisition even if approval is not required.

Subject to certain conditions (including deposit concentration limits established by the BHCA and the Dodd-Frank Act), the Federal Reserve may allow a bank holding company to acquire banks located in any state of the U.S. In approving interstate acquisitions, the Federal Reserve is required to give effect to applicable state law limitations on the aggregate amount of deposits that may be held by the acquiring bank holding company and its insured depository institution affiliates in the state in which the target bank is located (provided that those limits do not discriminate against out-of-state depository institutions or their holding companies) and state laws that require that the target bank have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) before being acquired by an out-of-state bank holding company. Furthermore, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, bank holding companies must be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to complete interstate mergers or acquisitions. For a discussion of the capital requirements, see “Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

The BHCA also prohibits any company from acquiring “control” of a bank or bank holding company without prior notice to the appropriate federal bank regulator. “Control” is conclusively presumed to exist upon the acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding voting securities of a bank or bank holding company, but may arise based on the facts and circumstances even with ownership below 5.00% up to 24.99% ownership. The Federal Reserve’s regulations related to determinations of whether a company has “control” over another company, including a bank holding company or a bank, for purposes of the BHCA, include a tiered system of non-control presumptions based upon the percentage of any class of voting securities held by an acquirer and the presence of other indicia of control. The four categories of tiered presumptions of non-control, based upon the percentage of ownership of any class of voting securities held by an acquirer, are (i) less than 5%, (ii) 5% to 9.99%, (iii) 10% to 14.99%, and (iv) 15% to 24.99%. These regulations provide greater transparency with respect to the total level of equity, representative directors, management interlocks, limiting contractual provisions and business relationships that would be permissible to the Federal Reserve in order to avoid a determination of control. These regulations apply to control determinations under the BHCA, but do not apply to the Change in Bank Control Act, as amended (the “CIBC Act”).

The CIBC Act and the related regulations of the Federal Reserve generally provide that a person, which includes a natural person or entity, directly or indirectly, has “control” of a bank or bank holding company if it (i) owns, controls, or has the power to vote 25% or more of the voting securities of the bank or bank holding company, (ii) controls the election of directors, trustees, or general partners of the company, (iii) has a controlling influence over the management or policies of the company, or (iv) conditions in any manner the transfer of 25% or more of the voting securities of the company upon the transfer of 25% or more of the outstanding shares of any class of voting securities of another company. Accordingly, the CIBC Act requires that prior to the acquisition of any class of voting securities of a bank or bank holding company that prior notice to the Federal Reserve be provided, if, immediately after the transaction, the acquiring person (or persons acting in concert) will own, control, or hold the power to vote 25% or more of any class of voting securities of the bank or bank holding company. A rebuttable presumption of control arises under the CIBC Act where a person (or persons acting in concert) controls 10% or more (but less than 25%) of a class of the voting securities of a bank or bank holding (i) which has registered securities under the Exchange Act, such as the Company, or (ii) no other person owns, controls, or holds the power to vote a greater percentage of any class of voting securities immediately after the transaction.

Permissible Activities. The BHCA and the implementing regulations of the Federal Reserve generally prohibit the Company from controlling or engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries. This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions. The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve prior to November 11, 1999 to be “so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto.” This authority would permit the Company to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development) and mortgage banking and brokerage. The BHCA generally does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of non-bank subsidiaries of bank holding companies. The Federal Reserve has the power to order any bank holding company or its subsidiaries to terminate any activity or to terminate its ownership or control of any subsidiary when the Federal Reserve has reasonable grounds to believe that continuing such activity, ownership or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial soundness, safety or stability of any bank subsidiary of the bank holding company.

In connection with the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 13 of the BHCA, commonly known as the “Volcker Rule,” was amended to generally prohibit banking entities from engaging in the short-term proprietary trading of securities and derivatives for their own account and barred them from having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. However, Section 203 of the EGRRCPA, exempts community banks from the restrictions of the Volcker Rule if (i) the community bank, and every entity that controls it, has total consolidated assets equal to or less than $10 billion; and (ii) trading assets and liabilities of the community bank, and every entity that controls it, is equal to or less than 5% of its total consolidated assets. As the consolidated assets of the Company are less than $10 billion and the Company does not currently exceed the 5% threshold, this aspect of the Volcker Rule does not have any impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements at this time.

Additionally, bank holding companies that meet certain eligibility requirements prescribed by the BHCA and elect to operate as financial holding companies may engage in, or own shares in companies engaged in, a wider range of non-banking activities, including securities and insurance underwriting and sales, merchant banking and any other activity that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines by regulation or order is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity or that the Federal Reserve determines by order to be complementary to any such financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally. The Company has not elected to be a financial holding company, and we have not engaged in any activities determined by the Federal Reserve to be financial in nature or incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature.

If the Company should elect to become a financial holding company, the Company and the Bank must be well-capitalized, well-managed, and have a least a satisfactory CRA rating. If the Company were to become a financial holding company and the Federal Reserve subsequently determined that the Company, as a financial holding company, is not well-capitalized or well-managed, the Company would have a period of time during which to achieve compliance, but during the period of noncompliance, the Federal Reserve may place any limitations on the Company that the Federal Reserve believes to be appropriate. Furthermore, if the Company became a financial holding company and the Federal Reserve subsequently determined that the Bank, as a financial holding company subsidiary, has not received a satisfactory CRA rating, the Company would not be able to commence any new financial activities or acquire a company that engages in such activities.

Source of Strength. Federal Reserve policy historically required bank holding companies to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary banks. The Dodd-Frank Act codified this policy as a statutory requirement. Under this requirement the Company is expected to commit resources to support the Bank, including at times when the Company may not be in a financial position to provide it. The Company must stand ready to use its available resources to provide adequate capital to the Bank during periods of financial stress or adversity. The Company must also maintain the financial flexibility and capital raising capacity to obtain additional resources for assisting the Bank. The Company’s failure to meet its source of strength obligations may constitute an unsafe and unsound practice or a violation of the Federal Reserve’s regulations or both. The source of strength obligation most directly affects bank holding companies where a bank holding company’s subsidiary bank fails to maintain adequate capital levels. Any capital loans by a bank holding company to the subsidiary bank are subordinate in right of payment to deposits and to certain other indebtedness of the subsidiary bank. The BHCA provides that in the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy any commitment by a bank holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of its subsidiary bank will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to priority of payment.

Imposition of Liability for Undercapitalized Subsidiaries. Bank regulators are required to take “prompt corrective action” to resolve problems associated with insured depository institutions whose capital declines below certain levels. In the event an institution becomes “undercapitalized,” it must submit a capital restoration plan to its regulators. The capital restoration plan will not be accepted by the regulators unless each company having control of the undercapitalized institution guarantees the subsidiary’s compliance with the capital restoration plan up to a certain specified amount. Any such guarantee from a depository institution’s holding company is entitled to a priority of payment in bankruptcy.

The aggregate liability of the holding company of an undercapitalized bank is limited to the lesser of 5% of the institution’s assets at the time it became undercapitalized or the amount necessary to cause the institution to be “adequately capitalized.” The bank regulators have greater power in situations where an institution becomes “significantly” or “critically” undercapitalized or fails to submit a capital restoration plan. For example, a bank holding company controlling such an institution can be required to obtain prior Federal Reserve approval of proposed dividends, or it may be required to consent to a consolidation or to divest the troubled institution or other affiliates.

Safe and Sound Banking Practices. Bank holding companies and their non-banking subsidiaries are prohibited from engaging in activities that represent unsafe and unsound banking practices or that constitute a violation of law or regulations. Under certain conditions the Federal Reserve may conclude that certain actions of a bank holding company, such as a payment of a cash dividend, would constitute an unsafe and unsound banking practice. The Federal Reserve also has the authority to regulate the debt of bank holding companies, including the authority to impose interest rate ceilings and reserve requirements on such debt. Under certain circumstances the Federal Reserve may require a bank holding company to file written notice and obtain its approval prior to purchasing or redeeming its equity securities, unless certain conditions are met.

Tie in Arrangements. Federal law prohibits bank holding companies and any subsidiary banks from engaging in certain tie in arrangements in connection with the extension of credit. For example, the Bank may not extend credit, lease or sell property, or furnish any services, or fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing on the condition that (i) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or services from or to the Bank other than a loan, discount, deposit or trust services, (ii) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or service from or to the Company or the Bank, or (iii) the customer must not obtain some other credit, property or services from competitors, except reasonable requirements to assure soundness of credit extended.

Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions and Repurchases. The Company’s ability to pay dividends to its shareholders is affected by both general corporate law considerations and the regulations and policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies, including the Basel III Capital Rules. Generally, a Texas corporation may not make distributions to its shareholders if (i) after giving effect to the dividend, the corporation would be insolvent, or (ii) the amount of the dividend exceeds the surplus of the corporation. Dividends may be declared and paid in a corporation’s own treasury shares that have been reacquired by the corporation out of surplus. Dividends may be declared and paid in a corporation’s own authorized but unissued shares out of the surplus of the corporation upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.

It is the Federal Reserve’s policy that bank holding companies should generally pay dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year, and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition. It is also the Federal Reserve’s policy that bank holding companies should not maintain dividend levels that undermine their ability to be a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has indicated that bank holding companies should carefully review their dividend policy and has discouraged payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong. The Federal Reserve possesses enforcement powers over bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries to prevent or remedy actions that represent unsafe or unsound practices or violations of applicable statutes and regulations. Among these powers is the ability to proscribe the payment of dividends by banks and bank holding companies.

Bank holding companies must consult with the Federal Reserve before redeeming any equity or other capital instrument included in Tier 1 or Tier 2 capital prior to stated maturity, if (x) such redemption could have a material effect on the level or composition of the organization’s capital base, or (y) as a result of such repurchase, there is a net reduction of the outstanding amount of common stock or preferred stock outstanding at the beginning of the quarter in which the redemption or repurchase occurs. In addition, bank holding companies are unable to repurchase shares equal to 10% or more of its net worth if it would not be well-capitalized (as defined by the Federal Reserve) after giving effect to such repurchase. Bank holding companies experiencing financial weaknesses, or that are at significant risk of developing financial weaknesses, must consult with the Federal Reserve before redeeming or repurchasing common stock or other regulatory capital instruments.

The Bank

General. City Bank is a Texas banking association and is subject to supervision, regulation and examination by the TDB and the FDIC. City Bank is also subject to certain regulations of the CFPB. The TDB supervises and regulates all areas of the Bank’s operations including, without limitation, the making of loans, the issuance of securities, the conduct of the Bank’s corporate affairs, the satisfaction of capital adequacy requirements, the payment of dividends and the establishment or closing of banking offices. The FDIC is the Bank’s primary federal regulatory agency and periodically examines the Bank’s operations and financial condition and compliance with federal law. In addition, the Bank’s deposit accounts are insured by the DIF to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations, and the FDIC has certain enforcement powers over the Bank.

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

Brokered Deposit Restrictions. Well-capitalized institutions are not subject to limitations on brokered deposits, while adequately capitalized institutions are able to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits only with a waiver from the FDIC and subject to certain restrictions on the yield paid on such deposits. Undercapitalized institutions are generally not permitted to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank was eligible to accept brokered deposits without a waiver from the FDIC as the Bank was a well-capitalized institution.

Deposit Insurance. As an FDIC-insured institution, the Bank is required to pay deposit insurance premiums to the FDIC. The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system whereby FDIC-insured depository institutions pay insurance premiums at rates based on their risk classification. An institution’s risk classification is assigned based on its capital levels and the level of supervisory concern the institution poses to the regulators. For deposit insurance assessment purposes, an insured depository institution is placed in one of four risk categories each quarter. An institution’s assessment is determined by multiplying its assessment rate by its assessment base. The total base assessment rates range from 1.5 basis points to 40 basis points. While in the past an insured depository institution’s assessment base was determined by its deposit base, amendments to the FDIA revised the assessment base so that it is calculated using average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity.

Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act altered the minimum designated reserve ratio of the DIF, increasing the minimum from 1.15% to 1.35% of the estimated amount of total insured deposits, and eliminating the requirement that the FDIC pay dividends to depository institutions when the reserve ratio exceeds certain thresholds. On October 18, 2022, the FDIC adopted a final rule applicable to all insured depository institutions increasing initial base deposit insurance assessment rate schedules by 2 basis points, beginning in the first quarterly assessment period of 2023. The FDIC also issued a notice maintaining a DIF reserve ratio of 2.0% for 2023. The increase in assessment rate schedules is intended to increase the likelihood that the DIF reserve ratio reaches the statutory minimum of 1.35% by September 30, 2028, the statutory deadline set by the Dodd-Frank Act. The new assessment rate schedules will remain in effect unless and until the DIF reserve ratio meets or exceeds 2.0% in order to support growth in the DIF in progressing toward the FDIC’s long-term goal of a 2.0% designated reserve ratio for the DIF. FDIC staff may in the future recommend additional assessment rate adjustments if deemed necessary.

At least semi-annually, the FDIC updates its loss and income projections for the DIF and, if needed, may increase or decrease the assessment rates following notice and comment on proposed rulemaking. As a result, the Bank’s FDIC deposit insurance premiums could increase. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Bank paid $1,199,000 in FDIC deposit insurance premiums.

Audit Reports. For insured institutions with total assets of $1.0 billion or more, financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, management’s certifications signed by our and the Bank’s chief executive officer and chief accounting or financial officer concerning management’s responsibility for the financial statements, and an attestation by the auditors regarding the Bank’s internal controls must be submitted. For institutions with total assets of more than $3.0 billion, independent auditors may be required to review quarterly financial statements. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act requires that the Bank have an independent audit committee, consisting of outside directors only, or that we have an audit committee that is entirely independent. The committees of such institutions must include members with experience in banking or financial management, must have access to outside counsel and must not include representatives of large customers. The Bank’s audit committee consists entirely of independent directors.

Examination Assessments. Texas-chartered banks are required to pay an annual assessment fee to the TDB to fund its operations. The fee is based on the amount of the bank’s assets at rates established by the Finance Commission of Texas. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Bank paid examination assessments to the TDB totaling $261,000.

Capital Requirements. Banks are generally required to maintain minimum capital ratios. For a discussion of the capital requirements applicable to the Bank, see “Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

Bank Reserves. The Federal Reserve requires all depository institutions to maintain reserves against some transaction accounts (primarily NOW and Super NOW checking accounts). The balances maintained to meet the reserve requirements imposed by the Federal Reserve may be used to satisfy liquidity requirements. An institution may borrow from the Federal Reserve “discount window” as a secondary source of funds if the institution meets the Federal Reserve’s credit standards.

Liquidity Requirements. Historically, regulation and monitoring of bank and bank holding company liquidity has been addressed as a supervisory matter, without required formulaic measures. The Basel III liquidity framework requires banks and bank holding companies to measure their liquidity against specific liquidity tests. The federal banking agencies adopted final Liquidity Coverage Ratio rules in September 2014 and proposed Net Stable Funding Ratio rules in May 2016. These rules introduced two liquidity related metrics: Liquidity Coverage Ratio is intended to require financial institutions to maintain sufficient high-quality liquid resources to survive an acute stress scenario that lasts for one month; and Net Stable Funding Ratio is intended to require financial institutions to maintain a minimum amount of stable sources relative to the liquidity profiles of the institution’s assets and contingent liquidity needs over a one-year period.

While the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and the proposed Net Stable Funding Ratio rules apply only to the largest banking organizations in the country, certain elements may filter down and become applicable to or expected of all insured depository institutions and bank holding companies.

Dividend Payments. The primary source of funds for the Company is dividends from the Bank. Unless the approval of the FDIC is obtained, the Bank may not declare or pay a dividend if the total of all dividends declared during the calendar year, including the proposed dividend, exceeds the sum of the Bank’s net income during the current calendar year and the retained net income of the prior two calendar years. In addition, pursuant to the Texas Finance Code, as a Texas banking association, the Bank generally may not pay a dividend that would reduce its outstanding capital and surplus unless it obtains the prior approval of the Texas Banking Commissioner. As a Texas corporation, we may, under the Texas Business Organizations Code (“TBOC”), pay dividends out of net profits after deducting expenses, including loan losses. The FDIC and the TDB also may, under certain circumstances, prohibit the payment of dividends to the Company from the Bank. Texas corporate law also requires that dividends only be paid out of funds legally available therefor.

The payment of dividends by any financial institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and a financial institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. As described above, the Bank exceeded its minimum capital requirements under applicable regulatory guidelines as of December 31, 2022.

Transactions with Affiliates. The Bank is subject to sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, or the Affiliates Act, and the Federal Reserve’s implementing Regulation W. An affiliate of a bank is any company or entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the bank. Accordingly, transactions between the Company, the Bank and any non-bank subsidiaries will be subject to a number of restrictions. The Affiliates Act imposes restrictions and limitations on the Bank from making extensions of credit to, or the issuance of a guarantee or letter of credit on behalf of, the Company or other affiliates, the purchase of, or investment in, stock or other securities thereof, the taking of such securities as collateral for loans and the purchase of assets of the Company or other affiliates. Such restrictions and limitations prevent the Company or other affiliates from borrowing from the Bank unless the loans are secured by marketable obligations of designated amounts. Furthermore, such secured loans and investments by the Bank to or in the Company or to or in any other non-banking affiliate are limited, individually, to 10% of the Bank’s capital and surplus, and such transactions are limited in the aggregate to 20% of the Bank’s capital and surplus. All such transactions, as well as contracts entered into between the Bank and affiliates, must be on terms that are no less favorable to the Bank than those that would be available from non-affiliated third parties. Federal Reserve policies also forbid the payment by bank subsidiaries of management fees which are unreasonable in amount or exceed the fair market value of the services rendered or, if no market exists, actual costs plus a reasonable profit.

Financial Subsidiaries. Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), subject to certain conditions imposed by their respective banking regulators, national and state-chartered banks are permitted to form “financial subsidiaries” that may conduct financial activities or activities incidental thereto, thereby permitting bank subsidiaries to engage in certain activities that previously were impermissible. The GLBA imposes several safeguards and restrictions on financial subsidiaries, including that the parent bank’s equity investment in the financial subsidiary be deducted from the bank’s assets and tangible equity for purposes of calculating the bank’s capital adequacy. In addition, the GLBA imposed new restrictions on transactions between a bank and its financial subsidiaries similar to restrictions applicable to transactions between banks and non-bank affiliates. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank did not have any financial subsidiaries.

Loans to Directors, Executive Officers and Principal Shareholders. The authority of the Bank to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and principal shareholders, including their immediate family members and corporations and other entities that they control, is subject to substantial restrictions and requirements under the Federal Reserve’s Regulation O, as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These statutes and regulations impose limits on the amount of loans the Bank may make to directors and other insiders and require that (i) the loans must be made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with persons not affiliated with the Company or the Bank, (ii) the Bank must follow credit underwriting procedures at least as stringent as those applicable to comparable transactions with persons who are not affiliated with the Company or the Bank, and (iii) the loans must not involve a greater than normal risk of non-payment or include other features not favorable to the Bank. Furthermore, the Bank must periodically report all loans made to directors and other insiders to the bank regulators. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank’s total amount of lines of credit for loans to insiders and loans outstanding to insiders was $9.7 million.

Limits on Loans to One Borrower. As a Texas banking association, the Bank is subject to limits on the amount of loans it can make to one borrower. With certain limited exceptions, loans and extensions of credit from Texas banking associations outstanding to any borrower (including certain related entities of the borrower) at any one time may not exceed 25% of the Tier 1 capital of the Bank. A Texas banking association may lend an additional amount if the loan is fully secured by certain types of collateral, like bonds or notes of the U.S. Certain types of loans are exempted from the lending limits, including loans secured by segregated deposits held by the Bank. The Bank’s legal lending limit to any one borrower was approximately $103.6 million as of December 31, 2022.

Safety and Soundness Standards / Risk Management. The federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines establishing operational and managerial standards to promote the safety and soundness of federally insured depository institutions. The guidelines set forth standards for internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees and benefits, asset quality and earnings.

In general, the safety and soundness guidelines prescribe the goals to be achieved in each area, and each institution is responsible for establishing its own procedures to achieve those goals. If an institution fails to comply with any of the standards set forth in the guidelines, the financial institution’s primary federal regulator may require the institution to submit a plan for achieving and maintaining compliance. If a financial institution fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan, or fails in any material respect to implement a compliance plan that has been accepted by its primary federal regulator, the regulator is required to issue an order directing the institution to cure the deficiency. Until the deficiency cited in the regulator’s order is cured, the regulator may restrict the financial institution’s rate of growth, require the financial institution to increase its capital, restrict the rates the institution pays on deposits or require the institution to take any action the regulator deems appropriate under the circumstances. Noncompliance with the standards established by the safety and soundness guidelines may also constitute grounds for other enforcement action by the federal bank regulatory agencies, including cease and desist orders and civil money penalty assessments.

During the past decade, the bank regulatory agencies have increasingly emphasized the importance of sound risk management processes and strong internal controls when evaluating the activities of the financial institutions they supervise. Properly managing risks has been identified as critical to the conduct of safe and sound banking activities and has become even more important as new technologies, product innovation and the size and speed of financial transactions have changed the nature of banking markets. The agencies have identified a spectrum of risks facing a banking institution including, but not limited to, credit, market, liquidity, operational, legal and reputational risk. In particular, recent regulatory pronouncements have focused on operational risk, which arises from the potential that inadequate information systems, operational problems, breaches in internal controls, fraud or unforeseen catastrophes will result in unexpected losses. New products and services, third party risk management and cybersecurity are critical sources of operational risk that financial institutions are expected to address in the current environment. The Bank is expected to have active board and senior management oversight; adequate policies, procedures and limits; adequate risk measurement, monitoring and management information systems; and comprehensive internal controls.

Branching Authority. Deposit-taking banking offices must be approved by the FDIC and, if such office is established within Texas, the TDB, which consider a number of factors including financial history, capital adequacy, earnings prospects, character of management, needs of the community and consistency with corporate power. The Dodd-Frank Act permits insured state banks to engage in interstate branching if the laws of the state where the new banking office is to be established would permit the establishment of the banking office if it were chartered by a bank in such state. Finally, the Bank may also establish banking offices in other states by merging with banks or by purchasing banking offices of other banks in other states, subject to certain restrictions.

Interstate Deposit Restrictions. The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 (“Interstate Act”), together with the Dodd-Frank Act, relaxed prior branching restrictions under federal law by permitting, subject to regulatory approval, banks to establish branches in states where the laws permit banks chartered in such states to establish branches.

Section 109 of the Interstate Act prohibits a bank from establishing or acquiring a branch or branches outside of its home state primarily for the purpose of deposit production. To determine compliance with Section 109, the appropriate federal banking agency first compares a bank’s estimated statewide loan-to-deposit ratio to the estimated host state loan-to-deposit ratio for a particular state. If a bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio is at least one-half of the published host state loan-to-deposit ratio, the bank has complied with Section 109. A second step is conducted if a bank’s estimated statewide loan-to-deposit ratio is less than one-half of the published ratio for that state. The second step requires the appropriate agency to determine whether the bank is reasonably helping to meet the credit needs of the communities served by the bank’s interstate branches. A bank that fails both steps is in violation of Section 109 and subject to sanctions by the appropriate agency. Those sanctions may include requiring the bank’s interstate branches in the non-compliant state be closed or not permitting the bank to open new branches in the non-compliant state.

For purposes of Section 109, the Bank’s home state is Texas and the Bank operates branches in one host state: New Mexico. The most recently published host state loan-to-deposit ratio using data as of June 30, 2021 reflects a statewide loan-to-deposit ratio in New Mexico of 56%. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank’s statewide loan-to-deposit ratio in New Mexico was 39%. Accordingly, management believes that the Bank is in compliance with Section 109 in New Mexico after application of the first step of the two-step test.

Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA and the regulations issued thereunder are intended to encourage insured depository institutions, while operating safely and soundly, to help meet the credit needs of their communities. The CRA specifically directs the federal bank regulatory agencies, in examining insured depository institutions, to assess their record of helping to meet the credit needs of their entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking practices. The CRA further requires the agencies to take a financial institution’s record of meeting its community credit needs into account when evaluating applications for, among other things, domestic branches, consummating mergers or acquisitions or holding company formations.

The federal banking agencies have adopted regulations which measure a bank’s compliance with its CRA obligations on a performance based evaluation system. This system bases CRA ratings on an institution’s actual lending service and investment performance rather than the extent to which the institution conducts needs assessments, documents community outreach or complies with other procedural requirements. The ratings range from a high of “outstanding” to a low of “substantial noncompliance.” The Bank had a CRA rating of “satisfactory” as of its most recent CRA assessment.

On May 5, 2022, the federal banking regulators issued a joint proposed rule to revise regulations implementing the CRA, which seeks to strengthen the purpose of the CRA, adapt to changes in the banking industry, including the expanded role of mobile and online banking, provide clarity and consistency in the application of CRA regulations, tailor performance standards to account for differences in bank size, business model, and local conditions, tailor data collection and reporting requirements, promote transparency and public engagement, confirm that CRA and fair lending are mutually reinforcing, and create a consistent regulatory approach that applies to banks regulated by all of the federal banking regulators. While the comment period for the proposed rule expired in August 2022, a final rule has not yet been implemented by the federal banking regulators. The Company and the Bank will continue to monitor these developments.

Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering and the Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”) is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for depository institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The USA PATRIOT Act substantially broadened the scope of U.S. anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws and regulations by imposing significant compliance and due diligence obligations, created new crimes and penalties and expanded the extra territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. Financial institutions are also prohibited from entering into specified financial transactions and account relationships, must use enhanced due diligence procedures in their dealings with certain types of high risk customers and must implement a written customer identification program. Financial institutions must take certain steps to assist government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering and report certain types of suspicious transactions. Regulatory authorities routinely examine financial institutions for compliance with these obligations and failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act or its regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required. Regulatory authorities have imposed cease and desist orders and civil money penalties against institutions found to be in violation of these obligations.

Among other requirements, federal laws, including the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act and as further amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the “National Defense Authorization Act”), and implementing regulations, require banks to establish and maintain AML programs that include, at a minimum:

internal policies, procedures and controls designed to implement and maintain the bank’s compliance with all of the requirements of the BSA, the USA PATRIOT Act, the National Defense Authorization Act and related laws and regulations;

systems and procedures for monitoring and reporting suspicious transactions and activities;

a designated compliance officer;

employee training;

an independent audit function to test the AML program;

procedures to verify the identity of each customer upon the opening of accounts; and

heightened due diligence policies, procedures and controls applicable to certain foreign accounts and relationships.

Additionally, the USA PATRIOT Act requires each financial institution to develop a customer identification program (“CIP”) as part of its AML program. The key components of the CIP are identification, verification, government list comparison, notice and record retention. The purpose of the CIP is to enable the financial institution to determine the true identity and anticipated account activity of each customer. To make this determination, among other things, the financial institution must collect certain information from customers at the time they enter into the customer relationship with the financial institution. This information must be verified within a reasonable time through documentary and non-documentary methods. Furthermore, all customers must be screened against any CIP-related government lists of known or suspected terrorists. Financial institutions are also required to comply with various reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC consider an applicant’s effectiveness in combating money laundering, among other factors, in connection with an application to approve a bank merger or acquisition of control of a bank or bank holding company.

Likewise, the Office of Foreign Accounts Control (“OFAC”) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and regimes under authority of various laws, including designated foreign countries, nationals and others. OFAC publishes lists of specially designated targets and countries. Financial institutions are responsible for, among other things, freezing or blocking accounts of, and transactions with, such targets and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked transactions after their occurrence.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule regarding customer due diligence requirements for covered financial institutions in connection with their BSA and AML policies, that became effective in May 2018. The final rule adds a requirement to understand the nature and purpose of customer relationships and identify the “beneficial owner” (25% or more ownership interest) of legal entity customers. Bank regulators routinely examine institutions for compliance with these obligations and they must consider an institution’s anti-money laundering compliance when considering regulatory applications filed by the institution, including applications for bank mergers and acquisitions. The regulatory authorities have imposed “cease and desist” orders and civil money penalty sanctions against institutions found to be violating these obligations.

Further, on January 1, 2021, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which enacted the most significant overhaul of the BSA and related AML laws since the USA PATRIOT Act. Notable amendments include (1) significant changes to the collection of beneficial ownership information and the establishment of a beneficial ownership registry, which requires corporate entities (generally, any corporation, limited liability company, or other similar entity with 20 or fewer employees and annual gross income of $5 million or less) to report beneficial ownership information to FinCEN (which will be maintained by FinCEN and made available upon request to financial institutions); (2) enhanced whistleblower provisions, which provide that one or more whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information leading to the successful enforcement of violations of the anti-money laundering laws in any judicial or administrative action brought by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Attorney General resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million (including disgorgement and interest but excluding forfeiture, restitution, or compensation to victims) will receive not more than 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected and will receive increased protections; (3) increased penalties for violations of the BSA; (4) improvements to existing information sharing provisions that permit financial institutions to share information relating to suspicious activity reports (SARs) with foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates (except those located in China, Russia, or certain other jurisdictions) for the purpose of combating illicit finance risks; and (5) expanded duties and powers of FinCEN. Many of the amendments, including those with respect to beneficial ownership, require the Department of Treasury and FinCEN to promulgate rules.

Failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate AML and OFAC programs, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution.

Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate. The federal banking agencies have promulgated guidance governing financial institutions with concentrations in commercial real estate lending. The guidance provides that a bank has a concentration in commercial real estate lending if (i) total reported loans for construction, land development, and other land represent 100% or more of total capital or (ii) total reported loans secured by multifamily and non-farm nonresidential properties (excluding loans secured by owner-occupied properties) and loans for construction, land development, and other land represent 300% or more of total capital and the bank’s commercial real estate loan portfolio has increased 50% or more during the prior 36 months. If a concentration is present, management must employ heightened risk management practices that address the following key elements: including board and management oversight and strategic planning, portfolio management, development of underwriting standards, risk assessment and monitoring through market analysis and stress testing, and maintenance of increased capital levels as needed to support the level of commercial real estate lending. On December 18, 2015, the federal banking agencies jointly issued a “statement on prudent risk management for commercial real estate lending”. As of December 31, 2022, the Company did not exceed the levels to be considered to have a concentration in commercial real estate lending and believes its credit administration to be consistent with the published policy statement.

The Basel III Capital Rules also require loans categorized as “high-volatility commercial real estate,” or HVCRE, to be assigned a 150% risk weighting and require additional capital support. However, the EGRRCPA prohibits federal banking regulators from imposing higher capital standards on HVCRE exposures unless they are for ADC and clarifying ADC status. As of December 31, 2022, we had $413.7 million in ADC loans and $6.3 million in HVCRE loans.

Effective April 1, 2020, federal banking regulators implemented a final rule revising the definition of a HVCRE exposure and providing interpretations of certain aspects of Acquisition Development and Construction loans. This final rule became effective on April 1, 2020 and did not have a material impact on the Banks’ Consolidated Report of Condition and Income.

Consumer Financial Services

We are subject to a number of federal and state consumer protection laws that extensively govern our relationship with our customers. These laws include the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the Military Lending Act, and these laws’ respective state law counterparts, as well as state usury laws and laws regarding unfair and deceptive acts and practices. These and other federal laws, among other things, require disclosures of the cost of credit and terms of deposit accounts, provide substantive consumer rights, prohibit discrimination in credit transactions, regulate the use of credit report information, provide financial privacy protections, prohibit unfair, deceptive and abusive practices and subject us to substantial regulatory oversight. Violations of applicable consumer protection laws can result in significant potential liability from litigation brought by customers, including actual damages, restitution and attorneys’ fees. Federal bank regulators, state attorneys general and state and local consumer protection agencies may also seek to enforce consumer protection requirements and obtain these and other remedies, including regulatory sanctions, customer rescission rights, action by the state and local attorneys general in each jurisdiction in which we operate and civil money penalties. Failure to comply with consumer protection requirements may also result in failure to obtain any required bank regulatory approval for mergers or acquisitions or prohibition from engaging in such transactions even if approval is not required.

Many states and local jurisdictions have consumer protection laws analogous, and in addition, to those listed above. These state and local laws regulate the manner in which financial institutions deal with customers when taking deposits, making loans or conducting other types of transactions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could give rise to regulatory sanctions, customer rescission rights, action by state and local attorneys general and civil or criminal liability.

Rulemaking authority for most federal consumer protection laws was transferred from the prudential regulators to the CFPB on July 21, 2011. In some cases, regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) also retain certain rulemaking or enforcement authority. The CFPB also has broad authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices, or UDAAP, and to investigate and penalize financial institutions that violate this prohibition. While the statutory language of the Dodd-Frank Act sets forth the standards for acts and practices that violate the prohibition on UDAAP, certain aspects of these standards are untested, and thus it is currently not possible to predict how the CFPB will exercise this authority.

The consumer protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the examination, supervision and enforcement of those laws and implementing regulations by the CFPB have created a more intense and complex environment for consumer finance regulation. The CFPB has significant authority to implement and enforce federal consumer protection laws and new requirements for financial services products provided for in the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the authority to identify and prohibit UDAAP. The review of products and practices to prevent such acts and practices is a continuing focus of the CFPB, and of banking regulators more broadly. The ultimate impact of this heightened scrutiny is uncertain but could result in changes to pricing, practices, products and procedures. It could also result in increased costs related to regulatory oversight, supervision and examination, additional remediation efforts and possible penalties. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act provides the CFPB with broad supervisory, examination and enforcement authority over various consumer financial products and services, including the ability to require reimbursements and other payments to customers for alleged legal violations and to impose significant penalties, as well as injunctive relief that prohibits lenders from engaging in allegedly unlawful practices. The CFPB also has the authority to obtain cease and desist orders providing for affirmative relief or monetary penalties. The Dodd-Frank Act does not prevent states from adopting stricter consumer protection standards. State regulation of financial products and potential enforcement actions could also adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Significant recent CFPB developments include:

continued focus on fair lending, including promoting racial and economic equity for underserved, vulnerable and marginalized communities;

focused efforts on enforcing certain compliance obligations the CFPB deems a priority, such as automobile loan servicing, debt collection, deposit, overdraft, non-sufficient funds, representment fees and other services fees, mortgage origination and servicing, and remittances, among others; and

rulemaking plans concerning, among others, consumers’ access to their financial information and requirements for financial institutions to collect, report and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses.

The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over providers with more than $10 billion in assets. Banks and savings institutions with $10 billion or less in assets, like the Bank, will continue to be examined by their applicable bank regulators.

Mortgage and Mortgage-Related Products, Generally. Because abuses in connection with home mortgages were a significant factor contributing to the financial crisis, many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and rules issued thereunder address mortgage and mortgage-related products, their underwriting, origination, servicing and sales. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expands underwriting requirements applicable to loans secured by 1-4 family residential real property and augmented federal law combating predatory lending practices. In addition to numerous disclosure requirements, the Dodd-Frank Act imposes new standards for mortgage loan originations on all lenders, including banks, in an effort to strongly encourage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay, while also establishing a presumption of compliance for certain “qualified mortgages.” The Dodd-Frank Act generally requires lenders or securitizers to retain an economic interest in the credit risk relating to loans that the lender sells, and other asset-backed securities that the securitizer issues, if the loans do not comply with the ability-to-repay standards described below. The Bank does not currently expect these provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act or any related regulations to have a significant impact on its operations, except for higher compliance costs.

Ability-to-Repay Requirement and Qualified Mortgage Rule. In January 2013, the CFPB issued a final rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act’s ability-to-repay requirements. Under this rule, lenders, in assessing a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage-related obligation, must consider eight underwriting factors: (i) current or reasonably expected income or assets; (ii) current employment status; (iii) monthly payment on the subject transaction; (iv) monthly payment on any simultaneous loan; (v) monthly payment for all mortgage-related obligations; (vi) current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (vii) monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income; and (viii) credit history. This rule also includes guidance regarding the application of, and methodology for evaluating, these factors. The EGRRCPA provides that for certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, mortgage loans that are originated and retained in portfolio will automatically be deemed to satisfy the “ability to repay” requirement. To qualify for this treatment, the insured depository institutions and credit unions must meet conditions relating to prepayment penalties, points and fees, negative amortization, interest-only features and documentation.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”). On October 15, 2015, pursuant to Section 1094 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB issued amended rules in regard to the collection, reporting and disclosure of certain residential mortgage transactions under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (the “HMDA Rules”). The Dodd-Frank Act mandated additional loan data collection points in addition to authorizing the Bureau to require other data collection points under implementing Regulation C. Most of the provisions of the HMDA Rule went into effect on January 1, 2018 and apply to data collected in 2018 and reporting in 2019 and later years. The HMDA Rule adopts a uniform loan volume threshold for all financial institutions, modifies the types of transactions that are subject to collection and reporting, expands the loan data information being collected and reported, and modifies procedures for annual submission and annual public disclosures. EGRRCPA amended provisions of the HMDA Rule to exempt certain insured institutions from most of the expanded data collection requirements required of the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB further amended the HMDA Rules in April 2020 so that, effective January 1, 2022, institutions originating fewer than 100 dwelling secured closed-end mortgage loans or fewer than 200 dwelling secured open-end lines are exempt from the expanded data collection requirements that went into effect January 1, 2018. On February 1, 2023, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued OCC Bulletin 2023-5 which clarified that, following a recent court decision vacating the 2020 HMDA Final Rule as to the loan volume reporting threshold for closed-end mortgage loans, the loan origination threshold for reporting HMDA data on closed-end mortgage loans reverted to the 25 loan threshold established by the 2015 HMDA Final Rule. The Bank does not receive this reporting relief based on the number of dwelling secured mortgage loans reported annually.

UDAP and UDAAP. Banking regulatory agencies have increasingly used a general consumer protection statute to address “unfair,” “deceptive” or “abusive” acts and business practices that may not necessarily fall directly under the purview of a specific banking or consumer finance law. The law of choice for enforcement against such business practices has been Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to as the FTC Act, which is the primary federal law that prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices, referred to as UDAP, and unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce. “Unjustified consumer injury” is the principal focus of the FTC Act. UDAP laws and regulations were expanded under the Dodd-Frank Act to apply to “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices,” referred to as UDAAP, and were delegated to the CFPB for rule-making. The federal banking agencies have the authority to enforce such rules and regulations. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB looks to various factors to assess whether an act or practice is unfair, including whether it causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers, the injury is not reasonably avoidable by consumers, and the injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. A key focus of the CFPB is whether an act or practice hinders a consumer’s decision-making.

Incentive Compensation Guidance

The federal bank regulatory agencies have issued comprehensive guidance intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of those organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The incentive compensation guidance sets expectations for banking organizations concerning their incentive compensation arrangements and related risk-management, control and governance processes. The incentive compensation guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon three primary principles: (1) balanced risk-taking incentives; (2) compatibility with effective controls and risk management; and (3) strong corporate governance. Any deficiencies in compensation practices that are identified may be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect its ability to make acquisitions or take other actions. In addition, under the incentive compensation guidance, a banking organization’s federal supervisor may initiate enforcement action if the organization’s incentive compensation arrangements pose a risk to the safety and soundness of the organization. Further, the Basel III capital rules limit discretionary bonus payments to bank executives if the institution’s regulatory capital ratios fail to exceed certain thresholds.

The Dodd-Frank Act directs the federal banking regulators to promulgate rules prohibiting excessive compensation paid to executives of depository institutions and their holding companies with assets in excess of $1 billion, regardless of whether the company is publicly traded or not. In May 2016, the federal banking regulators, joined by the SEC, proposed such a rule that is tailored based on the asset size of the institution. All covered financial institutions would be subject to a prohibition on paying compensation, fees, and benefits that are “unreasonable” or “disproportionate” to the value of the services performed by a person covered by the proposed rule (generally, senior executive officers and employees who are significant risk-takers). As of the date of this Form 10-K, the federal banking regulators have not yet implemented a final rule with respect to excessive compensation paid to executives of depository institutions and their holding companies. The scope and content of the U.S. banking regulators’ policies on executive compensation are continuing to develop and are likely to continue evolving in the near future.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires public companies to include, at least once every three years, a separate non-binding “say-on-pay” vote in their proxy statement by which shareholders may vote on the compensation of the public company’s named executive officers. In addition, if such public companies are involved in a merger, acquisition, or consolidation, or if they propose to sell or dispose of all or substantially all of their assets, shareholders have a right to an advisory vote on any golden parachute arrangements in connection with such transaction (frequently referred to as “say-on-golden parachute” vote). Although we will be exempt from these requirements while we are an emerging growth company, other provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act may impact our corporate governance. For instance, the SEC adopted rules prohibiting the listing of any equity security of a company that does not have a compensation committee consisting solely of independent directors, subject to certain exceptions.

In August 2022, the SEC adopted the final “pay versus performance” rule mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other disclosure requirements, the rule requires public companies (other than emerging growth companies, registered investment companies and foreign private issuers) to disclose the relationships among named executive officer compensation “actually paid,” total shareholder return and certain financial performance measures that the company uses to link compensation to company performance for its five most recent fiscal years. The rule will not apply to the Company while it is an emerging growth company and, accordingly, management anticipates that the rule will first apply to disclosures in the Company’s proxy statement for the 2025 annual meeting of shareholders.

In October 2022, the SEC adopted a final rule directing national securities exchanges and associations, including the NASDAQ, to implement listing standards that require listed companies to adopt policies mandating the recovery or “clawback” of excess incentive-based compensation earned by a current or former executive officer during the three fiscal years preceding the date the listed company is required to prepare an accounting restatement, including to correct an error that would result in a material misstatement if the error were corrected in the current period or left uncorrected in the current period. The final rule requires the Company to adopt a clawback policy within 60 days after such listing standard becomes effective.

Financial Privacy

The federal bank regulatory agencies have adopted rules that limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to non-affiliated third parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a non-affiliated third party. These regulations affect how consumer information is transmitted through financial services companies and conveyed to outside vendors. In addition, consumers may also prevent disclosure of certain information among affiliated companies that is assembled or used to determine eligibility for a product or service, such as that shown on consumer credit reports and asset and income information from applications. Consumers also have the option to direct banks and other financial institutions not to share information about transactions and experiences with affiliated companies for the purpose of marketing products or services.

Impact of Monetary Policy

The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve has a significant effect on the operating results of financial or bank holding companies and their subsidiaries. Among the tools available to the Federal Reserve to affect the money supply are open market transactions in U.S. government securities, changes in the discount rate on member bank borrowings and changes in reserve requirements against member bank deposits. These tools are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth and distribution of bank loans, investments and deposits, and their use may affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.

Environmental Laws Potentially Impacting the Bank

We are subject to state and federal environmental laws and regulations. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, (“CERCLA”), is a federal statute that generally imposes strict liability on all prior and present “owners and operators” of sites containing hazardous waste. However, Congress acted to protect secured creditors by providing that the term “owner and operator” excludes a person whose ownership is limited to protecting its security interest in the site. Since the enactment of the CERCLA, this “secured creditor exemption” has been the subject of judicial interpretations which have left open the possibility that lenders could be liable for cleanup costs on contaminated property that they hold as collateral for a loan, which costs often substantially exceed the value of the property.

New Banking Reform Legislation

Other key provisions of the EGRRCPA as it relates to community banks and bank holding companies include, but are not limited to: (i) assisting smaller banks with obtaining stable funding by providing an exception for reciprocal deposits from FDIC restrictions on acceptance of brokered deposits; (ii) raising the eligibility for use of short-form Call Reports from $1 billion to $5 billion in assets; and (iii) changing the eligibility for use of the small bank holding company policy statement from institutions with under $1 billion in assets to institutions with under $3 billion in assets.

At this time, it is difficult to anticipate the continued impact this expansive legislation will have on the Company, its customers and the financial industry generally. To the extent the Dodd-Frank Act remains in place or is not further amended, it is likely to continue to increase the Company’s cost of doing business, limit the Bank’s permissible activities, and affect the competitive balance within the industry and market.

Other Pending and Proposed Legislation

Other legislative and regulatory initiatives which could affect the Company, the Bank and the banking industry in general may be proposed or introduced before the U.S. Congress, the Texas Legislature and other governmental bodies in the future. Such proposals, if enacted, may further alter the structure, regulation and competitive relationship among financial institutions, and may subject the Company or the Bank to increased regulation, disclosure and reporting requirements. In addition, the various banking regulatory agencies often adopt new rules and regulations to implement and enforce existing legislation. It cannot be predicted whether, or in what form, any such legislation or regulations may be enacted or the extent to which the business of the Company or the Bank would be affected thereby.

Although the majority of the Dodd-Frank Act’s rulemaking requirements have been met with finalized rules, approximately one-fifth of the rulemaking requirements are either still in the proposal stage or have not yet been proposed. On February 2, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for the administration to review various U.S. financial laws and regulations. The full scope of the current administration’s legislative and regulatory agenda is not yet fully known, but it may include further deregulatory measures for the banking industry, including the structure and powers of the CFPB and other areas under the Dodd-Frank Act.


The Company maintains an Internet web site at www.spfi.bank. The Company makes available, free of charge, on its web site (under www.spfi.bank/financials-filings/sec-filings) the Company’s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. The Company also makes, free of charge, through its web site (under www.spfi.bank/corporate-governance/documents-charters) links to the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the charters for its Board committees. In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet web site (at www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

The Company routinely posts important information for investors on its web site (under www.spfi.bank and, more specifically, under the News & Events tab at www.spfi.bank/news-events/press-releases). The Company intends to use its web site as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under SEC Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). Accordingly, investors should monitor the Company’s web site, in addition to following the Company’s press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls, presentations and webcasts.

The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the Company’s web site is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this Report.

Item 1A.
Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before you decide to invest, you should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all other information included in this Report. We believe the risks described below are the risks that are material to us. Any of the following risks, as well as risks that we do not know or currently deem immaterial, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In that case, you could experience a partial or complete loss of your investment.
Risks Related to Our Business
The Company is subject to interest rate risk and changes in market interest rates or capital markets could affect our revenues and expenses, the value of assets and obligations, and the availability and cost of capital or liquidity.
Given our business mix, and the fact that most of our assets and liabilities are financial in nature, we tend to be sensitive to market interest rate movements and the performance of the financial markets. Our primary source of income is net interest income, meaning the difference or spread between interest income earned and interest expense paid. When interest-bearing liabilities mature or re-price more quickly than interest-earning assets in a given period, a significant increase in market interest rates could adversely affect net interest income. Conversely, when interest-earning assets mature or re-price more quickly than interest-bearing liabilities, falling interest rates could result in a decrease in net interest income. Prevailing economic conditions, fiscal and monetary policies and the policies of various regulatory agencies all affect market rates of interest and the availability and cost of credit, which, in turn, significantly affect financial institutions’ net interest income. If the interest we pay on deposits and other borrowings increases at a faster rate than increases in the interest we receive on loans and investments, net interest income, and, therefore, our earnings, could be affected. Earnings could also be affected if the interest we receive on loans and other investments falls more quickly than the interest we pay on deposits and other borrowings.
Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond the Company’s control, including competition, the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, inflation and deflation, and volatility of domestic and global financial and credit markets, due to any number of factors including, among other things, the persistence of the ongoing inflationary environment in the United States and in our market areas and current geopolitical tensions.
In the current environment of increasing interest rates, loan originations may decline, and our borrowers may experience greater difficulties meeting their obligations, depending on the performance of the overall economy, which may adversely affect income from these lending activities. This could result in decreased interest income, decreased mortgage revenues and corresponding decreases in noninterest income from projected levels. During periods of reduced loan demand, results of operations may be adversely affected to the extent that we would be unable to reduce mortgage-related noninterest expenses commensurately with the decline in mortgage loan origination activity. Increases in interest rates could also adversely affect the market value of our fixed income assets. Conversely, in periods of decreasing interest rates, our borrowers may experience difficulties meeting their obligations or seek to refinance their loans for lower rates, which may adversely affect income from these lending activities and negatively impact our net interest margin.
A prolonged period of volatile and unstable financial market conditions could increase our funding costs and negatively affect our asset-liability management strategies. Higher volatility in interest rates and spreads to benchmark indices could cause decreases in the fair market values of our investment portfolio, and of assets the Company manages for others and may impair our ability to attract and retain funds from current and prospective customers, which could lower fee income. Fluctuations in interest rates could impact both the level of income and expense recorded on most of our assets and liabilities, and the market value of all interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, any of which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and ability to fund future growth, our operating results, and financial condition.
Although our asset-liability management strategy is designed to control and mitigate exposure to the risks related to changes in market interest rates, those rates are affected by many factors outside of our control, including governmental monetary policies, inflation, deflation, recession, changes in unemployment, the money supply, international disorder and instability in domestic and foreign financial markets.
Our business has been and may continue to be adversely affected by current conditions in the financial markets and economic conditions generally.
Our business and operations, which primarily consist of lending money to customers in the form of loans, borrowing money from customers in the form of deposits and investing in securities, are sensitive to general business and economic conditions in the U.S. Uncertainty about the federal fiscal policymaking process, and the medium and long-term fiscal outlook of the federal government and U.S. economy, is a concern for businesses, consumers and investors in the U.S. Our business is also significantly affected by monetary and related policies of the U.S. government and its agencies. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) of the Federal Reserve repeatedly raised their target benchmark interest rate in response to the ongoing inflationary environment in the United States, resulting in subsequent prime rate increases of 425 basis points between March and December of 2022. Further increases in market interest rates may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations as it could reduce the demand for loans and affect the ability of our borrowers to repay their indebtedness subjecting us to potential loan losses. Changes in any of these policies are beyond our control. Adverse economic conditions and government policy responses to such conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. All of these factors are detrimental to our business, and the interplay between these factors can be complex and unpredictable.
In addition, the inflationary outlook in the United States remains uncertain. Inflation, which at December 31, 2022, has been reported at the highest level in nearly 40 years, and could result in higher interest rates, which expose the Company to interest rate risk. In addition, higher interest rates could slow economic growth and lead to a recessionary environment, which could negatively impact the Company’s growth, credit quality, net interest margin and its financial results. The risks to our business from inflation depends on the durability of the current inflationary pressures in our markets. Transitory increases in inflation are unlikely to have a material impact on our business or earnings. However, more persistent inflation could lead to tighter-than-expected monetary policy which could, in turn, increase the borrowings costs of our customers, making it more difficult for them to repay their loans or other obligations. High interest rates may be needed to tame persistent inflationary price pressures, which could also push down asset prices and weaken economic activity. A deterioration in economic conditions in the United States and our markets could result in an increase in loan delinquencies and non-performing assets, decreases in loan collateral values and a decrease in demand for our products and services, all of which, in turn, would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The Company’s Investment Portfolio Could Incur Additional Losses or Fair Value Could Deteriorate.
There are inherent risks associated with the Company’s investment activities. These risks include the impact from changes in interest rates, credit risk related to weakness in real estate values, municipalities, government sponsored enterprises, or other industries, the impact of changes in income tax rates on the value of tax-exempt securities, adverse changes in regional or national economic conditions, and general turbulence in domestic and foreign financial markets, among other things. If an investment’s value is in an unrealized loss position, the Company is required to assess the security to determine if a valuation allowance for the credit exposure of the debt security is necessary, which is recorded as a charge to earnings. These conditions could adversely impact the ultimate collectability of the Company’s investments.
As discussed above, the FOMC repeatedly raised their target benchmark interest rate in 2022, resulting in subsequent prime rate increases of 425 basis points between March and December of 2022, and further resulting in a significant increase in market interest rates during the year ended December 31, 2022. If market interest rates continue to rise, the market value of the fixed income bond portfolio will decrease, resulting in unrealized losses, and depending on the extent of the rise in interest rates, the increase in unrealized losses could be significant over the short-term. The non-credit portion of unrealized losses are booked to Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (“AOCI”), a component of shareholders’ equity. A significant increase in market rates may have a negative impact on book value per common share and return on average shareholders’ equity ratios. The Company’s bond portfolio is expected to mature at par and therefore the unrealized losses in the portfolio that result from higher market interest rates will decrease as the bonds become closer to maturity.
We may grow through acquisitions, a strategy which may not be successful or, if successful, may produce risks in successfully integrating and managing the acquisitions and may dilute our shareholders.
As part of our growth strategy, we may pursue acquisitions of banks and nonbank financial services companies within or outside our principal market areas. We regularly identify and explore specific acquisition opportunities as part of our ongoing business practices. However, we have no current arrangements, understandings, or agreements to make any material acquisitions. We face significant competition from numerous other financial services institutions, many of which will have greater financial resources or more liquid securities than we do, when considering acquisition opportunities. Accordingly, attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in identifying or completing any future acquisitions.
Acquisitions involve numerous risks, any of which could harm our business. Acquisitions also frequently result in the recording of goodwill and other intangible assets, which are subject to potential impairments in the future and that could harm our financial results. In addition, if we finance acquisitions by issuing convertible debt or equity securities, our existing shareholders may be diluted, which could negatively affect the market price of our common stock. As a result, if we fail to properly evaluate mergers, acquisitions or investments, we may not achieve the anticipated benefits of any such merger, acquisition, or investment, and we may incur costs in excess of what we anticipate. The failure to successfully evaluate and execute mergers, acquisitions or investments or otherwise adequately address these risks could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be able to adequately measure and limit our credit risk, which could lead to unexpected losses.
As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that our loan customers may not repay their loans according to the terms of these loans and the collateral securing the payment of these loans may be insufficient to fully compensate us for the outstanding balance of the loan plus the costs to dispose of the collateral. We may experience significant loan losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition. Management makes various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of our loan portfolio, including the diversification by industry of our commercial loan portfolio, the amount of nonperforming loans and related collateral, the volume, growth and composition of our loan portfolio, the effects on the loan portfolio of current economic indicators and their probable impact on borrowers and the evaluation of our loan portfolio through our internal loan review process and other relevant factors.
Accordingly, we maintain an allowance for loan losses that represents management’s judgment of probable losses and risks inherent in our loan portfolio. There is no precise method of predicting loan losses, and therefore, we always face the risk that charge offs in future periods will exceed our allowance for loan losses and that additional increases in the allowance for loan losses will be required. The level of the allowance for loan losses reflects our management’s continuing evaluation of specific credit risks; loan loss experience; current loan portfolio quality; present economic, political and regulatory conditions; industry concentrations; and other unidentified losses inherent in the Bank’s current loan portfolio. The determination of the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and judgment and requires the Bank to make significant estimates of current credit risks and future trends. Changes in economic conditions affecting borrowers, increases in our nonperforming loans, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other factors, both within and outside of the Bank’s control, may require an increase in the allowance for loan losses.
In addition, we may further experience increased delinquencies, credit losses, and corresponding charges to capital, which could require us to increase our provision for loan losses associated with impacts related to the coronavirus outbreak due to inflationary pressures, quarantines, market downturns, increased unemployment rates, changes in consumer behavior related to pandemic fears, and related emergency response legislation, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Further, if real estate markets or the economy in general deteriorate, the Bank may experience increased delinquencies and credit losses. The allowance for loan losses may not be sufficient to cover actual loan-related losses. Additionally, banking regulators may require the Bank to increase its allowance for loan losses in the future, which could have a negative effect on the Bank’s financial condition and results of operations. Additions to the allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in net earnings and capital and could hinder our ability to grow our assets.
In addition, effective January 1, 2023, our methodology for determining our allowance for loan losses changed due to the implementation of the Current Expected Credit Losses, or CECL, accounting standard. As a result, we anticipate recognizing a one-time, after tax cumulative effect charge of approximately $900 thousand to retained earnings at the beginning of the first quarter of 2023, increasing the allowance for credit losses by approximately $100 thousand and increasing the off-balance sheet reserve for unfunded commitments by approximately $1.0 million. Our adjustment to the allowance for credit losses at the transition date may vary from our estimate due to refinements in the loss estimation models or factors.
Many of our loans are to commercial borrowers, which have a higher degree of risk than other types of loans.
As of December 31, 2022, loans to commercial borrowers represent approximately 68.6% of total loans. Loans to commercial borrowers are often larger and involve greater risks than other types of lending. Because payments on these loans are often dependent on the successful operation or development of the property or business involved, their repayment is more sensitive than other types of loans to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the general economy. In general, these loans are collateralized by real estate and general business assets, including, among other things, accounts receivable, inventory and equipment and are typically backed by a personal guaranty of the borrower or principal. The collateral securing such may decline in value more rapidly than we anticipate, exposing us to increased credit risk. Accordingly, a downturn in the real estate market and economy could heighten our risk related to commercial loans, particularly commercial real estate loans. Unlike residential mortgage loans, which generally are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from their employment and other income and which are secured by real property whose value tends to be more easily ascertainable, commercial loans typically are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from the cash flow of the commercial venture. If the cash flow from business operations is reduced, the borrowers’ ability to repay the loan may be impaired. As a result of the larger average size of each commercial loan as compared with other loans such as residential loans, as well as the collateral which is generally less readily marketable, losses incurred on a small number of commercial loans could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may be subject to additional credit risk with respect to loans that we make to other lenders.
As a part of our commercial lending activities, we may make loans to customers that, in turn, make commercial and residential real estate loans to other borrowers. When we make a loan of this nature, we take as collateral the promissory notes issued by the end borrowers to our customer, which are themselves secured by the underlying real estate. Because we are not lending directly to the end borrower, and because our collateral is a promissory note rather than the underlying real estate, we may be subject to risks that are different from those we are exposed to when it makes a loan directly that is secured by commercial or residential real estate. Because the ability of the end borrower to repay its loan from our customer could affect the ability of our customer to repay its loan from us, our inability to exercise control over the relationship with the end borrower and the collateral, except under limited circumstances, could expose us to credit losses that adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Because a portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of real estate loans, negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity could impair the value of collateral securing our real estate loans and result in loan and other losses.
As of December 31, 2022, approximately 69.8% of our loan portfolio was comprised of loans with real estate as a primary component of collateral. Adverse developments affecting real estate values, particularly in our markets, could increase the credit risk associated with our real estate loan portfolio. Negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity in our market areas could significantly impair the value of property pledged as collateral on loans and affect our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure without a loss or additional losses. Collateral may have to be sold for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, which could result in losses on such loans. Such declines and losses could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and growth prospects. If real estate values decline, it is also more likely that we would be required to increase our allowance for loan losses, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our commercial real estate loan portfolio exposes us to risks that may be greater than the risks related to other mortgage loans.
Our loan portfolio includes non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans for individuals and businesses for various purposes, which are secured by commercial properties, as well as real estate construction and development loans. As of December 31, 2022, our non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans totaled approximately 38.7% of our total loan portfolio. These loans typically involve repayment dependent upon income generated, or expected to be generated, by the property securing the loan in amounts sufficient to cover operating expenses and debt service, which may be adversely affected by changes in the economy or local market conditions. These loans expose us to greater credit risk than loans secured by residential real estate because the collateral securing these loans typically cannot be liquidated as easily as residential real estate because there are fewer potential purchasers of the collateral. Additionally, non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans generally involve relatively large balances to single borrowers or related groups of borrowers. Accordingly, charge-offs on non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans may be larger on a per loan basis than those incurred with our residential or consumer loan portfolios. Unexpected deterioration in the credit quality of our commercial real estate loan portfolio would require us to increase our provision for loan losses, which would reduce our profitability, and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our portfolio of indirect dealer lending exposes us to increased credit risks.
At December 31, 2022, approximately 10.5% of our total loan portfolio, consisted of indirect dealer loans, originated through automobile dealers for the purchase of new or used automobiles, as well as recreational vehicles, boats, and personal watercraft. We serve customers that cover a range of creditworthiness and the required terms and rates are reflective of those risk profiles. Auto loans are inherently risky as they are often secured by assets that may be difficult to locate and can depreciate rapidly. In some cases, repossessed collateral for a defaulted auto loan may not provide an adequate source of repayment for the outstanding loan and the remaining deficiency may not warrant further substantial collection efforts against the borrower. Auto loan collections depend on the borrower’s continuing financial stability, and therefore, are more likely to be adversely affected by job loss, divorce, illness, or personal bankruptcy. Additional risk elements associated with indirect lending include the limited personal contact with the borrower as a result of indirect lending through non-bank channels, namely automobile dealers.
The small to medium-sized businesses that we lend to may have fewer resources to weather adverse business conditions, which may impair their ability to repay a loan, and such impairment could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our business development and marketing strategies primarily result in us serving the banking and financial services needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. These businesses generally have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities, frequently have smaller market shares than their competition, may be more vulnerable to economic downturns, often need substantial additional capital to expand or compete and may experience substantial volatility in operating results, any of which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. In addition, the success of a small- to medium-sized business often depends on the management skills, talents and efforts of one or two people or a small group of people, and the death, disability or resignation of one or more of these people could have a material adverse impact on the business and its ability to repay its loans. If general economic conditions negatively impact Texas, New Mexico or the specific markets in these states in which we operate and small to medium-sized businesses are adversely affected or our borrowers are otherwise affected by adverse business conditions, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Agricultural lending and volatility in commodity prices may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
At December 31, 2022, agricultural loans were approximately 2.4% of our total loan portfolio. Agricultural lending involves a greater degree of risk and typically involves higher principal amounts than many other types of loans. Repayment is dependent upon the successful operation of the business, which is greatly dependent on many things outside the control of either us or the borrowers. These factors include adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crops or limit crop yields (such as hail, drought, fires and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including changes in price supports, subsidies and environmental regulations). Volatility in commodity prices could adversely impact the ability of borrowers in these industries to perform under the terms of their borrowing arrangements with us, and as a result, a severe and prolonged decline in commodity prices may have a material adverse effect our financial condition and results of operations. It is also difficult to project future commodity prices as they are dependent upon many different factors beyond our control. In addition, many farms are dependent on a limited number of key individuals whose injury or death may significantly affect the successful operation of the farm. Consequently, agricultural loans may involve a greater degree of risk than other types of loans, particularly in the case of loans that are unsecured or secured by rapidly depreciating assets such as farm equipment (some of which is highly specialized with a limited or no market for resale), or assets such as livestock or crops. In such cases, any repossessed collateral for a defaulted agricultural operating loan my not provide an adequate source of repayment of the outstanding loan balance as a result of the greater likelihood of damage, loss or depreciation or because the assessed value of the collateral exceeds the eventual realization value.
We generate noninterest income through the sale of crop insurance products, and a termination of or substantial changes to the Federal crop insurance program would adversely impact our revenues from such business.
Through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, the federal government subsidizes insurance companies by assuming an increasingly higher portion of losses incurred by farmers as a result of weather-related and other perils as well as commodity price fluctuations. The federal government also subsidizes the premium cost to farmers for multi-peril crop yield and revenue insurance. Without this risk assumption, losses incurred by insurers would be higher, increasing the premium on such insurance, and without the premium subsidy, the number of farmers purchasing multi-peril crop insurance would decline significantly. Periodically, members of the U.S. Congress propose to significantly reduce the government’s involvement in the federal crop insurance program in an effort to reduce government spending. If legislation is adopted to reduce the amount of risk the government assumes, reduce the amount of insurance premium subsidies provided to farmers or otherwise change the coverage provided under multi-peril crop insurance policies, purchases of multi-peril crop insurance could experience a significant decline nationwide and in our market areas. For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Bank had approximately $10.6 million in noninterest income attributable to sales of crop insurance.
Sustained volatility in oil prices and the energy industry, including in Texas, could lead to increased credit losses in our energy portfolio, weaker demand for energy lending, and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Although our energy loan portfolio is relatively small, the energy industry is a significant sector in our markets in Texas, and we intend to increase our energy lending. A downturn or lack of growth in the energy industry and energy-related business, including sustained low oil prices or the failure of oil prices to rise in the future, could adversely affect our intention to increase our energy lending, and our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition to our direct exposure to energy loans, we also have indirect exposure to energy prices, as some of our non-energy customers’ businesses are directly affected by volatility with the oil and gas industry and energy prices. While oil prices have increased in 2022, the oil and gas industry has remained volatile and prolonged volatility may cause further worsening conditions of energy industry and overall economic activities in the Company’s primary markets and could lead to increased credit stress in its loan portfolio, increased losses and weaker demand for lending. More significantly for the Company, prolonged pricing pressure on oil and gas or general uncertainty resulting from energy price volatility could lead to increased credit stress in our energy portfolio, increased losses associated with our energy portfolio, increased utilization of our contractual obligations to extend credit and weaker demand for energy lending. Such a decline or general uncertainty could have other adverse and unpredictable impacts, such as job losses in industries tied to energy, increased spending habits, lower borrowing needs, higher transaction deposit balances or a number of other effects that are difficult to isolate or quantify, particularly in states with significant dependence on the energy industry like Texas and New Mexico, all of which could reduce our growth rate, affect the ability of our customers to repay their loans, affect the value of any collateral underlying our loans, and generally affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Due to our geographic concentration, specifically in Texas, we may be less able than other larger regional or national financial institutions to diversify our credit risk across multiple markets.
Changes in U.S. trade policies and other factors beyond the Company’s control, including the imposition of tariffs and retaliatory tariffs, may adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
There have been discussions regarding potential changes to U.S. trade policies, legislation, treaties and tariffs. Tariffs and retaliatory tariffs have been imposed, and additional tariffs and retaliation tariffs have been proposed. Such tariffs, retaliatory tariffs or other trade restrictions on products and materials that our customers import or export could impact the prices of our customers’ products, which could reduce demand for such products, reduce our customers’ margins, and adversely impact their revenues, financial results and ability to service their debt. In addition, to the extent changes in the political environment have a negative impact on us or on the markets in which we operate, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted. However, a de minimis amount of collateral securing our loans is located outside of the U.S. A trade war or other governmental action related to tariffs or international trade agreements or policies have the potential to negatively impact our and/or our customers’ costs, demand for our customers’ products, and/or the U.S. economy or certain sectors thereof and, thus, adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Climate change and related legislative and regulatory initiatives may materially affect the Company’s business and results of operations.
The effects of climate change continue to create an alarming level of concern for the state of the global environment. As a result, the global business community has increased its political and social awareness surrounding the issue. Further, the U.S. Congress, state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies continue to propose numerous initiatives to supplement the global effort to combat climate change. Similar and even more expansive initiatives are expected under the current administration, including potentially increasing supervisory expectations with respect to banks’ risk management practices, accounting for the effects of climate change in stress testing scenarios and systemic risk assessments, revising expectations for credit portfolio concentrations based on climate-related factors and encouraging investment by banks in climate-related initiatives and lending to communities disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. The lack of empirical data surrounding the credit and other financial risks posed by climate change render it impossible to predict how specifically climate change may impact our financial condition and results of operations; however, the physical effects of climate change may also directly impact us. Specifically, unpredictable and more frequent weather disasters may adversely impact the value of real property securing the loans in our portfolios. Additionally, if insurance obtained by our borrowers is insufficient to cover any losses sustained to the collateral, or if insurance coverage is otherwise unavailable to our borrowers, the collateral securing our loans may be negatively impacted by climate change, which could impact our financial condition and results of operations. Further, the effects of climate change may negatively impact regional and local economic activity, which could lead to an adverse effect on our customers and impact the communities in which we operate. Overall, climate change, its effects and the resulting, unknown impact could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The amount of nonperforming assets may increase and can take significant time and resources to resolve.
Nonperforming assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We generally do not record interest income on nonperforming loans, thereby adversely affecting our income and increasing our loan administration costs. When we take collateral in foreclosures and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the related asset to the then fair market value of the collateral, which may ultimately result in a loss. An increase in the level of nonperforming assets increases our risk profile and may impact the capital levels our regulators believe are appropriate in light of the ensuing risk profile. While we reduce problem assets through loan workouts, restructurings and otherwise, decreases in the value of the underlying collateral, or in these borrowers’ performance or financial condition, whether or not due to economic and market conditions beyond our control, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, the resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant commitments of time from management, which may materially and adversely impact their ability to perform their other responsibilities. There can be no assurance that we will not experience future increases in nonperforming assets.
The properties that we own and certain foreclosed real estate assets could subject us to environmental risks and associated costs.
There is a risk that hazardous substances or wastes, contaminants, pollutants or other environmentally restricted substances could be discovered on our properties or our foreclosed assets (particularly with real estate loans). In this event, we might be required to remove the substances from the affected properties or to engage in abatement procedures at our cost. Besides being directly liable under certain federal and state statutes for our own conduct, we may also be held liable under certain circumstances for actions of borrowers or other third parties on property that secures our loans. Potential environmental liability could include the cost of remediation and also damages for any injuries caused to third parties. We cannot assure you that the cost of removal or abatement would not substantially exceed the value of the affected properties or the loans secured by those properties, that we would have adequate remedies against the prior owners or other responsible parties or that we would be able to resell the affected properties either before or after completion of any such removal or abatement procedures. If material environmental problems are discovered before foreclosure, we generally will not foreclose on the related collateral or will transfer ownership of the loan to a subsidiary. It should be noted, however, that the transfer of the property or loans to a subsidiary may not protect us from environmental liability. Furthermore, despite these actions on our part, the value of the property as collateral will generally be substantially reduced and, as a result, we may suffer a loss upon collection of the loan. Currently, we are not, and the Company is not, a party to any pending legal proceeding under any environmental statute, nor are we aware of any instances that may give rise to such liability.
Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we report our financial condition and results of operations and we use estimates in determining the fair value of certain of our assets, which estimates may prove to be imprecise and result in significant changes in valuation which could affect our, and thus the Company’s, shareholders’ equity.
A portion of our assets are carried on the balance sheet at fair value, including investment securities. Generally, for assets that are reported at fair value, we use quoted market prices or have third parties analyze our holdings and assign a market value. We rely on the analysis provided by our service providers. However, different valuations could be derived if our service providers used different financial models or assumptions.
As it relates to our investment securities portfolio, declines in the fair value of individual available-for-sale securities below their cost that are other-than-temporary would be included in earnings as realized losses. In estimating other-than-temporary impairment losses, management of the Company considers (i) whether there is intent to sell securities prior to recovery and/or maturity; (ii) whether it is more likely than not that securities will have to be sold prior to recovery and/or maturity; and (iii) whether there is a credit loss component to the impairment.
Factors beyond our control can significantly influence the fair value of securities in our portfolio and can cause potential adverse changes to the fair value of these securities. These factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency actions in respect of the securities, defaults by the issuer or with respect to the underlying securities, and changes in market interest rates and continued instability in the capital markets. In addition, an economic downturn could result in losses, as determined under our accounting methodologies that may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.
Our largest loan relationships make up a material percentage of our total loan portfolio.
We have extended significant amounts of credit to a limited number of borrowers As of December 31, 2022, our 20 largest borrowing relationships ranged from approximately $22.2 million to $50.9 million (including unfunded commitments) and totaled approximately 18.1% of our outstanding commitments. If any of these relationships become delinquent or suffer default, we could be exposed to material losses which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our largest deposit relationships currently make up a material percentage of our deposits and the withdrawal of deposits by our largest depositors could force us to fund our business through more expensive and less stable sources.
At December 31, 2022, our 20 largest deposit relationships accounted for approximately 16.7% of our total deposits. Withdrawals of deposits by any one of our largest depositors or by one of our related customer groups could force us to rely more heavily on other potentially more expensive and less stable sources of funding for our business and withdrawal demands, adversely affecting our net interest margin and results of operations. Additionally, such circumstances could require us to raise deposit rates in an attempt to attract new deposits, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Under applicable regulations, if the Bank were no longer “well capitalized,” the Bank would not be able to accept brokered deposits without the approval of the FDIC.
Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and meet our obligations as they become due and could jeopardize our financial condition.
Liquidity is essential to the business of the Bank. Liquidity risk is the potential that the Bank will be unable to meet its obligations as they come due because of an inability to liquidate assets or obtain adequate funding. The Bank’s access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance its activities or on acceptable terms could be impaired by factors that affect our organization specifically or the financial services industry or economy in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of the Bank’s business activity as a result of a downturn in the markets in which its loans are concentrated or adverse regulatory actions against the Bank. Market conditions or other events could also negatively affect the level or cost of funding, affecting the Bank’s ongoing ability to accommodate liability maturities and deposit withdrawals, meet contractual obligations and fund asset growth and new business transactions at a reasonable cost, in a timely manner and without adverse consequences. Any substantial, unexpected and/or prolonged change in the level or cost of liquidity could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
If, as a result of general economic conditions or other events, sources of external funding become restricted or are eliminated, the Company may not be able to raise adequate funds or may incur substantially higher funding costs in order to raise the necessary funds to support the Company’s operations and growth or may be required to sell or restrict operations, or restrict the payment of dividends. Furthermore, if the Company is unable to raise adequate funds through external sources, the Company may need to sell assets with unrealized losses in order to generate additional liquidity, which could decrease the capital of the Company and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Customers could pursue alternatives to bank deposits, causing us to lose a relatively inexpensive source of funding.
Technology has made it more convenient for bank customers to transfer funds into alternative investments or other deposit accounts, including products offered by other financial institutions or non-bank service providers. In addition, our level of deposits may be affected by lack of consumer confidence in financial institutions, which have caused fewer depositors to be willing to maintain deposits that are not fully insured by the FDIC. Depositors may withdraw certain deposits from the Bank and place them in other institutions or invest uninsured funds in investments perceived as being more secure, such as securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. In the current environment of low interest rates, our deposits may not be as stable or as interest rate insensitive as similar deposits may have been in the past, and some existing or prospective deposit customers of banks generally, including the Bank, may be inclined to pursue other investment alternatives, which may negatively impact our net interest margin. Efforts and initiatives we undertake to retain and increase deposits, including deposit pricing, can increase our costs. As our assets grow, we may face increasing pressure to seek new deposits through expanded channels from new customers at favorable pricing, further increasing our costs.
We continually encounter technological changes which could result in us having fewer resources than many of our competitors to continue to invest in technological improvements.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. We may not be able to effectively or timely implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers and clients. Failure to keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We may be adversely impacted by the transition from LIBOR as a reference rate.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that regulates LIBOR) previously announced it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after December 31, 2021 and the publication of the most commonly used U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will cease to be published after June 2023. While there is no consensus on what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee has proposed the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as the alternative rate for use in derivatives and other financial contracts currently being indexed to LIBOR. SOFR is a daily index of the interest rate banks and hedge funds pay to borrow money overnight, secured by U.S. Treasury securities. At this time, it is not possible to predict whether SOFR will attain market traction as a LIBOR replacement tool, and the future of LIBOR is still uncertain.
In October 2021, the federal bank regulatory agencies issued a Joint Statement on Managing the LIBOR Transition. In that guidance, the agencies offered their regulatory expectations and outlined potential supervisory and enforcement consequences for banks that fail to adequately plan for and implement the transition away from LIBOR. The failure to properly transition away from LIBOR may result in increased supervisory scrutiny. In addition, the implementation of LIBOR reform proposals may result in increased compliance costs and operational costs, including costs related to continued participation in LIBOR and the transition to a replacement reference rate or rates. We cannot reasonably estimate the expected cost. At December 31, 2022, we had interest-rate swap contracts and other borrowings indexed to LIBOR.
Deposit outflows may increase reliance on borrowings and brokered deposits as sources of funds.
We have traditionally funded asset growth principally through deposits and borrowings. As a general matter, deposits are typically a lower cost source of funds than external wholesale funding (brokered deposits and borrowed funds), because interest rates paid for deposits are typically less than interest rates charged for wholesale funding. If, as a result of competitive pressures, market interest rates, alternative investment opportunities that present more attractive returns to customers, general economic conditions or other events, the balance of the Company’s deposits decreases relative to the Company’s overall banking operations, the Company may have to rely more heavily on wholesale or other sources of external funding, or may have to increase deposit rates to maintain deposit levels in the future. Any such increased reliance on wholesale funding, or increases in funding rates in general, could have a negative impact on the Company’s net interest income and, consequently, on its results of operations and financial condition.
We may be adversely impacted by an economic downturn or a natural disaster affecting one or more of our market areas.
Because most of our business activities are conducted in Texas and New Mexico and most of our credit exposure is there, we are at risk to adverse economic, political or business developments, including a downturn in real estate values, agricultural activities, the oil and gas industry and natural hazards such as floods, ice storms and tornadoes that affect Texas and New Mexico. Although our customers’ business and financial interests may extend beyond these market areas, adverse conditions that affect these market areas could reduce our growth rate, affect the ability of our customers to repay loans, affect the value of collateral underlying loans, impact our ability to attract deposits, and generally affect our financial condition and results of operations. Because of our geographic concentration, we may be less able than other financial institutions to diversify our credit risks across multiple markets.
Mortgage originations have decreased due to declines in refinance activity, and this trend may continue.
Mortgage revenues, which are primarily recognized from the sale in the secondary market of mortgage loans, are a source of noninterest income for the Bank and a contributor to the Bank’s net income. Mortgage revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022 were $31.4 million. As market interest rates have increased from the prior low rate environment, there may be fewer opportunities for financial institutions to originate loans to refinance existing mortgages. If mortgage originations continue to decrease, projected mortgage revenues and noninterest income will decrease.
Market conditions could have a material impact on our ability to sell originated mortgages in the secondary market.
In addition to being affected by interest rates, the secondary mortgage markets are also subject to investor demand for residential mortgage loans and increased investor yield requirements for those loans. These conditions may fluctuate or even worsen in the future. A reduction in our ability to sell mortgages that we originate on the secondary market would reduce our noninterest income from such sales and may increase our credit risk by causing us to retain mortgage loans that we would otherwise sell. As a result, a prolonged period of secondary market illiquidity may result in a reduction in our mortgage origination volumes which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation from our mortgage operations.
The value of our mortgage servicing rights can be volatile.
We earn revenue from fees we receive for servicing mortgage loans. As a result of our mortgage servicing business, we have a growing portfolio of mortgage servicing rights. A mortgage servicing right is the right to service a mortgage loan—collect principal, interest, and escrow amounts—for a fee. We acquire mortgage servicing rights when we keep the servicing rights in connection with the sale of loans we have originated.
Changes in interest rates may impact our mortgage servicing revenues, which could negatively impact our noninterest income. When rates rise, net revenue from our mortgage servicing activities can increase due to slower prepayments. When rates fall, the value of our mortgage servicing rights usually tends to decline as a result of a higher volume of prepayments, resulting in a decline in our net revenue. It is possible that, because of economic conditions and/or a weak or deteriorating housing market, even if interest rates were to fall or remain low, mortgage originations may also fall or any increase in mortgage originations may not be enough to offset the decrease in the mortgage servicing rights value caused by the lower rates. Because the value of our mortgage servicing rights is capitalized on our balance sheet and evaluated on a quarterly basis, any significant decline in value could adversely affect our income, our capital ratios or require us to raise additional capital, which may not be available on favorable terms. We had $27.5 million of mortgage servicing rights as of December 31, 2022.
Our risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating risks or losses to us.
Our risk management framework consists of various processes, systems and strategies, and is designed to manage the types of risks to which we are subject, including credit, market, liquidity, interest rate, operational, reputation, business and compliance risks. Our framework also includes financial or other modeling methodologies that involve management assumptions and judgment. Our risk management framework may not be effective under all circumstances and may not adequately mitigate risk or loss to us. If our framework is not effective, we could suffer unexpected losses and our business, financial condition, results of operations or growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. We may also be subject to potentially adverse regulatory consequences.
We are dependent on the use of data and modeling in our management’s decision-making and faulty data or modeling approaches could negatively impact our decision-making ability or possibly subject us to regulatory scrutiny in the future.
The use of statistical and quantitative models and other quantitative analyses is endemic to bank decision-making, and the employment of such analyses is becoming increasingly widespread in our operations. Stress testing, interest rate sensitivity analysis, and the identification of possible violations of anti-money laundering regulations are all examples of areas in which we are dependent on models and the data that underlies them. The use of statistical and quantitative models is also becoming more prevalent in regulatory compliance. We currently utilize stress testing for capital, credit and liquidity purposes and anticipate that model-derived testing may become more extensively implemented by regulators in the future.
We anticipate data-based modeling will penetrate further into bank decision-making, particularly risk management efforts, as the capacities developed to meet stress testing requirements are able to be employed more widely and in differing applications. While we believe these quantitative techniques and approaches improve our decision-making, they also create the possibility that faulty data or flawed quantitative approaches could negatively impact our decision-making ability or result in adverse regulatory scrutiny. Secondarily, because of the complexity inherent in these approaches, misunderstanding or misuse of their outputs could similarly result in suboptimal decision-making. We seek to mitigate this risk by increasingly performing back-testing to analyze the accuracy of these techniques and approaches.
There are investment performance, fiduciary and asset servicing risks associated with our trust operations.
Our investment management, fiduciary and asset servicing businesses are significant to the business of the Company. Generating returns that satisfy clients in a variety of asset classes is important to maintaining existing business and attracting new business. Managing or servicing assets with reasonable prudence in accordance with the terms of governing documents and applicable laws is also important to client satisfaction. Failure to do so can generate liability, as can failure to manage the differing interests often involved in the exercise of fiduciary responsibilities or the failure to manage these risks adequately, all of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or future prospects.
We are exposed to cybersecurity risks associated with our internet-based systems and online commerce security.
Third party or internal systems and networks may fail to operate properly or become disabled due to deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Our operations are vulnerable to disruptions from human error, natural disasters, power loss, computer viruses, spam attacks, denial of service attacks, unauthorized access and other unforeseen events. Undiscovered data corruption could render our customer information inaccurate. These events may obstruct our ability to provide services and process transactions. While we believe we are in compliance with all applicable privacy and data security laws, an incident could put our customer confidential information at risk. Although we have not experienced a cyber-incident which has compromised our data or systems, we can never be certain that all of our systems are entirely free from vulnerability to breaches of security or other technological difficulties or failures. We monitor and modify, as necessary, our protective measures in response to the perpetual evolution of cyber threats.
A breach in the security of any of our information systems, or other cyber incident, could have an adverse impact on, among other things, our revenue, ability to attract and maintain customers and business reputation. In addition, as a result of any breach, we could incur higher costs to conduct our business, to increase protection or related to remediation. Furthermore, our customers could terminate their accounts with us because of a cyber-incident which occurred on their own system or with that of an unrelated third party, which is outside of our control. In addition, a security breach could also subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability.
Our operations could be interrupted if our third-party service providers experience difficulty, terminate their services or fail to comply with banking regulations.
We depend on a number of relationships with third-party service providers. Specifically, we receive certain third-party services including, but not limited to, core systems processing, essential web hosting and other Internet systems, online banking services, deposit processing and other processing services. If these third-party service providers experience difficulties or terminate their services, and we are unable to replace them with other service providers, particularly on a timely basis, our operations could be interrupted. If an interruption were to continue for a significant period of time, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected, perhaps materially. Even if we are able to replace third-party service providers, it may be at a higher cost to us, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to certain operating risks related to employee error and customer, employee and third party misconduct, which could harm our reputation and business.
Employee error or employee and customer misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory sanctions and harm our reputation. Misconduct by our employees could include hiding unauthorized activities from us, improper or unauthorized activities on behalf of our customers or improper use of confidential information. It is not always possible to prevent employee error or misconduct, and the precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not always be effective. Because the nature of the financial services business involves a high volume of transactions, certain errors may be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and rectified. Our necessary dependence upon processing systems to record and process transactions and our large transaction volume may further increase the risk that employee errors, tampering or manipulation of those systems will result in losses that are difficult to detect. Employee error or misconduct could also subject us to financial claims. If our internal control systems fail to prevent or detect an occurrence, or if any resulting loss is not insured, exceeds applicable insurance limits or if insurance coverage is denied or not available, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely heavily on our management team and the unexpected loss of key officers may adversely affect our operations.
Our success has been and will continue to be greatly influenced by our ability to retain the services of existing senior management and, as we expand, to attract and retain qualified additional senior and middle management. Our senior executive officers have had, and will continue to have, a significant role in the development and management of our business. The loss of services of any of our executive officers could have an adverse effect on our business and financial results. Accordingly, should we lose the services of any of the executive officers, our Board may have to search outside of the Bank for a qualified permanent replacement. This search may be prolonged and we cannot assure you that we will be able to locate and hire a qualified replacement. If any of our executive officers leave their respective positions, our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects may suffer. We also depend upon the experience of the other officers of the Bank, the managers of our banking facilities and on their relationships with the communities they serve. We may not be able to retain our current personnel or attract additional qualified key persons as needed.
Our ability to develop, retain and recruit additional successful bankers is critical to the success of our business strategy, and any failure to do so could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.
Our ability to retain and grow our loans, deposits and fee income depends upon the business generation capabilities, reputation and relationship management skills of our bankers, many of whom we develop internally. If we lose the services of any of our bankers, including successful bankers employed by financial institutions that we may acquire, to a new or existing competitor or otherwise, or fail to successfully recruit bankers or develop bankers internally, we may not be able to implement our growth strategy, retain valuable relationships and some of our customers could choose to use the services of a competitor instead of our services. Additionally, we may incur significant expenses and expend significant time and resources on training, integration and business development before it is able to determine whether a new banker will be profitable or effective. If we are unable to develop, attract or retain successful bankers, or if our bankers fail to meet our expectations in terms of customer relationships and profitability, we may be unable to execute our business strategy and our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects may be adversely affected.
Competition from other financial intermediaries may adversely affect our profitability.
We face substantial competition in originating loans and in attracting deposits. The competition in originating loans comes principally from other U.S. banks, mortgage banking companies, consumer finance companies, credit unions, insurance companies and other institutional lenders and purchasers of loans. We will encounter greater competition as we expand our operations. A number of institutions with which we compete have significantly greater assets, capital and other resources. Increased competition could require us to increase the rates we pay on deposits or lower the rates we offer on loans, which could adversely affect our profitability. Also, many of our non-bank competitors have fewer regulatory constraints and may have lower cost structures. We expect competition to intensify due to financial institution consolidation; legislative, regulatory and technological changes; and the emergence of alternative banking sources. Furthermore, our legal lending limit is significantly less than the limits for many of our competitors, and this may hinder our ability to establish relationships with larger businesses in our primary service area. This competition may limit our future growth and earnings prospects.
If we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report its financial results or prevent fraud.
Our management may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective due to our failure to cure any identified material weakness or otherwise. Moreover, even if our management concludes that its internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm may not conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. In addition, during the course of the evaluation, documentation and testing of our internal control over financial reporting, we may identify deficiencies that we may not be able to remediate in time to meet the deadline imposed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (the “FDICIA”) for compliance with the requirement of FDICIA. Any such deficiencies may also subject us to adverse regulatory consequences. If we fail to achieve and maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may be unable to report our financial information on a timely basis, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or the FDICIA, and we may suffer adverse regulatory consequences or violations of listing standards. There could also be a negative reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements.
The obligations associated with being a public company require significant resources and management attention.
We expect to incur significant incremental costs related to operating as a public company, particularly when we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company. We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, which require that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition and proxy and other information statements, and the rules and regulations implemented by the SEC, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”) and NASDAQ, each of which imposes additional reporting and other obligations. We expect these rules and regulations and changes in laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure to increase legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time consuming and costly. These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. Our investment in compliance with existing and evolving regulatory requirements will result in increased administrative expenses and a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our equity compensation plan will cause dilution and increase our costs, which will reduce our income.
Our equity compensation plan allows us to award shares of our common stock (at no cost to the participant), award options to purchase shares of our common stock, and award other equity-based compensation. Additionally, on an annual basis and without shareholder approval, the number of approved shares available for issuance under the equity compensation plan increases by 3% of our total issued and outstanding shares as of the beginning of that fiscal year unless our Board exercises its discretion to limit such an increase. Issuance of awards under our equity compensation plan is a risk factor our shareholders in at least two ways. First, issuances of our common stock and exercise of equity-based awards underlying our common stock causes dilution of shareholders’ ownership interests which, in the aggregate, may be significant. Second, issuances of our common stock and other equity-based awards are expensed by us over their vesting period at the fair market value of the shares on the date they are awarded. Accordingly, grants made under the equity compensation plan will increase our costs, which will reduce our net income.
Negative public opinion could damage our reputation and adversely impact our earnings.
Reputation risk, or the risk to our business, earnings and capital from negative public opinion is inherent in our business. Negative public opinion can result from our actual or alleged conduct in any number of activities, including lending practices, corporate governance and acquisitions, and from actions taken by government regulators and community organizations in response to those activities. Negative public opinion can adversely affect our ability to keep and attract customers and employees and can expose us to litigation and regulatory action and adversely affect our results of operations. Although we take steps to minimize reputational risk in dealing with our customers and communities, this risk will always be present given the nature of our business. In addition, companies are facing increased scrutiny from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders related to their environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices and disclosure. Investor advocacy groups, investment funds and influential investors are also increasingly focused on these practices, especially as they relate to the environment, health and safety, diversity, labor conditions and human rights. For example, certain investors are beginning to incorporate the business risks of climate change and the adequacy of companies’ responses to climate change and other ESG matters as part of their investment theses. These shifts in investing priorities may result in adverse effects on the trading price of the Company’s common stock if investors determine that the Company has not made sufficient progress on ESG matters. In addition, new government regulations could also result in new or more stringent forms of ESG oversight and expanding mandatory and voluntary reporting, diligence, and disclosure. Increased ESG-related compliance costs could result in increases to our overall operational costs.
We may be adversely affected by the soundness of other financial institutions.
Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services companies are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, and other relationships. We have exposure to different industries and counterparties, and through transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including broker-dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, and other financial intermediaries. In addition, we participate in loans originated by other institutions, and we participate in syndicated transactions (including shared national credits) in which other lenders serve as the lead bank. As a result, defaults by, declines in the financial condition of, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial institutions, financial service companies or the financial services industry generally, may lead to market-wide liquidity, asset quality or other problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. These problems, losses or defaults could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Until May 31, 2018, our Company was an S Corporation, and claims of taxing authorities related to our prior status as an S Corporation could harm us. 
Until May 31, 2018, our Company was an S Corporation. Effective May 31, 2018, the Company revoked its S Corporation election and the Company became taxed as a C Corporation under the provisions of Sections 301 to 385 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) (which treat the corporation as an entity that is subject to an entity level U.S. federal income tax). If the unaudited, open tax years in which we were an S Corporation are audited by the IRS, and we are determined not to have qualified for, or to have violated, our S Corporation status, we likely would be obligated to pay corporate level tax, plus interest and possible penalties, with respect to those open tax years. This could result in tax liability with respect to all of the income we reported for periods when we believed we properly were treated as an S Corporation not subject to entity level taxation. Any such claims could result in additional costs to us and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Regulatory Environment
We operate in a highly regulated environment and the laws and regulations that govern our operations, corporate governance, executive compensation and accounting principles, or changes in them, or failure to comply with them, could adversely affect us.
We are subject to extensive regulation, supervision and legal requirements that govern almost all aspects of our operations. These laws and regulations are not intended to protect our shareholders. Rather, these laws and regulations are intended to protect customers, depositors, the DIF and the overall financial stability of the banking system in the United States. Compliance with laws and regulations can be difficult and costly, and changes to laws and regulations often impose additional compliance costs. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act and related regulations, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, subject us to additional restrictions, oversight and reporting obligations, which have significantly increased costs. And over the last several years, state and federal regulators have focused on enhanced risk management practices, mortgage law and regulation, compliance with the BSA and AML laws, data integrity and security, use of service providers, and fair lending and other consumer protection issues, which has increased our need to build additional processes and infrastructure. Government agencies charged with adopting and interpreting laws and regulations may do so in an unforeseen manner, including in ways that potentially expand the reach of the laws or regulations more than initially contemplated or currently anticipated. We cannot predict the substance or impact of pending or future legislation or regulation, or the application thereof. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations, even if the failure follows good faith effort or reflects a difference in interpretation, could subject us to restrictions on our business activities, fines and other penalties, any of which could adversely affect our results of operations, capital base and the price of our securities. Further, any new laws, rules and regulations could make compliance more difficult or expensive or otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to commercial real estate lending guidance issued by the federal banking regulators that impacts our operations and capital requirements.
The federal bank regulators have issued final guidance regarding concentrations in commercial real estate lending directed at institutions that have concentrations of ADC loans and non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans within their lending portfolios. In general, the guidance establishes the following supervisory criteria as preliminary indications of possible concentration risk: (1) the institution’s total ADC loans represent 100% or more of total capital; or (2) total non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans represent 300% or more of total capital, and such loans have increased by 50% or more during the prior 36-month period. This guidance suggests that institutions whose commercial real estate loans exceed these guidelines should implement heightened risk management practices appropriate to their concentration risk and may be required to maintain higher capital ratios than institutions with lower concentrations in commercial real estate lending. As of December 31, 2022, our ADC loans comprised 99.8% of the Bank’s capital, and our non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans comprised 256.2% of the Bank’s capital. Although we are below the concentrations set forth in the guidance, we cannot guarantee that any risk management practices we implement will be effective to prevent losses relating to our commercial real estate portfolio. Management has implemented controls to monitor the Bank’s commercial real estate lending concentrations, but we cannot predict the extent to which this guidance will impact our operations or capital requirements.
Legislative and regulatory actions taken now or in the future may increase our costs and impact our business, governance structure, financial condition or results of operations.
New proposals for legislation continue to be introduced in the U.S. Congress that could further substantially increase regulation of the financial services industry, impose restrictions on the operations and general ability of firms within the industry to conduct business consistent with historical practices, including in the areas of compensation, interest rates, financial product offerings and disclosures, and have an effect on bankruptcy proceedings with respect to consumer residential real estate mortgages, among other things. Certain aspects of current or proposed regulatory or legislative changes, including laws applicable to the financial industry and federal and state taxation, if enacted or adopted, may impact the profitability of our business activities, require more oversight or change certain of our business practices, including the ability to offer new products, obtain financing, attract deposits, make loans and achieve satisfactory interest spreads, and could expose us to additional costs, including increased compliance costs. These changes also may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to make any necessary changes to operations to comply, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any proposed legislative or regulatory changes, including those that could benefit our business, financial condition and results of operations, may not occur on the timeframe that is proposed, or at all, which could result in additional uncertainty for our business.
Many of our new activities and expansion plans require regulatory approvals, and failure to obtain them may restrict our growth.
Generally, we must receive federal regulatory approval before we can acquire an FDIC-insured depository institution or related business. Such regulatory approvals may not be granted on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. We may also be required to sell banking locations as a condition to receiving regulatory approval, which condition may not be acceptable to us or, if acceptable to us, may reduce the benefit of any acquisition. In addition, as opportunities arise, we may continue de novo branching as a part of our expansion strategy. De novo branching and acquisitions carry with them numerous risks, including the inability to obtain all required regulatory approvals. The failure to obtain these regulatory approvals for potential future strategic acquisitions and de novo banking locations could impact our business plans and restrict our growth.
The Federal Reserve may require the Company to commit capital resources to support the Bank.
The Dodd-Frank Act and the Federal Reserve require a bank holding company to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to a subsidiary bank and to commit resources to support such subsidiary bank. Accordingly, a capital injection may be required to provide financial assistance to the Bank if it experiences financial distress. Such capital injection may be required at times when the Company may not have the resources to provide and therefore may be required to borrow the funds or raise capital to make the required capital injection. Any borrowing by the Company in order to make the required capital injection may be more difficult and expensive and may adversely impact the Company’s financial condition, results of operations and/or future prospects.
As a regulated entity, we and the Bank must maintain certain required levels of regulatory capital that may limit our and the Bank’s operations and potential growth.
We and the Bank are subject to various regulatory capital requirements administered by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, respectively. See “Supervision and Regulation—Regulatory Capital Requirements.” Many factors affect the calculation of our risk-based assets and our ability to maintain the level of capital required to achieve acceptable capital ratios. For example, any increases in our risk-weighted assets will require a corresponding increase in our capital to maintain the applicable ratios. In addition, recognized loan losses in excess of amounts reserved for such losses, loan impairments, impairment losses on securities and other factors will decrease our capital, thereby reducing the level of the applicable ratios. Our failure to remain well-capitalized for bank regulatory purposes, either under the existing capital requirements or under the CBLR framework, if applicable, could affect customer confidence, our ability to grow, our costs of funds and FDIC insurance costs, the Bank’s ability to pay dividends to the Company, the Company’s ability to pay dividends on its common stock, our ability to make acquisitions, and on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Under regulatory rules, if we cease to be a well-capitalized institution for bank regulatory purposes, the interest rates that we pay on deposits and our ability to accept brokered deposits may be restricted.
Bank regulatory agencies periodically examine our business, including compliance with laws and regulations, and our failure to comply with any supervisory actions to which we become subject as a result of such examinations could materially and adversely affect us.
Our regulators periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, a banking agency were to determine that our financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of our operations had become unsatisfactory, or that we were, or our management was, in violation of any law or regulation, they may take a number of different remedial actions as they deem appropriate. These actions include the power to enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices, to require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice, to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced, to direct an increase in our capital, to restrict our growth, to assess civil money penalties against us, our officers or directors, to fine or remove officers and directors and, if it is concluded that such conditions cannot be corrected or there is an imminent risk of loss to depositors, to terminate the Bank’s FDIC deposit insurance and place the Bank into receivership or conservatorship. Any regulatory action against us could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to maintain sufficient capital under regulatory requirements, whether due to losses, an inability to raise additional capital or otherwise, that failure could adversely affect our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, as well as our ability to maintain regulatory compliance.
We must meet regulatory capital requirements and maintain sufficient liquidity. The Company’s ability to raise additional capital, when and if needed to support the Bank, will depend on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor preferences regarding the banking industry and market condition and governmental activities, many of which are outside the Company’s control, and on the Company’s financial condition and performance. Accordingly, the Company may not be able to raise additional capital if needed or on terms acceptable to the Company. If we fail to meet these capital and other regulatory requirements, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could have serious reputational consequences for us.
The BSA, the USA PATRIOT Act, the National Defense Authorization Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain effective anti-money laundering programs and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal bank regulators, as well as the DOJ, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS. There is also increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the OFAC. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we could be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions such as restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us.
Regulations relating to privacy, information security and data protection could increase our costs, affect or limit how we collect and use personal information and adversely affect our business opportunities.
We are subject to various privacy, information security and data protection laws, including requirements concerning security breach notification, and we could be negatively impacted by these laws. Various state and federal banking regulators and states have also enacted data security breach notification requirements with varying levels of individual, consumer, regulatory or law enforcement notification in certain circumstances in the event of a security breach. Moreover, legislators and regulators in the U.S. are increasingly adopting or revising privacy, information security and data protection laws that potentially could have a significant impact on our current and planned privacy, data protection and information security-related practices, our collection, use, sharing, retention and safeguarding of consumer or employee information, and some of our current or planned business activities. This could also increase our costs of compliance and business operations and could reduce income from certain business initiatives. This includes increased privacy-related enforcement activity at the federal level by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as at the state level. Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws (including those regarding security breach notification) affecting customer or employee data to which we are subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could restrict our ability to provide certain products and services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial conditions or results of operations. Our failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws could result in potentially significant regulatory or governmental investigations or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions and damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We face increased risk under the terms of the CRA, as we accept additional deposits in new geographic markets.
Under the terms of the CRA, each appropriate federal bank regulatory agency is required, in connection with its examination of a bank, to assess such bank’s record in assessing and meeting the credit needs of the communities served by that bank, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. During these examinations, the regulatory agency rates such bank’s compliance with the CRA as “Outstanding,” “Satisfactory,” “Needs to Improve” or “Substantial Noncompliance.” The regulatory agency’s assessment of the institution’s record is part of the regulatory agency’s consideration of applications to acquire, merge or consolidate with another banking institution or its holding company, or to open or relocate a branch office. As we accept additional deposits in new geographic markets, we will be required to maintain an acceptable CRA rating. Maintaining an acceptable CRA rating may become more difficult as our deposits increase across new geographic markets.
We are subject to federal and state fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to material penalties.
Federal and state fair lending laws and regulations, such as the ECOA, and the FHA, impose nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The DOJ, CFPB and other federal and state agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. A successful challenge to our performance under the fair lending laws and regulations could adversely impact our rating under the CRA and result in a wide variety of sanctions, including the required payment of damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, imposition of restrictions on merger and acquisition activity and restrictions on expansion activity, which could negatively impact our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our financial condition, earnings and asset quality could be adversely affected if our consumer facing operations do not operate in compliance with applicable regulations.
While all aspects of our operations are subject to detailed and complex compliance regimes, those portions of our lending operations which most directly deal with consumers pose particular challenges given the emphasis on consumer compliance by bank regulators at all levels. Residential mortgage lending raises significant compliance risks resulting from the detailed and complex nature of mortgage lending regulations imposed by federal regulatory agencies, and the relatively independent operating environment in which mortgage lending officers operate. In addition, some regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for noncompliance, even if noncompliance was inadvertent or unintentional. As a result, despite the education, compliance training, supervision and oversight we exercise in these areas, failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, even if noncompliance is inadvertent or unintentional, could result in the Bank being strictly liable for restitution or damages to individual borrowers and could expose the Bank to other regulatory enforcement activity.
Risks Related to Our Common Stock
An active public trading market may not be sustained.
We completed the initial public offering, and the Company’s common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, in May 2019. An active trading market for shares of our common stock may not be sustained. If an active trading market is not sustained, you may have difficulty selling your shares of our common stock at an attractive price, or at all. Consequently, you may not be able to sell your shares of our common stock at or above an attractive price at the time that you would like to sell.
The market price of our common stock could be volatile and may fluctuate significantly, which could cause the value of an investment in our common stock to decline, result in losses to our shareholders and litigation against us.
The market price of our common stock may be volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in price in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. In addition, if the market for stocks in our industry, or the stock market in general, experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, financial condition or results of operations. If any of the foregoing occurs, it could cause our stock price to fall and may expose us to lawsuits. Despite unsuccessful, as in the past, securities class action lawsuits have been instituted against some companies following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We could in the future be the target of similar litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources from our normal business, which could adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition.
Future equity issuances, including through our current or any future equity compensation plans, could result in dilution, which could cause the price of our shares of common stock to decline.
We may issue additional shares of our common stock in the future pursuant to current or future equity compensation plans, upon conversions of preferred stock or debt, upon exercise of warrants or in connection with future acquisitions or financings. We may seek to raise additional funds, finance acquisitions or develop strategic relationships by issuing additional shares of our common stock. If we choose to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock, or securities convertible into shares of our common stock, for any reason, the issuance could have a dilutive effect on the holders of our common stock and could have a material negative effect on the market price of our common stock.
We may issue shares of preferred stock in the future, which could make it difficult for another company to acquire us or could otherwise adversely affect holders of our common stock.
Although there are currently no shares of our preferred stock outstanding, our certificate of formation authorizes us to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of one or more series of preferred stock. The Board has the power to set the terms of any series of preferred stock that may be issued, including voting rights, conversion rights, preferences over our voting common stock with respect to dividends or in the event of a dissolution, liquidation or winding up and other terms. If we issue preferred stock in the future that has preference over our common stock with respect to payment of dividends or upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, or if we issue preferred stock with voting rights that dilute the voting power of our common stock, the rights of the holders of our common stock or the market price of our common stock could be adversely affected.
Our directors and executive officers have significant control over our business.
Due to the significant ownership interests of our directors and executive officers, our directors and executive officers are able to significantly affect our management, affairs and policies. For example, our directors and executive officers may be able to influence the outcome of the election of directors and the potential outcome of other matters submitted to a vote of our shareholders, such as mergers, the sale of substantially all of our assets and other extraordinary corporate matters. In addition, pursuant to a separate Board Representation Agreement, dated March 7, 2019, between the Company and James C. Henry, for so long as Mr. Henry or his spouse, or a lineal descendant of the Henry’s, or an entity formed for their benefit, holds in aggregate 5.0% or more of our outstanding shares of common stock, the Company must nominate their representative to serve on the Board of each of the Company and the Bank, subject to any required regulatory and shareholder approvals. See “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence” for additional information.
Our bylaws have an exclusive forum provision, which could limit a shareholder’s ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees.
Our bylaws have an exclusive forum provision providing that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, or in the event that such court lacks jurisdiction to hear the action, the District Courts of the County of Lubbock, Texas, are the sole and exclusive forum for certain causes of action, which may limit a shareholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits. Alternatively, if a court were to find the exclusive forum provision to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our dividend policy may change without notice, and our future ability to pay dividends is subject to restrictions.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive only such cash dividends as our Board may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Any declaration and payment of dividends on our common stock will depend upon our earnings and financial condition, liquidity and capital requirements, the general economic and regulatory climate, our ability to service any equity or debt obligations senior to our common stock and other factors deemed relevant by our Board. Furthermore, consistent with our strategic plans, growth initiatives, capital availability, projected liquidity needs and other factors, we have made, and will continue to make, capital management decisions and policies that could adversely affect the amount of dividends, if any, paid to our common shareholders. The Federal Reserve has also issued guidance requiring that we inform and consult with the Federal Reserve prior to declaring and paying a dividend that exceeds earnings for the period for which the dividend is being paid or that could result in an adverse change to our capital structure, including interest on any debt obligations. Finally, if required payments on our debt obligations are not made, or dividends on any preferred stock we may issue are not paid, we will be prohibited from paying dividends on our common stock.
We are a bank holding company and our only source of cash, other than issuances of securities, is distributions from the Bank.
Our principal source of funds to pay distributions on our common stock and service any of our obligations, other than further issuances of securities, would be dividends received from the Bank. Furthermore, the Bank is not obligated to pay dividends to us, and any dividends paid to us would depend on the earnings or financial condition of the Bank and various business and regulatory considerations.
We are an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), and we have taken advantage of certain reduced regulatory and reporting requirements that are otherwise generally applicable to public companies that are not emerging growth companies. We may take advantage of these provisions for up to five years after the date of our initial public offering, unless we earlier cease to be an emerging growth company, which would occur if our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, if we issue more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt in a three-year period or if we become a “large accelerated filer,” in which case we would no longer be an emerging growth company as of the following December 31. Investors and securities analysts may find it more difficult to evaluate our common stock because we may rely on one or more of these exemptions, and, as a result, investor confidence and the market price of our common stock may be materially and adversely affected.
An investment in our common stock is not an insured deposit and is subject to risk of loss.
An investment in our common stock is not a bank deposit and is not insured against loss or guaranteed by the FDIC, any deposit insurance fund or by any other public or private entity. As a result, you could lose some or all of your investment.

Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments


Item 2.

The Company’s corporate offices are located at 5219 City Bank Parkway, Lubbock, Texas. The Company’s corporate office space also serves as the main office of, and is owned by, the Bank. The Bank currently operates full-service banking branches and mortgage offices in the following markets:

Lubbock/South Plains
Dallas/Ft. Worth
Branch or LPO
Branch or LPO
Main Branch
4th Street Branch
Uptown Branch
50th and Indiana Branch
Kingsgate Branch
Milwaukee Branch
Hillcrest LPO
Overton Branch
Ft. Worth
University Branch
Grand Prairie

El Paso
Branch or LPO
Branch or LPO
El Paso
East Branch
El Paso
West Branch
El Paso
Mesa Hills LPO

Bryan/College Station
Ruidoso, New Mexico
Branch or LPO
Branch or LPO
College Station
Gateway Branch
College Station
River Crossing Branch

The Permian Basin
Other Markets
Branch or LPO
Branch or LPO
University Branch
Abilene, Texas
Grandview Branch
Austin, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Waco, Texas
Fort Stockton

We lease certain of our banking facilities and believe that the leases to which we are subject are generally on terms consistent with prevailing market terms, and none of the leases are with our directors, officers, beneficial owners of more than 5% of our voting securities or any affiliates of the foregoing. We believe that our facilities are in good condition and are adequate to meet our operating needs for the foreseeable future.

Item 3.
Legal Proceedings

As previously disclosed, in response to a Notice of Termination received from Kasasa, Ltd. f/k/a Moneyvue Financial, Inc., Bankvue Financial, Inc., and BancVue, Ltd. (“Kasasa”) purporting to terminate a Software License and Maintenance Agreement (the “Software License Agreement”), Trademark License Agreement (the “Trademark License Agreement”), and Addendum to Software License Agreement (“Addendum”) between the Company’s wholly-owned banking subsidiary City Bank (the “Bank”) and Kasasa, the Bank filed suit against Kasasa in Travis County, Texas, styled City Bank v. Kasasa, Ltd., Cause No. D-1-GN-20-003630, 53rd Judicial District, Travis County, Texas.

On or about September 23, 2022, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release (the “Settlement Agreement”), pursuant to which the parties agreed to the settlement and release of all claims related to the Software License Agreement, Trademark License Agreement, and Addendum, including all claims and counterclaims in the lawsuit. Thereafter, the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss with prejudice and the court formally dismissed the case by order dated October 7, 2022.

From time to time, the Company or the Bank is a party to claims and legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Except as described above, we are not presently involved in any other litigation, nor to our knowledge is any litigation threatened against us, that in management’s opinion would result in any material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations or that is not expected to be covered by insurance.

Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

Part II

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

Market Information for Common Stock

The Company’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Quotations of the sales volume and the closing sales prices of the Company’s common stock are listed daily under the symbol “SPFI” in NASDAQ’s listings.

Holders of Record

As of March 8, 2023, there were approximately 179 holders of record of the Company’s common stock.


The Company paid dividends of $0.11, $0.11, $0.12, and $0.12 per common share in the first, second, third, and fourth quarters of 2022, respectively. Additionally, the Company paid a dividend of $0.13 per common share in the first quarter of 2023. Also, see “Item 1. Business – Supervision and Regulation – Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions and Repurchases” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of the Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources – Capital Requirements” of this Report for restrictions on our present or future ability to pay dividends, particularly those restrictions arising under federal and state banking laws.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The following table sets forth information at December 31, 2022 with respect to compensation plans under which shares of our common stock may be issued.

Plan Category
Number of Shares to be
Issued Upon Exercise of
Outstanding Awards
Exercise Price of
Outstanding Awards
Number of Shares
Available for
Future Grants
Equity compensation plans approved by shareholders(1)
Equity compensation plans not approved by shareholders

The number of shares available for future issuance includes 1,649,373 shares available under the Company’s 2019 Equity Incentive Plan (which allows for the issuance of options, as well as various other stock-based awards).

Issuer Purchases of Securities

On October 29, 2021, the Company approved a stock repurchase program pursuant to which the Company may, from time to time, purchase up to $10.0 million of its outstanding shares of common stock (the “Program”). The shares could be repurchased from time to time in privately negotiated transactions or the open market, including pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 trading plans, and in accordance with applicable regulations of the SEC. The timing and exact amount of any repurchases depended on various factors including, the performance of the Company’s stock price, general market and other conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The Program had an expiration date of November 6, 2022.

On May 18, 2022, the Company’s board of directors approved a new stock repurchase program for up to $15.0 million of the outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock (the “New Repurchase Program”). The New Repurchase Program began on the date on which the existing stock repurchase program expired due to depletion of funds previously allocated to it and has an expiration date of May 21, 2023, subject to earlier termination or extension of the New Repurchase Program by the Board. The shares could be repurchased from time to time in privately negotiated transactions or the open market, including pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 trading plans, and in accordance with applicable regulations of the SEC. The timing and exact amount of any repurchases depended on various factors including, the performance of the Company’s stock price, general market and other conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The New Repurchase Program terminated in December 2022 after all allocated funds had been spent.
The following table summarizes the share repurchase activity for the three months ended December 31, 2022.

Total Shares
Average Price
Paid Per Share
Total Dollar Amount
Purchased Pursuant to
Publicly-Announced Plans
Maximum Dollar Amount
Remaining Available for
Repurchase Pursuant to
Publicly-Announced Plans
October 2022
November 2022
December 2022

Stock Performance Graph

The following performance graph compares total stockholders’ return on the Company’s common stock for the period beginning at the close of trading on May 9, 2019 and for the last trading date of each year from 2019 to 2022, with the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 and the S&P United States BMI Banks Index for the same periods. Cumulative total return is computed by dividing the difference between the Company’s share price at the end and the beginning of the measurement period by the share price at the beginning of the measurement period. The performance graph assumes $100 is invested on May 9, 2019, in the Company’s common stock, including reinvestment of any dividends, and each of the indices. Historical stock price performance is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance. This performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act of 1934, or incorporated by reference into any future SEC filing, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.


South Plains Financial, Inc.
S&P United States BMI Banks Index
S&P 500

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
© 2022

Item 6.

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

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this Report. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and are based on certain assumptions that we believe are reasonable but may prove to be inaccurate. Certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those set forth under “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Report, may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected results discussed in the forward-looking statements appearing in this discussion and analysis. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.


We are a bank holding company headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, and our wholly-owned subsidiary, City Bank is one of the largest independent banks in West Texas and has additional banking operations in the Dallas, El Paso, Greater Houston, the Permian Basin, and College Station, Texas markets, and the Ruidoso, New Mexico market. Through City Bank, we provide a wide range of commercial and consumer financial services to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in our market areas. Our principal business activities include commercial and retail banking, along with insurance, investment, trust and mortgage services.

Selected Financial Data

The following table sets forth certain of our selected financial data for, and as of the end of, each of the periods indicated. This information should be read in conjunction with “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” included elsewhere in this Report (dollars in thousands, except per share data).

As of or for the Year Ended December 31,
Selected Income Statement Data:
Net interest income
Provision for loan losses
Noninterest income
Noninterest expense
Income tax expense
Net income
Share and Per Share Data:
Earnings per share (basic)
Earnings per share (diluted)
Dividends per share
Tangible book value per share(1)
Selected Period End Balance Sheet Data:
Cash and cash equivalents
Investment securities
Gross loans held for investment
Allowance for loan losses
Total assets
Total deposits
Total stockholders’ equity
Performance Ratios:
Return on average assets
Return on average stockholders’ equity
Net interest margin(2)
Efficiency ratio(3)
Credit Quality Ratios:
Nonperforming assets to total assets(4)
Nonperforming loans to total loans held for investment(5)
Allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans(5)
Allowance for loan losses to total loans held for investment
Net loan charge-offs to average loans
Capital Ratios:
Total stockholders’ equity to total assets
Tangible common equity to tangible assets(1)
Common equity tier 1 capital ratio
Tier 1 leverage ratio
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio
Total risk-based capital ratio

Represents a non-GAAP financial measure. See our reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
Net interest margin is calculated as the annual net interest income, on a fully tax-equivalent basis, divided by average interest-earning assets.
The efficiency ratio is calculated by dividing noninterest expense by the sum of net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis and noninterest income.
Nonperforming assets consist of nonperforming loans plus OREO.
Nonperforming loans include nonaccrual loans and loans past due 90 days or more.

Results of Operations

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2022 was $58.2 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, compared to $58.6 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in net income was primarily the result of a decrease of $21.3 million in noninterest income, offset by an increase of $16.7 million in net interest income and a decrease of $3.9 million in noninterest expense.

Return on average assets was 1.47% and return on average equity was 15.79% for the year ended December 31, 2022, compared to 1.56% and 15.08%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in return on average assets was primarily due to the decrease in net income of 0.6%, relative to a larger increase of 5.2% in total average assets.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $58.6 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, compared to $45.4 million, or $2.47 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase in net income was primarily the result of a decrease of $27.5 million in provision for loan losses, offset by a decrease of $4.1 million in noninterest income, an increase of $6.3 million in noninterest expense and an increase of $3.3 million in income tax expense.

Return on average assets was 1.56% and return on average equity was 15.08% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 1.31% and 13.40%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2020. The increase in return on average assets was primarily due to the increase in net income of 29.2%, relative to a smaller increase of 8.8% in total average assets.

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) in March 2020. Funding for the PPP expired May 31, 2021. The PPP allowed entities to apply for a 1.00% interest rate loan with payments generally deferred until the date the lender receives the applicable forgiveness amount from the SBA. The Bank originated approximately 3,200 PPP loans for a total of $309.2 million. As of December 31, 2022, there was approximately $482 thousand still outstanding. The Company recorded PPP-related SBA interest and fee income of $2.1 million, $8.3 million, and $5.1 million during the years of 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income is the principal source of the Company’s net income and represents the difference between interest income (interest and fees earned on assets, primarily loans and investment securities) and interest expense (interest paid on deposits and borrowed funds). We generate interest income from interest-earning assets that we own, including loans and investment securities. We incur interest expense from interest-bearing liabilities, including interest-bearing deposits and other borrowings, notably FHLB advances and subordinated notes. To evaluate net interest income, we measure and monitor (i) yields on our loans and other interest-earning assets, (ii) the costs of our deposits and other funding sources, (iii) our net interest spread and (iv) our net interest margin. Net interest spread is the difference between rates earned on interest-earning assets and rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities. Net interest margin is calculated as the annualized net interest income on a fully tax-equivalent basis divided by average interest-earning assets.

Changes in the market interest rates and interest rates we earn on interest-earning assets or pay on interest-bearing liabilities, as well as the volume and types of interest-earning assets, interest-bearing and noninterest-bearing liabilities, are usually the largest drivers of periodic changes in net interest spread, net interest margin and net interest income.

The following table presents, for the periods indicated, information about: (i) weighted average balances, the total dollar amount of interest income from interest-earning assets and the resultant average yields; (ii) average balances, the total dollar amount of interest expense on interest-bearing liabilities and the resultant average rates; (iii) net interest income; (iv) the interest rate spread; and (v) the net interest margin. For purposes of this table, interest income, net interest margin and net interest spread are shown on a fully tax-equivalent basis.

Year Ended December 31,
Average Balance
Average Balance
Average Balance
(Dollars in thousands)
Interest-earning assets:
Loans, excluding PPP (1)
Loans - PPP
Investment securities – taxable
Investment securities – non-taxable
Other interest-earning assets (2)
Total interest-earning assets
Noninterest-earning assets
Total assets
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity:
Interest-bearing liabilities:
NOW, savings and money market deposits
Time deposits
Short-term borrowings
Notes payable & other longer-term borrowings
Subordinated debt
Junior subordinated deferrable interest debentures
Total interest-bearing liabilities