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Bancorp, Inc. – ‘10-K’ for 12/31/15

On:  Tuesday, 3/15/16, at 4:03pm ET   ·   For:  12/31/15   ·   Accession #:  1295401-16-17   ·   File #:  0-51018

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  As Of                Filer                Filing    For·On·As Docs:Size

 3/15/16  Bancorp, Inc.                     10-K       12/31/15  131:28M

Annual Report   —   Form 10-K
Filing Table of Contents

Document/Exhibit                   Description                      Pages   Size 

 1: 10-K        Annual Report                                       HTML   2.85M 
 2: EX-12.1     Statement re: Computation of Ratios                 HTML     55K 
 3: EX-21.1     Subsidiaries of the Registrant                      HTML     35K 
 4: EX-23.1     Consent of Experts or Counsel                       HTML     36K 
 5: EX-31.1     Certification per Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Section 302)  HTML     45K 
 6: EX-31.2     Certification per Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Section 302)  HTML     43K 
 7: EX-32.1     Certification per Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Section 906)  HTML     41K 
 8: EX-32.2     Certification per Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Section 906)  HTML     40K 
129: EXCEL       XBRL IDEA Workbook -- Financial Report (.xlsx)      XLSX    175K  
15: R1          Document and Entity Information                     HTML     63K 
16: R2          Consolidated Balance Sheets                         HTML    131K 
17: R3          Consolidated Balance Sheets (Parenthetical)         HTML     49K 
18: R4          Consolidated Statements of Operations               HTML    182K 
19: R5          Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income     HTML     78K 
20: R6          Consolidated Statement of Changes in Shareholders'  HTML     98K 
                          Equity                                                 
21: R7          Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows               HTML    149K 
22: R8          Organization and Nature of Operations               HTML     41K 
23: R9          Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML    393K 
24: R10         Subsequent Events                                   HTML     39K 
25: R11         Investment Securities                               HTML    455K 
26: R12         Loans                                               HTML    745K 
27: R13         Premises And Equipment                              HTML     61K 
28: R14         Time Deposits                                       HTML     47K 
29: R15         Variable Interest Entity                            HTML    101K 
30: R16         Debt                                                HTML     92K 
31: R17         Shareholders' Equity                                HTML     44K 
32: R18         Benefit Plans                                       HTML     43K 
33: R19         Income Taxes                                        HTML    183K 
34: R20         Stock-Based Compensation                            HTML    145K 
35: R21         Transactions With Affiliates                        HTML     49K 
36: R22         Commitments And Contingencies                       HTML     57K 
37: R23         Financial Instruments With Off-Balance-Sheet Risk   HTML     55K 
                          And Concentrations Of Credit Risk                      
38: R24         Fair Value Of Financial Instruments                 HTML    494K 
39: R25         Derivatives                                         HTML     92K 
40: R26         Regulatory Matters                                  HTML    222K 
41: R27         Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited)                HTML    171K 
42: R28         Condensed Financial Information-Parent Only         HTML    163K 
43: R29         Segment Financials                                  HTML    250K 
44: R30         Discontinued Operations                             HTML    108K 
45: R31         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML    442K 
                          (Policies)                                             
46: R32         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML    331K 
                          (Tables)                                               
47: R33         Investment Securities (Tables)                      HTML    451K 
48: R34         Loans (Tables)                                      HTML    751K 
49: R35         Premises And Equipment (Tables)                     HTML     59K 
50: R36         Time Deposits (Tables)                              HTML     45K 
51: R37         Variable Interest Entity (Tables)                   HTML     98K 
52: R38         Debt (Tables)                                       HTML     83K 
53: R39         Income Taxes (Tables)                               HTML    179K 
54: R40         Stock-Based Compensation (Tables)                   HTML    135K 
55: R41         Commitments And Contingencies (Tables)              HTML     48K 
56: R42         Financial Instruments With Off-Balance-Sheet Risk   HTML     48K 
                          And Concentrations Of Credit Risk                      
                          (Tables)                                               
57: R43         Fair Value of Financial Instruments (Tables)        HTML    481K 
58: R44         Derivatives (Tables)                                HTML     83K 
59: R45         Regulatory Matters (Tables)                         HTML    212K 
60: R46         Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited) (Tables)       HTML    169K 
61: R47         Condensed Financial Information-Parent Only         HTML    162K 
                          (Tables)                                               
62: R48         Segment Financials (Tables)                         HTML    246K 
63: R49         Discontinued Operations (Tables)                    HTML    102K 
64: R50         Organization and Nature of Operations (Details)     HTML     41K 
65: R51         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML     92K 
                          (Narrative) (Details)                                  
66: R52         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML     87K 
                          (Earnings Per Share) (Details)                         
67: R53         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML     74K 
                          (Schedule Of Other Comprehensive Income)               
                          (Details)                                              
68: R54         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML     46K 
                          (Summary Of Gross Carrying Value And                   
                          Accumulated Amortization Related To The                
                          Company's Intangible Items) (Details)                  
69: R55         Summary of Significant Accounting Policies          HTML     50K 
                          (Schedule Of Approximate Future Annual                 
                          Amortization Of The Company's Intangible               
                          Items) (Details)                                       
70: R56         Investment Securities (Narrative) (Details)         HTML     53K 
71: R57         Investment Securities (Schedule Of Investment       HTML     92K 
                          Securities Classified As                               
                          Available-for-sale And Held-to-maturity)               
                          (Details)                                              
72: R58         Investment Securities (Amortized Cost And Fair      HTML     86K 
                          Value Of Investment Securities By                      
                          Contractual Maturity) (Details)                        
73: R59         Investment Securities (Available-for-sale And       HTML    140K 
                          Held-to-maturity Securities, Continuous                
                          Unrealized Loss Position) (Details)                    
74: R60         Investment Securities (Schedule Of Additional       HTML     61K 
                          Information Related To Single Issuer And               
                          Pooled Trust Preferred Securities)                     
                          (Details)                                              
75: R61         Loans (Narrative) (Details)                         HTML     57K 
76: R62         Loans (Major Classifications Of Loans) (Details)    HTML     65K 
77: R63         Loans (Schedule Of Small Business Administation     HTML     41K 
                          Loans and Held For Sale) (Details)                     
78: R64         Loans (Impaired Loans) (Details)                    HTML     78K 
79: R65         Loans (Non-accrual Loans, Loans Past Due 90 Days    HTML     55K 
                          And Other Real Estate Owned And                        
                          Delinquent Loans By Loan Category)                     
                          (Details)                                              
80: R66         Loans (Loans Modified And Considered Troubled Debt  HTML     49K 
                          Restructurings) (Details)                              
81: R67         Loans (Loans Modified As Troubled Debt              HTML     45K 
                          Restructurings) (Details)                              
82: R68         Loans (Summary Of Restructured Loans Within The     HTML     43K 
                          Last Twelve Months That Have                           
                          Subsequently Defaulted) (Details)                      
83: R69         Loans (Changes In Allowance For Loan And Lease      HTML     99K 
                          Losses By Loan Category) (Details)                     
84: R70         Loans (Delinquent Loans By Loan Category)           HTML     80K 
                          (Details)                                              
85: R71         Loans (Loans By Categories) (Details)               HTML    126K 
86: R72         Premises And Equipment (Narrative) (Details)        HTML     38K 
87: R73         Premises And Equipment (Premises And Equipment)     HTML     57K 
                          (Details)                                              
88: R74         Time Deposits (Scheduled Maturities Of Time         HTML     40K 
                          Deposits) (Details)                                    
89: R75         Variable Interest Entity (Schedule Of The Total     HTML     60K 
                          Unpaid Principal Amount Of Assets Held                 
                          In Private Label Securitization                        
                          Entities, Including Those In Which The                 
                          Company Has Continuing Involvement)                    
                          (Details)                                              
90: R76         Debt (Narrative) (Details)                          HTML     62K 
91: R77         Debt (Schedule Of Short-term Debt) (Details)        HTML     42K 
92: R78         Debt (Schedule Of Securities Sold Under Agreements  HTML     48K 
                          To Repurchase) (Details)                               
93: R79         Shareholders' Equity (Details)                      HTML     47K 
94: R80         Benefit Plans (Details)                             HTML     54K 
95: R81         Income Taxes (Narrative) (Details)                  HTML     57K 
96: R82         Income Taxes (Schedule Of Components Of The Income  HTML     64K 
                          Taxes (Benefit)) (Details)                             
97: R83         Income Taxes (Schedule Of Income Tax Expenses And   HTML     66K 
                          Statutory Federal Income Tax Rate)                     
                          (Details)                                              
98: R84         Income Taxes (Schedule Of Deferred Tax Assets And   HTML     89K 
                          Liabilities) (Details)                                 
99: R85         Income Taxes (Reconciliation Of Unrecognized Tax    HTML     43K 
                          Benefits) (Details)                                    
100: R86         Stock-Based Compensation (Narrative) (Details)      HTML     95K  
101: R87         Stock-Based Compensation (Summary Of Status Of      HTML     80K  
                          Company's Equity Compensations Plans)                  
                          (Details)                                              
102: R88         Stock-Based Compensation (Summary Of The            HTML     70K  
                          Company???s Restricted Stock Units)                    
                          (Details)                                              
103: R89         Stock-Based Compensation (Schedule Of Nonvested     HTML     60K  
                          Options Status) (Details)                              
104: R90         Stock-Based Compensation (Fair Value Of Grant On    HTML     47K  
                          Date Of Grant Using The Black-Scholes                  
                          Options Pricing Model) (Details)                       
105: R91         Transactions With Affiliates (Details)              HTML     68K  
106: R92         Commitments And Contingencies (Narrative)           HTML     40K  
                          (Details)                                              
107: R93         Commitments And Contingencies (Schedule Of Future   HTML     54K  
                          Minimum Annual Rental Payments)                        
                          (Details)                                              
108: R94         Financial Instruments With Off-Balance-Sheet Risk   HTML     41K  
                          And Concentrations Of Credit Risk                      
                          (Narrative) (Details)                                  
109: R95         Financial Instruments With Off-Balance-Sheet Risk   HTML     43K  
                          And Concentrations Of Credit Risk                      
                          (Schedule Of Contract Amounts And                      
                          Maturity Term Of Credit Commitment)                    
                          (Details)                                              
110: R96         Fair Value of Financial Instruments (Narrative)     HTML     71K  
                          (Details)                                              
111: R97         Fair Value of Financial Instruments (Carrying       HTML     95K  
                          Amount And Estimated Fair Value Of                     
                          Assets And Liabilities) (Details)                      
112: R98         Fair Value of Financial Instruments (Assets         HTML    102K  
                          Measured At Fair Value On A Recurring                  
                          And Nonrecurring Basis) (Details)                      
113: R99         Fair Value of Financial Instruments (Unobservable   HTML     72K  
                          Input Reconciliation) (Details)                        
114: R100        Derivatives (Narrative) (Details)                   HTML     51K  
115: R101        Derivatives (Derivatives) (Details)                 HTML     86K  
116: R102        Regulatory Matters (Narrative) (Details)            HTML     43K  
117: R103        Regulatory Matters (Schedule Of Compliance With     HTML     98K  
                          Regulatory Capital Requirements Under                  
                          Banking Regulations) (Details)                         
118: R104        Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited) (Narrative)    HTML     39K  
                          (Details)                                              
119: R105        Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited) (Statement of  HTML     90K  
                          Operations) (Details)                                  
120: R106        Condensed Financial Information-Parent Only         HTML     66K  
                          (Schedule Of Condensed Balance Sheet)                  
                          (Details)                                              
121: R107        Condensed Financial Information-Parent Only         HTML     71K  
                          (Schedule Of Condensed Statements Of                   
                          Operations) (Details)                                  
122: R108        Condensed Financial Information-Parent Only         HTML     96K  
                          (Schedule Of Condensed Cash Flow                       
                          Statement) (Details)                                   
123: R109        Segment Financials (Narrative) (Details)            HTML     38K  
124: R110        Segment Financials (Operating Segments) (Details)   HTML    111K  
125: R111        Discontinued Operations (Narrative) (Details)       HTML     52K  
126: R112        Discontinued Operations (Financial Results Of The   HTML     63K  
                          Commercial Lending Business Included In                
                          Net Income (Loss) From Discontinued                    
                          Operations) (Details)                                  
127: R113        Discontinued Operations (Summary Of Discontinued    HTML     40K  
                          Assets, Liabilities And Related                        
                          Adjustments) (Details)                                 
128: R114        Discontinued Operations (Schedule Of Various        HTML     48K  
                          Elements Of The Lower Of Cost Or Market                
                          Valuation) (Details)                                   
130: XML         XBRL XML File -- Filing Summary                      XML    258K  
 9: EX-101.INS  XBRL Instance -- tbbk-20151231                       XML   8.78M 
11: EX-101.CAL  XBRL Calculations -- tbbk-20151231_cal               XML    421K 
12: EX-101.DEF  XBRL Definitions -- tbbk-20151231_def                XML   1.03M 
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14: EX-101.PRE  XBRL Presentations -- tbbk-20151231_pre              XML   1.80M 
10: EX-101.SCH  XBRL Schema -- tbbk-20151231                         XSD    323K 
131: ZIP         XBRL Zipped Folder -- 0001295401-16-000017-xbrl      Zip    418K  


10-K   —   Annual Report
Document Table of Contents

Page (sequential) | (alphabetic) Top
 
11st Page   -   Filing Submission
"Forward-looking statements
"Explanatory Note
"Business
"Risk Factors
"Unresolved Staff Comments
"Properties
"Legal Proceedings
"Mine Safety Disclosures
"Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
"Selected Financial Data
"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
"Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
"Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
"Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
"Controls and Procedures
"Other Information
"Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
"Executive Compensation
"Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
"Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
"Principal Accountant Fees and Services
"Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
"Signatures

This is an HTML Document rendered as filed.  [ Alternative Formats ]



  20151231 FY  

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

________________

 

FORM 10-K

________________

(Mark One)

 

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

OR

 

 

 

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

 

For the transition period from              to              

Commission File Number 51018

The Bancorp, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

 

 

Delaware

 

23-3016517

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

 

 

409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, DE

 

19809

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (302) 385-5000

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock,  par value $1.00 per share

 

NASDAQ Global Select

 

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

 

 

 

 

Title of class

                                                                                        None

 

 

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

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(a) 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 and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes      No   

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

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

Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer Smaller Reporting Company

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

The aggregate market value of the common shares of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing price of such shares on June 30, 2015 of $9.28, was approximately $319.4 million. 

As of March 8, 2016, 37,879,428 shares of common stock, par value $1.00 per share, of the registrant were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE


 

Portions of the proxy statement for registrant’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BANCORP, INC.

INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT

ON FORM 10-K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forward-looking statements 

 

1

 

 

Explanatory Note 

 

2

Item 1:

 

Business 

 

3

Item 1A:

 

Risk Factors

 

22

Item 1B:

 

Unresolved Staff Comments 

 

34

Item 2:

 

Properties 

 

35

Item 3:

 

Legal Proceedings

 

35

Item 4:

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

36

PART II 

 

 

 

 

Item 5:

 

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

 

36

Item 6:

 

Selected Financial Data

 

40

Item 7:

 

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

 

42

Item 7A:

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 

 

73

Item 8:

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 

 

74

Item 9:

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 

 

129

Item 9A:

 

Controls and Procedures 

 

129

Item 9B:

 

Other Information

 

132

PART III 

 

 

 

 

Item 10:

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

132

Item 11:

 

Executive Compensation

 

132

Item 12:

 

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

 

132

Item 13:

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 

 

132


 

Item 14:

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services 

 

132

PART IV 

 

 

 

 

Item 15:

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules  

 

133

SIGNATURES 

 

 

 

135

 

 

 


 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand a company’s future prospects and make informed investment decisions. This report contains such “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or Exchange Act.

 

Words such as “anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “should” and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future operating and financial performance identify forward-looking statements. Unless we have indicated otherwise, or the context otherwise requires, references in this report to “we,” “us,” and “our” or similar terms, are to The Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

 

We claim the protection of safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be made directly in this report and they may also be incorporated by reference in this report to other documents filed with the SEC, and include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results and performance, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations, products and services, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond our control.  In addition, these forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change.  Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results discussed in these forward-looking statements.

 

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements: 

 

·

the risk factors discussed and identified in Item 1A of this report and in other of our public filings with the SEC;

·

weak economic and slow growth conditions in the U.S. economy and significant dislocations in the credit markets have had, and may in the future have, significant adverse effects on our assets and operating results, including increases in payment defaults and other credit risks, decreases in the fair value of some assets and increases in our provision for loan losses;

·

weak economic and credit market conditions may result in a reduction in our capital base, reducing our ability to maintain deposits at current levels;

·

operating costs may increase;

·

adverse governmental or regulatory policies may be promulgated;

·

management and other key personnel may be lost;

·

competition may increase;

·

the costs of our interest-bearing liabilities, principally deposits, may increase relative to the interest received on our interest-bearing assets, principally loans, thereby decreasing our net interest income;

·

loan and investment yields may decrease for various reasons resulting in a lower net interest margin;

·

possible geographic concentration of certain of our loans could result in our loan portfolio being adversely affected by economic factors unique to the geographic area and not reflected in other regions of the country;

·

the market value of real estate that secures certain of  our loans has been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by recent economic and market conditions, and may be affected by other conditions outside of our control such as lack of demand for real estate of the type securing our loans, natural disasters, changes in neighborhood values, competitive overbuilding, weather, casualty losses, occupancy rates and other similar factors;

·

we must satisfy our regulators with respect to Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering and other regulatory mandates to prevent additional restrictions on adding customers and to remove current restrictions on adding certain customers;

·

the loans from our discontinued operations are now held for sale and were marked to fair value by an independent third party; however, the actual sales price could differ from those third party fair values. The reinvestment rate for the proceeds of those sales in investment securities depends on future market interest rates; and

1


 

·

we may not be able to sustain our historical growth rate in our loan, prepaid card and other lines of business.

 

We caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report.  All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section.  Except to the extent required by applicable law or regulation, we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this filing or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

As reported on our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed April 1, 2015, we analyzed the amount and timing of our recognition of impairment losses with respect to certain loan relationships that we had originally recognized in the quarter ended March 31, 2014.  As a result of this analysis, the audit committee of our board of directors determined that such charges should be restated to prior periods and, accordingly, that our financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, for the quarterly periods within such years, and for the quarters ended March 31, 2014, June 30, 2014 and September 30, 2014 could not be relied upon.  In connection with these analyses, we reviewed other, unrelated loan charges and determined that it was necessary to restate certain of these losses, together with previously unreported losses, to prior periods.  These determinations affected the financial statements contained in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the interim periods included within such years, and in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2014, June 30, 2014 and September 30, 2014

2


 

PART I

Item 1. Business.  

Overview

We are a Delaware financial holding company and our primary subsidiary, wholly owned, is The Bancorp Bank, which we refer to as the Bank. The vast majority of our revenue and income is currently generated through the Bank.  In our continuing operations, we have four primary lines of specialty lending: securities backed lines of credit, or SBLOC, automobile fleet and other equipment leasing, Small Business Administration, or SBA, loans and loans generated for sale into capital markets primarily through both commercial mortgage backed securities, or CMBS and collateralized loan obligations, or CLOs.  SBLOCs are loans which are generated through institutional banking affinity groups and are collateralized by marketable securities. SBLOCs are typically offered in conjunction with brokerage accounts and are offered nationally.  Automobile fleet and other equipment leases are generated in a number of Atlantic Coast and other states.  SBA loans and loans generated for sale into CMBS and CLO capital markets are made nationally.  At December 31, 2015, SBLOC, leasing, SBA and loans for sale in secondary markets totaled $575.9 million, $231.5 million, $307.1 million (including SBA loans held for sale) and $380.8 million, respectively, and comprised 37%, 15%, 20% and 24% of our loan portfolio and loans held for sale.  Our investment portfolio amounted to $1.16 billion at December 31, 2015, representing a decrease from the prior year as a portion of repayments and sales proceeds funded loan growth. 

For our institutional banking, including SBLOC and our other deposit generating activities, we focus on providing our services to organizations with a pre-existing customer base who can use one or more selected banking services tailored to support or complement the services provided by these organizations to their customers.  These services include private label banking for investment advisory companies through our institutional banking department; credit and debit card processing for merchants affiliated with independent service organizations; and prepaid cards for general purpose card sponsors, insurers, incentive plans, large retail chains, consumer service organizations and others. We typically provide these services under the name and through the facilities of each organization with whom we develop a relationship.  We refer to this, generally, as affinity group banking.  Our prepaid card, private label banking for investment advisory companies and card payment processing are our primary sources of deposits.  The vast majority of our services are provided in the United States although we have limited prepaid card operations in Europe.

Our main office is located at 409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19809 and our telephone number is (302) 385-5000. Our web address is www.thebancorp.com. We make available free of charge on our website our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports and our proxy statements as soon as reasonably practicable after we file them with the SEC.  Investors are encouraged to access these reports and other information about our business on our website, www.thebancorp.com.  Information found on our website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  We also will provide copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, free of charge, upon written request to our Investor Relations Department at the Company’s address for its principal executive offices, 409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19809.  Also posted on our website, and available in print upon request by any shareholder to our Investor Relations Department, are the charters of the standing committees of our Board of Directors and standards of conduct governing our directors, officers and employees.

Our Strategies 

Our principal strategies are to:

 

Fund our Loan and Investment Portfolio Growth through Low-cost Deposits and Generate Noninterest Income from Prepaid Cards and Other Areas. Our principal focus is to grow our specialty lending operations and investment portfolio, and fund the loans and investments through a variety of sources that provide low cost and stable deposits.  Funding sources include prepaid cards, institutional banking money market accounts and card payment processing.  The largest component of our deposits is prepaid cards and the largest component of our noninterest income is derived from prepaid cards.       

  

Develop Relationships with Affinity Groups to Gain Sponsored Access to their Membership, Client or Customer Bases to Market our Services.  We seek to develop relationships with organizations with established membership, client or customer bases. Through these affinity group relationships, we gain access to an organization’s members, clients and customers under the organization’s sponsorship. We believe that by marketing targeted products and services to these constituencies through their pre-existing relationships with the organizations, we will continue to generate lower cost deposits, generate fee income and, with respect to private label banking, lower our customer acquisition costs and build close customer relationships.

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Use Our Existing Infrastructure as a Platform for Growth.  We have made significant investments in our banking infrastructure to support our growth. We believe that this infrastructure can accommodate significant additional growth without proportionate increases in expense. We believe that this infrastructure enables us to maximize efficiencies through economies of scale as we grow without adversely affecting our relationships with our customers.

 

Deposit Products and Services.  

 

We offer a range of products and services to our affinity groups and their client bases, including:

 

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checking accounts;

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savings accounts;

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money market accounts;

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commercial accounts; and

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various types of prepaid and payroll cards.

 

Lending Activities

 

In the third quarter of 2014, we discontinued our commercial lending operations following our determination that those operations were inconsistent with our strategic focus on generating low cost deposits and deploying that funding into lower risk, more granular and national lines of business.  We have sold loans with an approximate book value of $342.2 million. On the date of discontinuance, September 30, 2014 there was approximately $1.1 billion in book value of loans in the discontinued portfolio. The $342.2 million of loans sold had a face value of approximately $417.1 million. These sales were comprised of the following: Loans with an approximate face and book value of $267.6 million and $192.7 million, respectively, were sold in the fourth quarter of 2014 to a private securitization entity. The securitization is managed by an independent investor, which contributed $16 million of equity to that entity.  The balance of the sale was financed by the Bank and is reflected on the consolidated balance sheet as investment in unconsolidated entity.  After $74.9 million of loan charges reflected in the difference between the face value and book value of the loans sold to the securitization, we recognized a gain of $17.0 million.  In the second quarter of 2015, an additional $149.6 million of loans were sold at a gain of approximately $2.2 million. At December 31, 2015 our net discontinued loan portfolio amounted to $568.7 million. We continue to pursue additional loan sales.  We currently focus our lending activities upon four specialty lending segments:  SBLOC loans, automobile fleet and other equipment leasing, SBA loans and loans originated for sale into CMBS and CLO capital markets.

 

SBLOC.  We make loans to individuals, trusts and entities which are secured by a pledge of marketable securities maintained in one or more accounts with respect to which we obtain a securities account control agreement.  The securities pledged may be either debt or equity securities or a combination thereof, but all such securities must be listed for trading on a national securities exchange or automated inter-dealer quotation system. SBLOCs are typically payable on demand.  Most of our SBLOCs are drawn to meet a specific need of the borrower (such as for bridge financing of real estate) and are typically drawn for 12 to 18 months at a time.  Maximum SBLOC line amounts are calculated by applying a standard ‘advance rate’ calculation against the eligible security type depending on asset class:  typically up to 50% for equity securities and mutual fund securities and 80% for investment grade (Standard & Poor’s rating of BBB- or higher or Moody’s rating of Baa3 or higher) municipal or corporate debt securities. Borrowers generally must have a credit score of 660 or higher, although we may allow exceptions based upon a review of the borrower’s income, assets and other credit information. All SBLOCs are with full recourse to the borrower. The underlying securities that act as collateral for our SBLOC commitments are monitored on a daily basis to confirm the composition of the client portfolio and its daily market value.  Although these accounts are closely monitored, severely falling markets or sudden drops in price with respect to individual pledged securities could result in the loan being under-collateralized and consequently in default and, upon sale of the collateral, could result in losses to the Bank. 

 

Leases.  We provide lease financing for commercial and government automobile fleets and, to a lesser extent, provide lease financing for other equipment. Our leases are either open end or closed end. An open end lease is one in which, at the end of the lease term, the lessee must pay us the difference between the amount at which we sell the leased asset and the stated “residual value.” “Residual value” is a contractual value agreed to by the parties at the inception of a lease as to the value of the leased asset at the end of the lease term. A closed end lease is one in which no such payment is due on lease termination.  In a closed end lease, the risk that

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the amount received on a sale of the leased asset will be less than the residual value is assumed by us, as lessor. While we do not have specific underwriting criteria for our lease financing, we analyze information we obtain about the lessee, including financial statements and credit reports, to determine the lessee’s ability to perform its obligations.

 

SBA Loans.  We participate in two loan programs established by the SBA: the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program and the 504 Fixed Asset Financing Program.  The 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program is designed to help small business borrowers start or expand their businesses by providing partial guarantees of loans made by banks and non-bank lending institutions for specific business purposes, including long or short term working capital; funds for the purchase of equipment, machinery, supplies and materials; funds for the purchase, construction or renovation of real estate; and funds to acquire, operate or expand an existing business or  refinance existing debt, all under conditions established by the SBA.  The terms of the loans must come within parameters set by the SBA, including borrower eligibility, loan maturity, and maximum loan amount. 7(a) loans must be secured by all available assets (both business and personal) until the recovery value equals the loan amount or until all assets of the borrower have been pledged.  Personal guarantees are required from all owners of 20% or more of the equity of the business, although lenders may also require personal guarantees of owners of less than 20%.  Loan guarantees can range to 85% of loan principal for loans of up to $150,000 and 75% for loans in excess of that amount.

 

The SBA loan guaranty is paid to the lender after the liquidation of all collateral, mitigating the losses due to collateral deficiencies up to the percentage of the guarantee. To maintain the guarantee, we must comply with applicable SBA regulations and we risk repair or loss of the guarantee should we fail to comply.  7(a) loan amounts are not limited to a percentage of estimated collateral value and are instead based on the business’s ability to repay the loan from its cash flow. If the business generates inadequate cash flow to repay principal and interest and borrowers are otherwise unable to repay the loan, losses may result if related collateral is sold for less than the unguaranteed balance of the loan.  Losses may result if related collateral is sold for less than the unguaranteed balance of the loan.  Because these loans are generally at variable rates, higher rate environments will increase required payments from borrowers, with increased payment default risk.  As a result of a wide variety of collateral with very specific uses, markets for resale of the collateral may be limited, which could adversely affect amounts realized upon sale.  The 7(a) program is funded through annual appropriations approved by Congress matching funding requirements for loans approved within the budget year.  Should those appropriations be reduced or cease, our ability to make 7(a) loans will be curtailed or terminated.

 

The 504 Fixed Asset Financing Program is designed to provide small businesses with financing for the purchase of fixed assets, including real estate and buildings; the purchase of improvements to real estate; the construction of new facilities or modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; the purchase of long-term machinery and equipment and debt refinancing which the SBA currently has approved for 2016.  A 504 loan may not be used for working capital, debt refinancing or investment in rental real estate.  In a 504 financing, the borrower must supply 10% of the financing amount, we provide 50% of the financing amount and a Certified Development Company, or CDC, provides 40% of the financing amount.  If the borrower has less than two years of operating history or if the assets being financed are considered “special purpose,” the funding percentages are 15%, 50% and 35%, respectively. If both conditions are met the funding percentages are 25%, 50% and 30%, respectively. We receive a first lien on the assets being financed and the CDC receives a second lien.  Personal guarantees of the principal owners of the business are required.  The funds for the CDC loans are raised through a monthly auction of bonds that are guaranteed by the U.S. government and, accordingly, if the government guarantees are curtailed or terminated, our ability to make 504 loans would be curtailed or terminated.  Certain basic loan terms, as with the 7(a) program, are established by the SBA, including borrower eligibility, maximum loan amount, maximum maturity date, interest rates and loan fees.  While real estate is appraised and values are established for other collateral, and the loan amount is limited to a percentage of cost of the assets being acquired by the borrower, such amounts may not be realized upon resale if the borrower defaults and the Bank forecloses on the collateral.

 

SBA 7(a) and 504 loans may include construction advances which are subject to risk inherent to construction projects, including environmental risks, engineering defects, contractor risk, and risk of project completion.  Delays in construction may also compromise the owner’s business plan and result in additional stresses on cash flow required to service the loan.  Higher than expected construction costs may also result, impacting repayment capability and collateral values. 

 

Additionally, the Bank makes SBA loans to franchisees of various business concepts, including loans to multiple franchisees with the same concept.  In making loans to franchisees, the Bank considers franchisee failure rates for the specific franchise concept. However, factors adversely affecting a specific type of franchisor or franchise concept, including in particular risks that a franchise concept loses popularity with consumers or encounters negative publicity about its products or services, could harm the value not only of a particular franchisee’s business but also of multiple loans to other franchisees with the same concept.

 

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Loans Originated for Sale into Secondary Securities Markets.We originate loans for sale into secondary securities markets.  These loans are typically collateralized by various types of commercial real estate, including retail space, office space, apartments and hotels, and are with recourse only to the properties securing the loans, are not guaranteed by the borrower and, accordingly, depend on cash reserves and cash generated by the underlying properties for repayment.  Some of these loans are variable rate and, as a result, higher market rates will result in higher payments and greater cash flow requirements.  Inadequate sales at retail properties and inadequate occupancy rates for office space, apartments and hotels may negatively impact loan repayment.  Should cash flow and available cash reserves prove inadequate to cover debt service on these loans, repayment will depend upon the sales price of the property.  Because these loans are being originated for resale, the underwriting criteria used are those that buyers in the capital markets indicate are the parameters under which they are willing to buy the loans, including interest rate, loan to value ratio and maturity; however, in the period during which we hold a loan prior to sale, property values may fall below appraised values and below the outstanding balance of the loan which would reduce the price at which we could sell the loan.  Inadequate retail sales or occupancy, in addition to impacting repayment, may also result in a lower realizable sales price.  While we historically have been successful in selling to these markets, adverse market conditions may delay, or possibly preclude, expected sales into the secondary market or cause losses upon any resale. To mitigate these risks, we establish guidelines for the maximum amounts of such loans we will hold on our balance sheet.

 

Affinity Banking

Private Label Banking.  For our private label banking, we create unique banking websites for each affinity group, enabling the affinity group to provide its members with the banking services and products we offer or just those banking services and products it believes will be of interest to its members. We design each website to carry the brand of the affinity group and carry the “look and feel” of the affinity group’s own website.  Each such website, however, indicates that we are the provider of banking services.  To facilitate the creation of these individualized banking websites, we have packaged our products and services into a series of modules, with each module providing a specific service, such as deposit products, electronic payment systems and loans.  Each affinity group selects from our menu of service modules those that it wants to offer its members or customers. We and the affinity group also may create products and services, or modify products and services already on our menu, that specifically relate to the needs and interests of the affinity group’s members or customers. We pay fees to certain affinity groups based upon deposits and loans they generate. These fees vary, and certain fees increase as market interest rates increase, while other fee rates are fixed.  We include these fees as a component of interest expense in calculating our net interest margin.  These fees totaled $9.3 million, $7.2 million and $5.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 respectively.  These amounts include fees paid related to prepaid cards, healthcare accounts, card payment processing and institutional banking which are described below.

Prepaid Cards.  We have developed prepaid card programs for general purpose re-loadable cards, insurance indemnity payments, flexible spending account funds, corporate and incentive rewards, payroll cards, consumer gift cards and others.  Our cards are offered to end users through our relationships with insurers, benefits administrators, third-party administrators, corporate incentive companies, rebate fulfillment organizations, payroll administrators, large retail chains and consumer service organizations.  Our cards are network-branded through our agreements with Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.  The majority of fees we earn result from contractual fees paid by third party sponsors, computed on a per transaction basis, and monthly service fees. Additionally, we earn interchange fees paid through settlement associations such as Visa, which are also determined on a per transaction basis.  Prepaid cards also provide us with low cost deposits from the amounts delivered to us to fund the cards.  Our prepaid card programs are offered predominantly in the United States. However, we also offer our services in the European Union through subsidiaries which offer prepaid card and electronic money issuing services.  Our European operations contributed less than 2% of total prepaid card revenue. For information relating to current constraints on our prepaid card programs resulting from a consent order we have entered into with the FDIC, see “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Business-The entry into the Consent Orders, as amended, and the supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve, have imposed certain restrictions and requirements on us and the Bank.”

Card Payment Processing.  We act as the depository institution for the processing of credit and debit card payments made to various businesses.  We also act as the bank sponsor and depository institution for independent service organizations that process such payments.  We have designed products that enable those organizations to more easily process electronic payments and to better manage their risk of loss.  Our services also enable independent service organizations to provide their members with access to their account balances through the Internet.  These relationships are a source of demand deposits and fee income.

Institutional Banking.  We have developed strategic relationships with limited-purpose trust companies, registered investment advisers, broker-dealers and other firms offering institutional banking services.  We provide customized, private label demand, money market and security backed loan products to the client base of these groups.

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Other Operations

 

Account Services.  Account holders may access our products through the website of their affinity group or other organizational affiliate, or through our website, from any personal computer with a secure web browser, regardless of its location.  This access allows account holders to apply for loans, review account activity, enter transactions into an online account register, pay bills electronically, receive statements electronically and print bank statements.

 

Call Centers.  We have call center operations that serve as inbound customer support.  The call centers provide account holders or potential account holders with assistance accessing the Bank’s products and services, and in resolving any problems that may arise in the servicing of accounts or other banking products.  Call Center services are operated in three locations: Domestically in Wilmington, Delaware, the Bank’s Customer Care center operates from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and handles complex calls and escalations.  Transact Payments Limited (TPL) customer support is managed from our site in Sofia, Bulgaria, where support to European cardholders and program managers is provided in several European languages.  In addition, two third party servicers provide ‘first tier’ customer support.  Located in Manila, Philippines, TELUS International operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and Ubiquity Global Services operates from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

Third-Party Service Providers.  To reduce operating costs and capitalize on the technical capabilities of selected vendors, we outsource certain bank operations and systems to third-party service providers, principally the following:

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data processing services, including check processing, check imaging, loan processing, electronic bill payment and statement rendering;

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fulfillment and servicing of prepaid cards;

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call center customer support;

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access to automated teller machine networks;

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bank accounting and general ledger system;

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data warehousing services; and

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certain software development.

Because we outsource these operational functions to experienced third-party service providers that have the capacity to process a high volume of transactions, we believe we can more readily and cost-effectively respond to growth than if we sought to develop these capabilities internally.  Should any of our current relationships terminate, we believe we could secure the required services from an alternative source without material interruption of our operations.

European Prepaid Operations.  Transact Payments Limited, or TPL, our wholly-owned subsidiary, is a prepaid product issuer (termed electronic money in Europe) organized in Gibraltar and licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission or the FSC.  TPL issues prepaid products throughout the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) with service and support provided by three service subsidiaries

Sales and Marketing

Affinity Group Banking.  Because of the national scope of our affinity group banking operation, we use a personal sales/targeted media advertising approach to market to existing and potential commercial affinity group organizations.  The affinity group organizations with which we have a relationship perform marketing functions to ultimate individual customers. Our marketing program to affinity group organizations consists of:

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print advertising;

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attending and making presentations at trade shows and other events for targeted affinity organizations;

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direct mail; and

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Direct contact with potential affinity organizations by our marketing staff, with relationship managers focusing on particular regional markets.

Loan Administration Offices.  We maintain offices to market and administer our leasing programs in Crofton, Maryland, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Kent, Washington and Orlando, Florida.  We maintain an SBA loan office in Chicago, Illinois.

Technology

 

Primary Domestic System Architecture.  We provide financial products and services through a highly-secure three-tiered architecture using commercially available software.  We maintain a platform of several web technologies, databases, firewalls, and licensed and proprietary financial services software to support our unique client base.  User activity is distributed using load-balance technologies and our proprietary design, with internally developed software and third-party equipment. We also use third party data processors.  The goal of our systems designs is to service our client requirements efficiently which has been accomplished using data and service replication between multiple data centers.  The system’s flexible architecture is designed to meet current capacity needs and allow expansion for future demands.  In addition to built-in redundancies, we continuously operate automated internal monitoring tools and use independent third parties to continuously monitor our systems.

European Prepaid Card and Electronic Money Operation.  European prepaid card infrastructure includes consumer servicing functions and program management.  Related software includes risk management, reporting, a dynamic security system, and transaction management.

European Prepaid System Architecture.  We have a primary data center in Sofia, Bulgaria that supports our European prepaid business with a redundant network system that connects to a back-up center in London (UK).  Our architecture allows for rapid expansion and flexibility. 

Domestic and European Prepaid Security.  All our systems are subject to regular certification for data security standards under multiple certification requirements. 

Intellectual Property and Other Proprietary Rights

A significant portion of the core and Internet banking systems and operations we use comes from third-party providers.  Our proprietary intellectual property includes the software for creating affinity group bank websites.  We rely principally upon trade secret and trademark law to protect our intellectual property.  We do not typically enter into intellectual property-related confidentiality agreements with our affinity group customers because we maintain control over the software used to create the sites and their banking functions rather than licensing them for customers to use.  Moreover, we believe that factors such as the relationships we develop with our affinity group and banking customers, the quality of our banking products, the level and reliability of the service we provide, and the customization of our products and services to meet the needs of our affinity groups are substantially more significant to our ability to succeed.

Competition

We compete with numerous banks and other financial institutions such as finance companies, leasing companies, credit unions, insurance companies, money market funds, investment firms and private lenders, as well as on-line lenders and other non-traditional competitors.  Our primary competitors in each of our business lines differ significantly from those in our other business lines principally because few financial institutions compete against us in all business segments in which we operate.  A number of banks and other financial institutions compete with us in the prepaid card market; however, we do not believe that any single bank or group of banks is a predominant providerWe believe that our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including:

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our ability to expand our affinity group banking program;

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competitors’ interest rates and service fees;

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the scope of our products and services;

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the relevance of our products and services to customer needs and the rate at which we and our competitors introduce them;

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satisfaction of our customers with our customer service;

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our perceived safety as a depository institution, including our size, credit rating, capital strength, earnings strength and regulatory posture;

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ease of use of our banking websites and other customer interfaces; and

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the capacity, reliability and security of our network infrastructure.

 

If we experience difficulty in any of these areas, our competitive position could be materially adversely affected, which would affect our growth, our profitability and, possibly, our ability to continue operations.  With respect to our affinity group operations, we believe we can compete effectively as a result of our ability to customize our product offerings to the affinity group’s needs.  We believe that the costs of entry, especially compliance costs, to offering prepaid cards through affinity groups are relatively high and somewhat prohibitive to new competitors.  We have competed successfully with institutions much larger than ourselves; however, many of our competitors have larger customer bases, greater name recognition, greater financial and other resources and longer operating histories which may impact our ability to compete.  Our future success will depend on our ability to compete effectively in a highly competitive market.

 

Regulation Under Banking Law

 

Overview

We are regulated extensively under both federal and state banking law and related regulations in the United States, and TPL is extensively regulated by the laws and related regulations of Gibraltar and of EU and EEA member countries in which it issues prepaid products.  We are a Delaware corporation and a financial holding company registered with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Reserve.  We are subject to supervision and regulation by the Federal Reserve and the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner, or the Commissioner.  The Bank, as a state-chartered, nonmember depository institution, is supervised by the Commissioner, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC.  TPL is a Gibraltar e-money licensee and is supervised by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.

The Bank is subject to requirements and restrictions under federal and state law, including requirements to maintain reserves against deposits, restrictions on the types and amount of loans that may be made and the interest that may be charged, and limitations on the types of investments that may be made and the types of services that may be offered.  Various consumer laws and regulations also affect the Bank’s operations.  Any change in the regulatory requirements and policies by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the Commissioner, the United States Congress, or the states in which our customers reside could have a material adverse impact on us, the Bank and our operations. We have entered into consent orders with the FDIC and have received a supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve which have imposed certain restrictions upon us and the Bank. See “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Business-The entry into the Consent Orders, as amended, and a supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve have imposed certain restrictions and requirements on us and the Bank.”

Certain regulatory requirements applicable to us and the Bank are referred to below or elsewhere herein.  The description of statutes and regulations is not intended to be a complete explanation of such statutes and regulations or their effects on the Bank or us and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the actual statutes and regulations.

Federal Regulation

As a financial holding company, we are subject to regular examination by the Federal Reserve and must file annual reports and provide any additional information that the Federal Reserve may request.  Under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, which we refer to as the BHCA, a financial holding company may not directly or indirectly acquire ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares or substantially all of the assets of any bank, or merge or consolidate with another financial holding company, without the prior approval of the Federal Reserve.

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Permitted Activities.  The BHCA generally limits the activities of a financial holding company and its subsidiaries to that of banking, managing or controlling banks, or any other activity that is determined to be so closely related to banking or to managing or controlling banks that an exception is allowed for those activities.  These activities include, among other things, and subject to limitations, operating a mortgage company, finance company, credit card company or factoring company; performing data processing operations; the issuance and sale of consumer-type payment instruments; provide investment and financial advice; acting as an insurance agent for particular types of credit related insurance and providing specified securities brokerage services for customers.  In November 2012, we began conducting permissible activities through TPL, an electronic money issuer organized and licensed in Gibraltar.

Change in Control.    The BHCA prohibits a company from acquiring control of a financial holding company without prior Federal Reserve approval.  Similarly, the Change in Bank Control Act, which we refer to as the CBCA, prohibits a person or group of persons from acquiring “control” of a financial holding company unless the Federal Reserve has been notified and has not objected to the transaction.  In general, under a rebuttable presumption established by the Federal Reserve, the acquisition of 10% or more of any class of voting securities of a financial holding company is presumed to be an acquisition of control of the holding company if: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the financial holding company has a class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no other person will own or control a greater percentage of that class of voting securities immediately after the transaction.

An acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding shares of any class of voting securities of a financial holding company is conclusively deemed to be the acquisition of control.  In determining percentage ownership for a person, Federal Reserve policy is to count securities obtainable by that person through the exercise of options or warrants, even if the options or warrants have not then vested.

The Federal Reserve has revised its minority investment policy statement, under which, subject to the filing of certain commitments with the Federal Reserve, an investor can acquire up to one-third of our equity without being deemed to have engaged in a change in control, provided that no more than 15% of the investor’s equity is voting stock.  This revised policy statement also permits non-controlling passive investors to engage in interactions with our management without being considered as controlling our operations.

Regulatory Restrictions on Dividends.  It is the policy of the Federal Reserve that financial holding companies should pay cash dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition.  The policy provides that financial holding companies should not maintain a level of cash dividends that undermines the financial holding company’s ability to serve as a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries.  See “Holding Company Liability,” below.  Federal Reserve policies also affect the ability of a financial holding company to pay in-kind dividends.

Various federal and state statutory provisions limit the amount of dividends that subsidiary banks can pay to their holding companies without regulatory approval.  The Bank is also subject to limitations under state law regarding the payment of dividends, including the requirement that dividends may be paid only out of net profits.  See “Delaware Regulation” below.  In addition to these explicit limitations, federal and state regulatory agencies are authorized to prohibit a banking subsidiary or financial holding company from engaging in unsafe or unsound banking practices.  Depending upon the circumstances, the agencies could take the position that paying a dividend would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice. In August 2015, we consented to the issuance of a consent order amendment pursuant to which the payment of dividends by the Bank to us would require prior FDIC approval, and received a Federal Reserve supervisory letter pursuant to which any payment of dividends by us would require prior approval from the Federal Reserve. See “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Business-The entry into the Consent Orders, as amended, and a supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve have imposed certain restrictions and requirements on us and the Bank.”

Because we are a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank, our right to participate in the distribution of assets of the Bank, or any other subsidiary, upon the Bank’s or the subsidiary’s liquidation or reorganization will be subject to the prior claims of the Bank’s or subsidiary’s creditors.  In the event of liquidation or other resolution of an insured depository institution, the claims of depositors and other general or subordinated creditors have priority of payment over the claims of holders of any obligation of the institution’s holding company or any of the holding company’s shareholders or creditors.

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Holding Company Liability.  Under Federal Reserve policy, a financial holding company is expected to act as a source of financial strength to each of its banking subsidiaries and commit resources to their support.  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, codified this policy as a statutory requirement.  Under this requirement, we are expected to commit resources to support the Bank, including at times when we may not be in a financial position to provide such resources.  As discussed below under “Prompt Corrective Action,” a financial holding company in certain circumstances could be required to guarantee the capital plan of an undercapitalized banking subsidiary.

In the event of a financial holding company’s bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the trustee will be deemed to have assumed, and is required to cure immediately, any deficit under any commitment by the debtor holding company to any of the federal banking agencies to maintain the capital of an insured depository institution, and any claim for breach of such obligation will generally have priority over most other unsecured claims.

Capital Adequacy. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC have issued standards for measuring capital adequacy for financial holding companies and banks.  These standards are designed to provide risk-based capital guidelines and to incorporate a consistent framework.  The risk-based guidelines are used by the agencies in their examination and supervisory process, as well as in the analysis of any applications.  As discussed below under “Prompt Corrective Action,” a failure to meet minimum capital requirements could subject us or the Bank to a variety of enforcement remedies available to federal regulatory authorities, including, in the most severe cases, termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC and placing the Bank into conservatorship or receivership.

In general, these risk-related standards require banks and financial holding companies to maintain capital based on “risk-adjusted” assets so that the categories of assets with potentially higher credit risk will require more capital backing than categories with lower credit risk.  In addition, banks and financial holding companies are required to maintain capital to support off-balance sheet activities such as loan commitments. 

As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, our financial holding company status depends upon our maintaining our status as “well capitalized” and “well managed” under applicable Federal Reserve regulations.  If a financial holding company ceases to meet these requirements, the Federal Reserve may impose corrective capital and/or managerial requirements on the financial holding company and place limitations on its ability to conduct the broader financial activities permissible for financial holding companies.  In addition, the Federal Reserve may require divestiture of the holding company’s depository institution if the deficiencies persist. 

The standards classify total capital for this risk-based measure into two tiers, referred to as Tier 1 and Tier 2.  Tier 1 capital consists of common shareholders’ equity, certain non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, less certain adjustments.  Tier 2 capital consists of the allowance for loan and lease losses (within certain limits), perpetual preferred stock not included in Tier 1, hybrid capital instruments, term subordinate debt, and intermediate-term preferred stock, less certain adjustments.  Together, these two categories of capital comprise a bank’s or financial holding company’s “qualifying total capital.” However, capital that qualifies as Tier 2 capital is limited in amount to 100% of Tier 1 capital in testing compliance with the total risk-based capital minimum standards.  Banks and financial holding companies must have a minimum ratio of 8% of qualifying total capital to total risk-weighted assets, and a minimum ratio of 4% of qualifying Tier 1 capital to total risk-weighted assets.  At December 31, 2015, we and the Bank had total capital to risk-adjusted assets ratios of 14.88% and 14.18%, respectively, and Tier 1 capital to risk-adjusted assets ratios of 14.67% and 13.98%, respectively.

In addition, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC have established minimum leverage ratio guidelines.  The principal objective of these guidelines is to constrain the maximum degree to which a financial institution can leverage its equity capital base.  It is intended to be used as a supplement to the risk-based capital guidelines.  These guidelines provide for a minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to adjusted average total assets of 3% for financial holding companies that meet certain specified criteria, including those having the highest regulatory rating.  Other financial institutions generally must maintain a leverage ratio of at least 3% plus 100 to 200 basis points.  The guidelines also provide that financial institutions experiencing internal growth or making acquisitions will be expected to maintain strong capital positions substantially above minimum supervisory levels, without significant reliance on intangible assets.  Furthermore, the banking agencies have indicated that they may consider other indicia of capital strength in evaluating proposals for expansion or new activities.  At December 31, 2015 we and the Bank had leverage ratios of 7.17% and 6.90%, respectively.

The federal banking agencies’ standards provide that concentration of credit risk and certain risks arising from nontraditional activities, as well as an institution’s ability to manage these risks, are important factors to be taken into account by them in assessing a

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financial institution’s overall capital adequacy.  The risk-based capital standards also provide for the consideration of interest rate risk in the agency’s determination of a financial institution’s capital adequacy.  The standards require financial institutions to effectively measure and monitor their interest rate risk and to maintain capital adequate for that risk.  These standards can be expected to be amended from time to time.

The Dodd-Frank Act includes certain related provisions which are often referred to as the “Collins Amendment.”  These provisions are intended to subject bank holding companies to the same capital requirements as their bank subsidiaries and to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of hybrid capital instruments, especially trust preferred securities, as regulatory capital.  Under the Collins Amendment, trust preferred securities issued by a company, such as our company, with total consolidated assets of less than $15 billion before May 19, 2010 and treated as regulatory capital are grandfathered, but any such securities issued later are not eligible as regulatory capital.  The federal banking regulators issued final rules setting minimum risk-based and leverage capital requirements for holding companies and banks on a consolidated basis that are no less stringent than the generally applicable requirements in effect for depository institutions under the prompt corrective action regulations discussed below and other components of the Collins Amendment.  

 

Basel III Capital Rules

In July 2013, the Company’s primary federal regulator, the Federal Reserve, and the Bank’s primary federal regulator, the FDIC, approved final rules, which we refer to as the New Capital Rules, establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations.  The New Capital Rules generally implement the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s December 2010 final capital framework referred to as “Basel III” for strengthening international capital standards.  The New Capital Rules substantially revise the risk-based capital requirements applicable to bank holding companies and their depository institution subsidiaries, including us and the Bank, as compared to the current U.S. general risk-based capital rules.  The New Capital Rules revise the definitions and the components of regulatory capital, as well as address other issues affecting the numerator in banking institutions’ regulatory capital ratios.  The New Capital Rules also address asset risk weights and other matters affecting the denominator in banking institutions’ regulatory capital ratios and replace the existing general risk-weighting approach, which was derived from the Basel Committee’s 1988 “Basel I” capital accords, with a more risk-sensitive approach based, in part, on the “standardized approach” in the Basel Committee’s 2004 “Basel II” capital accords.  In addition, the New Capital Rules implement certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, including the requirements of Section 939A to remove references to credit ratings from the federal agencies’ rules.  The New Capital Rules became effective for us and the Bank on January 1, 2015, subject to phase-in periods for certain of their components and other provisions.

 

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

 

Pursuant to the New Capital Rules, the minimum capital ratios as of January 1, 2015, with the first measurement date as of March 31, 2015, are as follows:

 

·

4.5% CET1 to risk-weighted assets;

·

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

·

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

·

4% Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”).

 

The New Capital Rules also introduce a new “capital conservation buffer”, composed entirely of CET1, on top of these minimum risk-weighted asset ratios.  The capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions with a ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets above the minimum but below the capital conservation buffer will

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face constraints on dividends, equity repurchases and compensation based on the amount of the shortfall.  Thus, when fully phased-in on January 1, 2019, we and the Bank will be required to maintain such additional capital conservation buffer of 2.5% of CET1, effectively resulting in minimum ratios of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7%, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.5%, and (iii) Total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 10.5%.

 

The New Capital Rules provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1.  These include, for example, the requirement that deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks and significant investments in non-consolidated financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10% of CET1 or all such items, in the aggregate, exceed 15% of CET1.

 

In addition, under the current general risk-based capital rules, the effects of accumulated other comprehensive income or loss, or AOCI, items included in shareholders’ equity (for example, marks-to-market of securities held in the available for sale portfolio) under U.S. GAAP are reversed for the purposes of determining regulatory capital ratios.  Pursuant to the New Capital Rules, the effects of certain AOCI items are not excluded; however, non-advanced approaches banking organizations, including us and the Bank, may make a one-time permanent election to continue to exclude these items.  This election must be made concurrently with the first filing of certain of our and the Bank’s periodic regulatory reports in the beginning of 2015.  We and the Bank made this election in order to avoid significant variations in the level of capital depending upon the impact of interest rate fluctuations on the fair value of our securities portfolio.  The New Capital Rules also preclude certain hybrid securities, such as trust preferred securities, from inclusion in bank holding companies’ Tier 1 capital, subject to grandfathering in the case of bank holding companies, such as us, that had less than $15 billion in total consolidated assets as of December 31, 2009.  Implementation of the deductions and other adjustments to CET1 began on January 1, 2015 and will be phased-in over a 4-year period (beginning at 40% on January 1, 2015 and an additional 20% per year thereafter).  The implementation of the capital conservation buffer will begin on January 1, 2016 at the 0.625% level and increase by 0.625% on each subsequent January 1, until it reaches 2.5% on January 1, 2019.

 

With respect to the Bank, the New Capital Rules revise the “prompt corrective action” or PCA, regulations adopted pursuant to Section 38 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, by: (i) introducing a CET1 ratio requirement at each PCA category (other than critically undercapitalized), with the required CET1 ratio being 6.5% for well-capitalized status; (ii) increasing the minimum Tier 1 capital ratio requirement for each category, with the minimum Tier 1 capital ratio for well-capitalized status being 8% (as compared to the current 6%); and (iii) eliminating the current provision that provides that a bank with a composite supervisory rating of 1 may have a 3% leverage ratio and still be adequately capitalized.  The New Capital Rules do not change the total risk-based capital requirement for any PCA category.

 

The New Capital Rules prescribe a new standardized approach for risk weightings that expand the risk-weighting categories from the current four Basel I-derived categories (0%, 20%, 50% and 100%) to a larger and more risk-sensitive number of categories, depending on the nature of the assets, generally ranging from 0% for U.S. government and agency securities, to 600% for certain equity exposures, and resulting in higher risk weights for a variety of asset classes. 

We believe that we and the Bank will continue to be able to meet targeted capital ratios. Actual ratios are shown in the following paragraph.

 

Prompt Corrective Action.  Federal banking agencies must take prompt supervisory and regulatory actions against undercapitalized depository institutions pursuant to the Prompt Corrective Action provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.  Depository institutions are assigned one of five capital categories—“well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized”—and are subjected to differential regulation corresponding to the capital category within which the institution falls.  Under certain circumstances, a well-capitalized, adequately capitalized or undercapitalized institution may be treated as if the institution were in the next lower capital category.  As we describe in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources,” an institution is deemed to be well capitalized if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 6.0% and a leverage ratio of at least 5%.  An institution is adequately capitalized if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 8%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 4% and a leverage ratio of at least 4%.  At December 31, 2015, our total risk-based capital ratio was 14.88%, our Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 14.67% and our leverage ratio was 7.17% while the Bank’s ratios were 14.18%, 13.98% and 6.90%, respectively and, accordingly, both we and the Bank were “well capitalized” within the meaning of the regulations.  A depository institution is generally prohibited from making capital distributions (including paying dividends) or paying management fees to a holding company if the institution would thereafter be undercapitalized.  Adequately capitalized institutions cannot accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits except with a waiver from the FDIC, and are subject to restrictions on

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the interest rates that can be paid on such deposits.  Undercapitalized institutions may not accept, renew, or roll over brokered deposits.

Bank regulatory agencies are permitted or, in certain cases, required to take action with respect to institutions falling within one of the three undercapitalized categories.  Depending on the level of an institution’s capital, the agency’s corrective powers include, among other things:

·

prohibiting the payment of principal and interest on subordinated debt;

·

prohibiting the holding company from making distributions without prior regulatory approval;

·

placing limits on asset growth and restrictions on activities;

·

placing additional restrictions on transactions with affiliates;

·

restricting the interest rate the institution may pay on deposits;

·

prohibiting the institution from accepting deposits from correspondent banks; and

·

in the most severe cases, appointing a conservator or receiver for the institution.

A banking institution that is undercapitalized must submit a capital restoration plan.  This plan will not be accepted unless, among other things, the banking institution’s holding company guarantees the plan up to an agreed-upon amount.  Any guarantee by a depository institution’s holding company is entitled to a priority of payment in bankruptcy.  Failure to implement a capital plan, or failure to have a capital restoration plan accepted, may result in a conservatorship or receivership.

As noted above, the New Capital Rules became effective as of January 1, 2015, with the first measurement date as of March 31, 2015 subject to phased implementation in certain respects, and revised the PCA regulations.

Insurance of Deposit Accounts.  The Bank’s deposits are insured to the maximum extent permitted by the Deposit Insurance Fund or DIF.  Upon enactment of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 on October 3, 2008, federal deposit insurance coverage levels under the DIF temporarily increased from $100,000 to $250,000 per deposit category, per depositor, per institution, through December 31, 2009.  On May 20, 2009, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act extended the temporary increase through December 31, 2012.  The Dodd-Frank Act permanently increases the maximum amount of deposit insurance to $250,000 per deposit category, per depositor, per institution retroactive to January 1, 2008.  The Dodd-Frank Act provided unlimited deposit insurance coverage on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts through December 31, 2012.  Due to the expiration of this unlimited deposit insurance on December 31, 2012 beginning January 1, 2013 deposits held in noninterest-bearing transaction accounts are aggregated with any interest-bearing deposits the owner my hold in the same ownership category, and the combined total is insured up to at least $250,000. 

As the insurer, the FDIC is authorized to conduct examinations of, and to require reporting by, FDIC-insured institutions.  The FDIC also may prohibit any FDIC-insured institution from engaging in any activity the FDIC determines by regulation or order to pose a serious threat to the DIF.  The FDIC also has the authority to initiate enforcement actions against banks.

The FDIC has implemented a risk-based assessment system under which FDIC-insured depository institutions pay annual premiums at rates based on their risk classification.  A bank’s risk classification is based on its capital levels and the level of supervisory concern the bank poses to the regulators.  Institutions assigned to higher risk classifications (that is, institutions that pose a greater risk of loss to the DIF) pay assessments at higher rates than institutions that pose a lower risk.  A decrease in the Bank’s capital ratios or the occurrence of events that have an adverse effect on a bank’s asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity or sensitivity to market risk could result in a substantial increase in deposit insurance premiums paid by the Bank, which would adversely affect earnings.  In addition, the FDIC can impose special assessments in certain instances.  The range of assessments in the risk-based system is a function of the reserve ratio in the DIF.  Each insured institution is assigned to one of four risk categories based on supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital levels and certain other factors.  An institution’s assessment rate depends upon the category to which it is assigned.  Unlike the other categories, Risk Category I contains further risk differentiation based on the FDIC’s analysis of financial ratios, examination component ratings and other information.  Assessment rates are determined by the FDIC and, including potential adjustments to reflect an institution’s risk profile, currently range from five to nine basis points for the healthiest institutions (Risk Category I) to 35 basis points of assessable liabilities for the riskiest (Risk Category IV).  Rates may be increased an additional ten basis points depending on the amount of brokered deposits utilized.  The above rates apply to institutions with assets

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under $10 billion.  Other rates apply for larger or “highly complex” institutions.  The FDIC may adjust rates uniformly from one quarter to the next, except that no single adjustment can exceed three basis points.  At December 31, 2015, the Bank’s DIF assessment rate was 24 basis points.  A reduction in the assessment rate will depend on future FDIC evaluations of the Bank.

 

Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has established 2.0% as the designated reserve ratio (DRR), that is, the ratio of the DIF to insured deposits of the total industry.  The FDIC has adopted a plan under which it will meet the statutory minimum DRR of 1.35% by September 30, 2020, the deadline imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act.  The Dodd-Frank Act requires the FDIC to offset the effect on institutions with assets of less than $10 billion of the increase in the statutory minimum DRR to 1.35% from the former statutory minimum of 1.15%.  The FDIC proposed rules in October 2015 regarding the offset.  Under the proposal, banks with less than $10 billion in assets would receive an assessment credit for the portion of their assessments that contribute to the increase from 1.15% to 1.35%.  These rules have not yet been finalized.

Loans-to-One Borrower.  Generally, a bank may not make a loan or extend credit to a single or related group of borrowers in excess of 15% of its unimpaired capital and surplus.  An additional amount may be lent, equal to 10% of unimpaired capital and surplus, if such loan is secured by specified collateral, generally readily marketable collateral (which is defined to include certain financial instruments and bullion) and real estate.  At December 31, 2015, the Bank’s limit on loans-to-one borrower was $46.7 million ($77.8 million for secured loans). 

Transactions with Affiliates and other Related Parties.  There are various legal restrictions on the extent to which a financial holding company and its nonbank subsidiaries can borrow or otherwise obtain credit from banking subsidiaries or engage in other transactions with or involving those banking subsidiaries.  The Bank’s authority to engage in transactions with related parties or “affiliates” (that is, any entity that controls, controlled by or is under common control with an institution, including us and our non-bank subsidiaries) is limited by Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation W promulgated thereunder.  Section 23A restricts the aggregate amount of covered transactions with any individual affiliate to 10% of the Bank’s capital and surplus.  At December 31, 2015, we were not indebted to the Bank.  The aggregate amount of covered transactions with all affiliates is limited to 20% of the Bank’s capital and surplus.  Certain transactions with affiliates are required to be secured by collateral in an amount and of a type described in Section 23A and the purchase of low quality assets from affiliates is generally prohibited.  Section 23B generally provides that certain transactions with affiliates, including loans and asset purchases, must be on terms and under circumstances, including credit standards, that are substantially the same or at least as favorable to the institution as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with non-affiliated companies.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act generally enhances the restrictions on transactions with affiliates under Section 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, including an expansion of the definition of “covered transactions” and an increase in the amount of time for which collateral requirements regarding covered credit transactions must be satisfied.  Insider transaction limitations are expanded through the strengthening of loan restrictions to insiders and the expansion of the types of transactions subject to the various limits, including derivatives transactions, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements and securities lending or borrowing transactions.  Restrictions are also placed on certain assets sales to and from an insider to an institution including requirements that such sales be on market terms and, in certain circumstances, approved by the institution’s board of directors.

The Bank’s authority to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and 10% shareholders, as well as to entities controlled by such persons, is governed by the requirements of Sections 22(g) and 22(h) of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation O of the Federal Reserve.  Among other things, these provisions require that extensions of credit to insiders (i) be made on terms that are substantially the same as, and follow credit underwriting procedures that are not less stringent than, those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated persons and that do not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features; and (ii) not exceed certain limitations on the amount of credit extended to such persons, individually and in the aggregate, which limits are based, in part, on the amount of the Bank’s capital.  In addition, extensions of credit in excess of certain limits must be approved by the Bank’s board of directors.  At December 31, 2015, loans to related parties amounted to $1.8 million and at December 31, 2014 such loans amounted to $30.9 million.

Standards for Safety and Soundness.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Act requires each federal banking agency to prescribe for all insured depository institutions standards relating to, among other things, internal controls, information and audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees, benefits and such other operational and managerial standards as the agency deems appropriate.  The federal banking agencies have adopted final regulations and Interagency Guidelines Prescribing Standards for Safety and Soundness to implement these safety and soundness standards.  The

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guidelines set forth the safety and soundness standards that the federal banking agencies use to identify and address problems at insured depository institutions before capital becomes impaired.  If the appropriate federal banking agency determines that an institution fails to meet any standard prescribed by the guidelines, the agency may require the institution to submit to the agency an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard.

Privacy.  Financial institutions are required to disclose their policies for collecting and protecting confidential information. Customers generally may prevent financial institutions from sharing nonpublic personal financial information with nonaffiliated third parties except under narrow circumstances, such as the processing of transactions requested by the consumer or when the financial institution is jointly sponsoring a product or service with a nonaffiliated third party.  Additionally, financial institutions generally may not disclose consumer account numbers to any nonaffiliated third party for use in telemarketing, direct mail marketing or other marketing to consumers.  The Bank has adopted privacy standards that we believe will satisfy regulatory scrutiny, and communicates its privacy practices to its customers through privacy disclosures designed in a manner consistent with recommended model forms.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, known as the FACT Act, provides consumers with the ability to restrict companies from using certain information obtained from affiliates to make marketing solicitations.  In general, a person is prohibited from using information received from an affiliate to make a solicitation for marketing purposes to a consumer, unless the consumer is given notice and had a reasonable opportunity to opt out of such solicitations.  The rule permits opt-out notices to be given by any affiliate that has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and permits a joint notice from two or more affiliates.  Moreover, such notice would not be applicable if the company using the information has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer.  This notice may be combined with other required disclosures, including notices required under other applicable privacy provisions.

 

Section 315 of the FACT Act requires each financial institution or creditor to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of certain accounts or certain existing accounts.  In accordance with this rule, the Bank was required to adopt “reasonable policies and procedures” to:

 

·

identify relevant red flags for covered accounts and incorporate those red flags into the program;

·

detect red flags that have been incorporated into the program;

·

respond appropriately to any red flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft; and

·

ensure the program is updated periodically, to reflect changes in risks to customers or to the safety and soundness of the financial institution or creditor from identity theft.

Bank Secrecy Act- Anti-Money Laundering and Related Regulations.  The Bank Secrecy Act, which we refer to as BSA, requires the Bank to implement a risk-based compliance program in order to protect the Bank from being used as a conduit for financial or other illicit crimes including but not limited to money laundering and terrorist financing.  These rules are administered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department, which we refer to as FinCEN.  Under the law, the Bank must have a board-approved written BSA-Anti-Money Laundering, which we refer to as AML, program which must contain the following key requirements:  (1)  appointing responsible persons to manage the program, including a BSA Officer; (2)  ongoing training of all appropriate Bank staff and management on BSA-AML compliance;  (3) developing a system of internal controls (including appropriate policies, procedures and processes); and (4) requiring independent testing to ensure effective implementation of the program and appropriate compliance.  Under BSA regulations, the Bank is subject to various reporting requirements such as currency transaction reporting (CTR)  for all cash transactions initiated by or on behalf of a customer which, when aggregated, exceed $10,000 per day.  The Bank is also required to monitor customer activity and transactions and file a suspicious activity report, or SAR, when suspicious activity is observed and the applicable dollar threshold for the observed suspicious activity is met.  The BSA also contains numerous recordkeeping requirements.  For a description of a consent order with the FDIC under the BSA that imposes certain requirements on the Bank, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Recent Developments” and “Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Business-The entry into the Consent Orders, as amended, and a supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve have imposed certain restrictions and requirements on us and the Bank.”

On June 21, 2010, FinCEN proposed new rules as directed by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 to expand the reach of BSA-AML related compliance responsibilities to certain defined “prepaid access providers and sellers, a class of money services businesses formerly either outside or lightly regulated under the BSA.”  On July 26, 2011, FinCEN issued its final rule imposing these affirmative BSA-AML compliance obligations.  The Bank has evaluated the impact of these rules on its operations and its third-party relationships, and has established internal processes accordingly. 

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USA PATRIOT Act. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, which we refer to as the USA PATRIOT Act, amended, in part, the BSA, by, in pertinent part, criminalizing the financing of terrorism and augmenting the existing BSA framework by strengthening customer identification procedures, requiring financial institutions to have due diligence procedures, including enhanced due diligence procedures and, most significantly, improving information sharing between financial institutions and the U.S. government. 

Under the USA PATRIOT Act, FinCEN can send bank regulatory agencies lists of the names of persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities or money laundering.  The Bank must search its records for any relationships or transactions with persons on those lists.  If the Bank finds any relationships or transactions, it must report specific information to FinCEN and implement other internal compliance procedures in accordance with the Bank’s BSA-AML compliance procedures. 

The Office of Foreign Assets Control, which we refer to as OFAC, is a division of the U.S. Treasury Department,  and administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  OFAC functions under the President’s wartime and national emergency powers, as well as under authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under U.S. jurisdiction.  In addition, many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, and typically involve close cooperation with allied governments.  OFAC maintains lists of names of persons and organizations suspected of aiding, harboring or engaging in terrorist acts, as well as sanctions programs for certain countries.  If the Bank finds a name on any transaction, account or wire transfer that is on an OFAC list, the Bank must freeze or block such account, and perform additional procedures as required by OFAC regulations.  The Bank filters its customer base and transactional activity against OFAC-issued lists.  The Bank performs these checks utilizing purpose directed software, which is updated each time a modification is made to the lists provided by OFAC and other agencies.

Other Consumer Protection Regulations.  The Bank is subject to a wide range of consumer protection regulations which may have an enterprise-wide impact or may principally govern its lending or deposit operations.  To the extent the Bank engages third party service providers in any aspect of its products and services, these third parties may also be subject to compliance with applicable law, and must therefore be subject to Bank oversight.

Unfair or Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices.  Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits all persons, including financial institutions, from engaging in any unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.  The Dodd-Frank Act codifies this prohibition, and expands it even further by prohibiting “abusive” practices as well.  These prohibitions, which we refer to as UDAAP, apply in all areas of the Bank, including marketing and advertising practices, product features, terms and conditions,  operational practices, and the conduct of third parties with whom the Bank may partner or on whom the Bank may rely in bringing Bank products and services to consumers.

The Bank’s loan operations are also subject to federal consumer protection laws applicable to credit transactions, including:

·

the federal “Truth-In-Lending Act,” governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;

·

the “Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975,” requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the community it serves;

·

the “Equal Credit Opportunity Act,” prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed or other prohibited factors in extending credit;

·

the “Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1978,” as amended by the “Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act,” governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies, certain identity theft protections and certain credit and other disclosures;

·

the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies;

·

the “Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act” prohibiting unfair, abusive or deceptive home mortgage lending practices, restricting mortgage lending activities and providing advertising and mortgage disclosure standards.

·

the “Service Members Civil Relief Act;” postponing or suspending some civil obligations of service members during periods of transition, deployment and other times; and

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·

the rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws;

 

In addition, interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank will be subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates.

 

The deposit operations of the Bank are subject to various consumer protection laws including but not limited to:

 

·

the “Truth in Savings Act,” which imposes disclosure obligations to enable consumers to make informed decisions about accounts at depository institutions;

·

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

·

the “Expedited Funds Availability Act” which establishes standards related to when financial institutions must make various deposit items available for withdrawal, and requires depository institutions to disclose their availability policies to their depositors;

·

the “Electronic Fund Transfer Act” and which governs electronic fund transfers to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services; and

·

the rules and regulations of various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws.

 

Community Reinvestment Act.    Under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which we refer to as the CRA, a federally-insured institution has a continuing and affirmative obligation to help meet the credit needs of its community, including low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of the institution. The Bank shall delineate one or more assessment areas within which the FDIC evaluates the bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its community.  The CRA further requires that a record be kept of whether a financial institution meets its community’s credit needs, which record will be taken into account when evaluating applications for, among other things, domestic branches and mergers and acquisitions. The CRA further requires that a record be kept of whether a financial institution meets its community’s credit needs, which record will be taken into account when evaluating applications for, among other things, domestic branches and mergers and acquisitions. The regulations promulgated pursuant to the CRA contain three evaluation tests:

 

·

a lending test evaluates a bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its assessment area(s) through its lending activities by considering a bank's home mortgage, small business, small farm, and community development lending.;

·

a service test, evaluates a bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its assessment area(s) by analyzing both the availability and effectiveness of a bank's systems for delivering retail banking services and the extent and innovativeness of its community development services; and

·

an investment test, evaluates a bank's record of helping to meet the credit needs of its assessment area(s) through qualified investments that benefit its assessment area(s) or a broader statewide or regional area that includes the bank's assessment area(s).

 

The Bank was examined for CRA compliance in 2015 and received a “needs to improve” rating for the 2015 examination which covered the period from 2012 through June 2, 2015. As a result of the current rating, certain business restrictions are in place, including FDIC limits on change in control, new branches, branch relocation, main office relocation, and mergers (regular, interim or corporate reorganizations).  The Federal Reserve Bank restrictions include limitations on holding company commencement of direct or indirect new financial activity and holding company change in control.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency has also imposed restrictions on receiving long-term advances and participating in their Affordable Housing Program and Community Investment Cash Advances Program. 

Given the nature of the private label branchless banking services the Bank offers, during the course of the examination the Bank elected to develop a CRA Strategic Plan to meet its regulatory requirements.  Once the CRA Strategic Plan is approved, the Bank will operate under approved customized regulatory standards it believes will provide improved opportunities for performance. The Bank continues to closely monitor its performance in alignment with the CRA Strategic Plan to meet with lending, service and investment requirements.

 

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Enforcement.  Under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the FDIC has the authority to bring actions against a bank and all affiliated parties, including stockholders, attorneys, appraisers and accountants, who knowingly or recklessly participate in wrongful actions likely to have an adverse effect on the bank.  Formal enforcement action may range from the issuance of a capital directive or cease and desist order to removal of officers and/or directors to institution of receivership or conservatorship proceedings, or termination of deposit insurance.  Civil penalties cover a wide range of violations and can amount to $25,000 per day, or even $1 million per day in especially egregious cases.  Federal law also establishes criminal penalties for certain violations.

 

Federal Reserve System. Federal Reserve regulations require banks to maintain non-interest bearing reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily negotiated order of withdrawal, or NOW, and regular checking accounts).  For 2015, Federal Reserve regulations generally required that reserves be maintained against aggregate transaction accounts as follows: for accounts aggregating $89.1 million or less (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve), the reserve requirement is 3%; and, for accounts aggregating greater than $89.1 million, the reserve requirement is 10% (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve to between 8% and 14%).  The first $14.5 million of otherwise reservable balances (subject to adjustments by the Federal Reserve) are exempt from the reserve requirements.  At December 31, 2015, the Bank met these requirements by maintaining $266.8 million in cash and balances at the Federal Reserve Bank.

 

Regulatory Reform

 

On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law.  The Dodd-Frank Act (as amended) implements far-reaching changes across the financial regulatory landscape, including provisions that, among other things, will or have already:

 

·

Centralize responsibility for consumer financial protection by creating a new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, with broad rulemaking, supervision and enforcement authority for a wide range of consumer protection laws that would apply to all banks and certain others, including the examination and enforcement powers with respect to any bank with more than $10 billion in assets.  The CFPB has been officially established and has begun issuing rules, taking consumer complaints and performing its other core functions.

·

Restrict the preemption of state consumer financial protection law by federal law and disallow subsidiaries and affiliates of national banks, from availing themselves of such preemption.

·

Require new capital rules and apply the same leverage and risk-based capital requirements that apply to insured depository institutions to most bank holding companies.

·

Require publicly-traded bank holding companies with assets of $10 billion or more to establish a risk committee responsible for enterprise-wide risk management practices.

·

Change the assessment base for federal deposit insurance from the amount of insured deposits to consolidated average assets less tangible capital.

·

Increase the minimum ratio of net worth to insured deposits of the DIF from 1.15% to 1.35% and require the FDIC, in setting assessments, to offset the effect of the increase on institutions with assets of less than $10 billion.  

·

Provide for new disclosure and other requirements relating to executive compensation and corporate governance, including guidelines or regulations on incentive-based compensation and a prohibition on compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risks or that could provide excessive compensation.

·

Make permanent the $250,000 limit for federal deposit insurance and provide unlimited federal deposit insurance until January 1, 2013 for non-interest bearing demand transaction accounts and IOLTA accounts at all insured depository institutions.

·

Repeal the federal prohibitions on the payment of interest on demand deposits, thereby permitting depository institutions to pay interest on business transaction and other accounts.

·

Allow de novo interstate branching by banks.

·

Give the Federal Reserve the authority to establish rules regarding interchange fees charged for electronic debit transactions by payment card issuers having assets over $10 billion and to enforce a new statutory requirement that such fees be reasonable and proportional to the actual cost of a transaction to the issuer.  The Federal Reserve has issued final rules under this provision that limit the swipe fees that a debit card issuer can charge merchants to 21 cents per transaction plus 5 basis points of the transaction value, subject to an adjustment for fraud prevention costs.  

·

Increase the authority of the Federal Reserve to examine the holding companies and their non-bank subsidiaries.

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·

Require all bank holding companies to serve as a source of financial strength to their depository institution subsidiaries in the event such subsidiaries suffer from financial distress.

·

Restrict proprietary trading by banks, bank holding companies and others, and their acquisition and retention of ownership interests in and sponsorship of hedge funds and private equity funds.  This restriction is commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule.”  There is an exception in the Volcker Rule to allow a bank to organize and offer hedge funds and private equity funds to customers if certain conditions are met.  These conditions include, among others, requirements that the bank provides bona fide investment advisory services; the funds are organized only in connection with such services and to customers of such services; the bank does not have more than a de minimis interest in the funds, limited to a 3% ownership interest in any single fund and an aggregated investment in all funds of 3% of Tier 1 capital; the bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of the funds; and no director or employee of the bank has an ownership interest in the fund unless he or she provides services directly to the funds.  

 

Many aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act are subject to rulemaking and will take effect over several years.  Specific rulemaking intended to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act is underway and is addressed elsewhere in this section as applicable.  It is difficult to predict the extent to which the Dodd-Frank Act or the resulting regulations may impact us.  However, compliance with these new laws and regulations may increase our costs, limit our ability to pursue attractive business opportunities, cause us to modify our strategies and business operations and increase our capital requirements and constraints, any of which may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, liquidity or results of operations.  We cannot predict whether, or in what form any proposed regulation or statute will be adopted or the extent to which our business may be affected by any new regulation or statute.

 

Volcker Rule Adoption.  On December 10, 2013, five financial regulatory agencies, including our primary federal regulators the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, adopted final rules (the “Final Volcker Rules”) implementing the Volcker Rule embodied in Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act, which was added by Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The Final Volcker Rules prohibit banking entities from (1) engaging in short-term proprietary trading for their own accounts, and (2) having certain ownership interests in and relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds (“covered funds”).  The Final Volcker Rules also require each regulated entity to establish an internal compliance program that is consistent with the extent to which it engages in activities covered by the Final Volcker Rules, which must include (for the largest entities) making regular reports about those activities to regulators.  Smaller banks and community banks, including the Bank, are afforded some relief under the Final Volcker Rules.  Smaller banks, including the Bank, that are engaged only in exempted proprietary trading, such as trading in U.S. government, agency, state and municipal obligations, are exempt from compliance program requirements.  Moreover, even if a community or small bank engages in proprietary trading or covered fund activities under the Final Volcker Rules, they need only incorporate references to the Volcker Rule into their existing policies and procedures.  The Final Rules became effective April 1, 2014, but the conformance period was extended from its statutory end date of July 21, 2014 until July 21, 2016.  We do not at this time expect the Final Volcker Rules to have a material impact on our operations. 

 

Prepaid Rules Proposed by the CFPB.  On December 23, 2014, the CFPB published a proposed rule that would regulate prepaid products, including physical cards as well as codes and other devices.  The proposed rule would, among other things, cause prepaid products to be fully-covered by Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and to be covered by Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, to the extent the prepaid product accesses a “credit” feature.  

 

The proposed rule and related commentary is over 230 pages in length and provides significant discussion, materials and commentary that we are currently assessing.  The proposed rule includes a significant number of changes to the regulatory framework for prepaid products, some of which include: (a) establishing a definition of “prepaid account” within Regulation E that includes reloadable and non-reloadable physical cards, as well as codes or other devices, and focuses on how the product is issued and used;   (b) modifying Regulation E to require that  short form and long form disclosures be provided  to a consumer prior to a consumer agreeing to acquire a prepaid account with certain exceptions and with specified forms that, if used, would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions; (c) extending to  prepaid accounts the periodic transaction history and statement requirements of Regulation E currently applicable to payroll and Federal government benefit accounts; (d) extending the error resolution and limited liability provisions of Regulation E currently applicable to payroll cards to registered network branded prepaid cards; (e) requiring financial institutions to post prepaid account agreements to the issuers’ websites and to submit them to the CFPB; (f) extending Regulation Z’s credit card rules and disclosure requirements to prepaid accounts that provide overdraft protection and other credit features; (g)  requiring an issuer to obtain a prepaid account holder’s consent prior to adding overdraft services or other credit features and prohibiting the issuer from adding overdraft services or other credit features for at least 30 calendar days after a consumer registers the prepaid account; (h) prohibiting the application of different terms and conditions, such as charging different fees, to a prepaid account depending on whether the consumer elects to link the prepaid account to overdraft services or other credit features.

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As of the date of this filing, it is not clear if the CFPB will adopt the proposed rule in whole or in part, or with modifications, and there is no known timeframe for the CFPB taking further action on the proposed rule.

 

 Consumer Protections for Remittance Transfers.  On February 7, 2012, the CFPB published a final rule to implement Section 1073 of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The final rule creates a comprehensive set of consumer protections for remittance transfers sent by consumers in the United States to parties in foreign countries.  The final rule, among other things, mandates certain disclosures and consumer cancellation rights for foreign remittances covered by the rule.

 

Federal Regulatory Guidance on Incentive Compensation.  On June 21, 2010, federal banking regulators released final guidance on sound incentive compensation policies for banking organizations.  This 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  key principles including: (1) incentive compensation arrangements at a banking organization should provide employees incentives that appropriately balance risk and financial results in a manner that does not encourage employees to expose their organizations to imprudent risk; (2) these arrangements should be compatible with effective controls and risk-management; and (3) these arrangements should be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors.  The final guidance seeks to address the safety and soundness risks of incentive compensation practices to ultimately be sure that compensation practices are not structured in a manner to give employees incentives to take imprudent risks.  Federal regulators intend to actively monitor the actions being taken by banking organizations with respect to incentive compensation arrangements and will review and update their guidance as appropriate to incorporate best practices that emerge.

 

The Federal Reserve will review, as part of the regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations such as ours that are not considered “large, complex banking organizations.”  These reviews will be tailored to each organization based on the scope and complexity of the organization’s activities and the prevalence of incentive compensation arrangements.  The findings of the supervisory initiatives will be included in reports of examination.  Deficiencies will be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect the organization’s ability to make acquisitions and take other actions.  Enforcement actions may be taken against a banking organization if its incentive compensation arrangements, or related risk-management controls or governance processes, pose a risk to the organization’s safety and soundness and the organization is not taking prompt and effective measures to correct the deficiencies.

 

In February 2011, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC approved a joint proposed rulemaking to implement Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risk taking by covered financial institutions and that are deemed to be excessive, or that may lead to material losses. 

Effect of Governmental Monetary Policies. The commercial banking business is affected not only by general economic conditions but also by both U.S. fiscal policy and the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve.  Some of the instruments of fiscal and monetary policy available to the Federal Reserve include changes in the discount rate on member bank borrowings, the fluctuating availability of borrowings at the “discount window,” open market operations, the imposition of and changes in reserve requirements against member banks’ deposits and assets of foreign branches, the imposition of and changes in reserve requirements against certain borrowings by banks and their affiliates, and the placing of limits on interest rates that member banks may pay on time and savings deposits.  Such policies influence to a significant extent the overall growth of bank loans, investments, and deposits and the interest rates charged on loans or paid on time and savings deposits (see “Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”).  We cannot predict the nature of future fiscal and monetary policies and the effect of such policies on the future business and our earnings.

Delaware Regulation

 

General. As a Delaware financial holding company, we are subject to the supervision of and periodic examination by the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner and must comply with the reporting requirements of the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner.  The Bank, as a banking corporation chartered under Delaware law, is subject to comprehensive regulation by the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner, including regulation of the conduct of its internal affairs, the extent and exercise of its banking powers, the issuance of capital notes or debentures, any mergers, consolidations or conversions, its lending and investment practices and its revolving and closed-end credit practices.  The Bank also is subject to periodic examination by the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner and must comply with the reporting requirements of the Delaware Office of the

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State Bank Commissioner.  The Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner has the power to issue cease and desist orders prohibiting unsafe and unsound practices in the conduct of a banking business.

 

Limitation on Dividends.  Under Delaware banking law, the Bank’s directors may declare dividends on common or preferred stock of so much of its net profits as they judge expedient; but the Bank must, before the declaration of a dividend on common stock from net profits, carry 50% of its net profits of the preceding period for which the dividend is paid to its surplus fund until its surplus fund amounts to 50% of its capital stock and thereafter must carry 25% of its net profits for the preceding period for which the dividend is paid to its surplus fund until its surplus fund amounts to 100% of its capital stock.  The Bank’s payment of dividends is also governed by federal banking laws and regulations promulgated by the FDIC, and by an amendment to the 2014 Consent Order with the FDIC which provides that any payment of dividends by the Bank must receive prior approval from the FDIC.

 

Gibraltar and European Union Regulation

 

TPL, our wholly-owned subsidiary, is an electronic money issuer organized in Gibraltar and licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission or the FSC.  As a licensed e-money issuer operating in Gibraltar and in other countries in the EU and EEA, TPL is subject to the laws and regulations of Gibraltar and any EU or EEA countries in which it does or may operate.  TPL is subject to supervision and regulation by the FSC.  As TPL’s primary regulator, the FSC conducts regular examinations of TPL and TPL must file annual and other periodic reports.

 

Laws applicable to TPL include, without limitation, the Financial Services (Electronic Money) Regulations of 2011, which we refer to as the E-Money Regulations, promulgated by the FSC and the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC).  In January 2012, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform of the Data Protection Directive.  As of December 31, 2015, the proposed rules had not been passed by the European Parliament.  The E-Money Regulations impose upon TPL substantive rules governing TPL’s operation of e-money services, including rules requiring TPL to maintain certain minimum capital levels, governing the safeguarding of cardholder funds, and penalties for any violations.  Any change in the laws, regulations and policies of the Gibraltar Parliament, the European Union, its member countries, or any other country in which TPL operates, could have a material adverse impact on TPL and its operations.

 

Employees

As of December 31, 2015, we had 762 full-time employees and believe our relationships with our employees to be good. Our employees are not employed under a collective bargaining agreement. 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Risks Relating to Our Business

Our business may be affected materially by various risks and uncertainties.  Any of the risks described below or elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or our other SEC filings, as well as other risks we have not identified, may have a material negative impact on our financial condition and operating results. 

The Bank’s allowance for loan losses may not be adequate to cover actual losses.

 

Like all financial institutions, the Bank maintains an allowance for loan losses to provide for probable losses inherent in its loan portfolio. At December 31, 2015, the ratio of the allowance for loan losses to loans was 0.41%.  The Bank’s allowance for loan losses may not be adequate to cover actual loan losses and future provisions for loan losses could materially and adversely affect the Bank’s operating results. The Bank’s allowance for loan losses is determined by management after analyzing historical loan losses, current trends in delinquencies and charge-offs, plans for problem loan resolution, changes in the size and composition of the loan portfolio and industry information.  Also included in management’s estimates for loan losses are considerations with respect to the impact of economic events, the outcome of which are uncertain.  The determination by management of the allowance for loan losses involves a high degree of subjectivity and requires management to estimate current and future credit risk based on both qualitative and quantitative facts, each of which is subject to significant change.  The amount of future loan losses is susceptible to changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates that may be beyond the Bank’s control, and these loan losses may exceed current estimates.  Bank regulatory agencies, as an integral part of their examination process, review the Bank’s loans and allowance for loan losses.  Although we believe that the Bank’s allowance for loan losses is adequate to provide for

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probable losses and that the methodology used by the Bank to determine the amount of both the allowance and provision is effective, we cannot assure you that we will not need to increase the Bank’s allowance for loan losses, change our methodology for determining our allowance and provision for loan losses or that our regulators will not require us to increase this allowance.  Any of these occurrences could materially reduce our earnings and profitability and could result in our sustaining losses.  For risks which are specific to the different types of loans we make and which could impact the allowance for loan losses, see Item 1,” Business –Lending Activities.”

 

The Bank may suffer losses in its loan portfolio despite its underwriting practices.

 

The Bank seeks to mitigate the risks inherent in its loan portfolio by adhering to specific underwriting practices.  These practices vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each loan, but generally include analysis of a borrower’s prior credit history, financial statements, tax returns and cash flow projections, valuation of certain types of collateral based on reports of independent appraisers and verification of liquid assets.  Although the Bank believes that its underwriting criteria are appropriate for the various kinds of loans it makes, the Bank may incur losses on loans that meet its underwriting criteria, and these losses may exceed the amounts set aside as reserves in the Bank’s allowance for loan losses.  If the level of non-performing assets increases, interest income will be reduced.  If we experience loan defaults in excess of amounts that we have included in our allowance for loan losses, we will have to increase the provision for loan losses which will reduce our income and might cause us to incur losses.

 

Weak conditions in the U.S. economy and the credit markets have had, and may continue to have, significant adverse effects on our assets and operating results.

 

Since the end to the recession in 2009, the United States economy has been subject to low rates of growth in general and, in particular localities, recession-like conditions have occurred.  As a result, the financial system in the United States, including credit markets and markets for real estate and real-estate related assets, have periodically been subject to weakness.  These weaknesses have episodically resulted in declines in the availability of credit, reduction in the values of real estate and real estate–related assets, the reduction of markets for those assets and impairment of the ability of certain borrowers to repay their obligations.  As a result of these conditions, we increased our provision for loan losses, and experienced an increase in the amount of loans charged off and non-performing assets in our commercial loan portfolio which are now reflected in discontinued operations.  Rated investment securities, generally considered to be less risky than loans have in recent economic periods, in certain instances, experienced greater than expected losses, which could recur.  The Federal Reserve has continued to maintain interest rates at historically low levels to foster a more rapid and full recovery.  However, a continuation of weak economic conditions could further harm our financial condition and results of operations.  

 

We are subject to extensive government regulation and supervision.

 

The Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiary The Bancorp Bank, are subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision.  Our subsidiary in the European Union, TPL, is also subject to the laws of Gibraltar and all other European Union and European Economic Areas countries in which it operates.  Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect customers, depositors’ funds, the federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, not stockholders.  These regulations affect the Bank’s lending practices, capital structure and requirements, investment activities, dividend policy, product offerings, expansionary strategies and growth, among other things.  The legal and regulatory landscape is frequently changing as Congress and the regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over our operations adopt or amend laws, or change interpretation of existing statutes, regulations or policies.  These changes could affect the Company, the Bank and TPL in substantial and unpredictable ways.  Additionally, while we have policies and procedures designed to prevent violations of the extensive federal and state regulations that we are subject to, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur.  Failure to comply with these statutes, regulations or policies could result in sanctions against us or the Bank by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties, reputational damage, and a downgrade in the Bank’s ratings for capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity and market sensitivity, any of which alone or in combination could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations

 

The entry into the Consent Orders, as amended, and a supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve, have imposed certain restrictions and requirements upon us and the Bank.

 

The Bank entered into a Stipulation and Consent to the Issuance of a Consent Order effective August 7, 2012, which we refer to as the 2012 Consent Order.  The Bank took this action without admitting or denying any charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices or violations of law or regulation.  Under the 2012 Consent Order, the Bank agreed to increase its supervision of third party relationships, develop new written compliance and related internal audit compliance programs, develop a new third-party risk

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management program and screen new third party relationships as provided in the Consent Order. As part of the Consent Order, the Bank agreed to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $172,000, which was paid in 2012.

 

On June 5, 2014, the Bank entered into a Stipulation and Consent to the Issuance of a Consent Order with the FDIC, which we refer to as the 2014 Consent Order.  The Bank took this action without admitting or denying any charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices or violations of law or regulation relating to the Bank’s Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA, compliance program.  The 2014 Consent Order requires the Bank to take certain affirmative actions to comply with its BSA obligations.  See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations – Recent Developments.”  Satisfaction of the requirements of the 2014 Consent Order is subject to the review of the FDIC and the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  The Bank has and expects to continue to expend significant management and financial resources to address the Bank’s BSA compliance program which will reduce our net income. Expenses associated with the required look back review were significant in 2015 and are expected to continue into second quarter 2016.

 

Until the Bank submits to the FDIC a BSA report summarizing the completion of certain corrective action, the 2014 Consent Order restricts the Bank from signing and boarding new independent sales organizations, establishing new non-benefit reloadable prepaid card programs and originating Automated Clearing House transactions for new merchant-related payments.  Until the BSA Report is submitted to and approved by the FDIC and Delaware State Bank Commissioner, those aspects of the growth of our card payment processing and prepaid card operations will be affected,  which, unless offset by growth from existing customers and new customers in other areas of our prepaid card operations, could reduce growth of our deposits and non-interest income and, possibly, limit our ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms. 

 

On August 27, 2015, the Bank entered into an Amendment to Consent Order, or the 2014 Consent Order Amendment, with the FDIC, amending the 2014 Consent Order.  The Bank took this action without admitting or denying any additional charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices or violations of law or regulation relating to continued weaknesses in the Bank’s BSA compliance program.  The 2014 Consent Order Amendment provides that the Bank shall not declare or pay any dividend without the prior written consent of the FDIC and for certain assurances regarding management.

 

On May 11, 2015, the Federal Reserve issued a letter, or the Supervisory Letter, to us as a result of the 2014 Consent Order and the 2014 Consent Order Amendment, (which, at the time of the Supervisory Letter, was in proposed form), which provides that we shall not pay any dividends on our common stock or make any distributions to TPL or its subsidiaries, or make any interest payments on our trust preferred securities, without the prior written approval of the Federal Reserve.  It further provides that we may not incur any debt (excluding payables in the ordinary course of business) or redeem any shares of our stock, without the prior written approval of the Federal Reserve.

 

On December 23, 2015 the Bank entered into a Stipulation and Consent to the Issuance of an Amended Consent Order, Order for Restitution, and Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty with the FDIC, which we refer to as the 2015 Consent Order. The Bank took this action without admitting or denying any charges of violations of law or regulation.  The 2015 Consent Order amends and restates in its entirety the terms of the 2012 Consent Order. 

 

The 2015 Consent Order was based on FDIC allegations regarding electronic fund transfer, or EFT, error resolution practices, account termination practices and fee practices of various third parties with whom the Bank had previously provided, or currently provides, deposit-related products which we refer to as Third Parties.  The 2015 Consent Order continues the Bank's obligations originally set forth in the 2012 Consent Order, including its obligations to increase board oversight of the Bank's compliance management system, or CMS, improve the Bank's CMS, enhance its internal audit program, increase its management and oversight of Third Parties, and correct any apparent violations of law.

 

In addition to restating the general terms of the 2012 Consent Order, the 2015 Consent Order directs the Bank’ Board to establish a Complaint and Error Claim Oversight and Review Committee, which we refer to as the Complaint and Error Claim Committee to review and oversee the Bank’s processes and practices for handling, monitoring and resolving consumer complaints and EFT error claims (whether received directly or through Third Parties) and to review management's plans for correcting any weaknesses that may be found in such processes and practices; and implement a corrective action plan regarding those prepaid cardholders who asserted or attempted to assert EFT error claims and to provide restitution to cardholders harmed by EFT error resolution practices.  The Bank’s Board of Directors appointed the required Complaint and Error Claim Committee on January 29, 2016.  The Bank has begun to implement a corrective action plan accordingly.

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The 2015 Consent Order also imposed a $3 million civil money penalty on the Bank, which the Bank has paid and which was recognized as expense in the fourth quarter of 2015. The 2015 Consent Order further requires that if, through the corrective action plan, the Bank identifies prepaid cardholders who have been adversely affected by a denial or failure to resolve an EFT error claim, the Bank will ensure that monetary restitution is made.  Neither we nor the Bank can predict the amount of any restitution which may be required, or the amount, if any, that the Bank may pay in connection therewith.  Under the Bank's agreements with Third Parties, we believe that restitution is reimbursable to the Bank.

 

We cannot assure you that that our regulators will ultimately determine that we have met all of the requirements of the 2014 Consent Order, as amended, the 2015 Consent Order or the Supervisory Letter to their satisfaction. We refer collectively to the 2014 Consent Order, the 2014 Consent Order Amendment and the 2015 Consent Order, as the Consent Orders.  If our regulators believe that we have not made sufficient progress in complying with these Consent Orders, they could seek to impose additional regulatory requirements, operational restrictions, enhanced supervision and/or civil money penalties.  If any of these measures is imposed in the future, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and on our ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms. 

 

Our reputation and business could be damaged by our entry into the Consent Orders with the FDIC and other negative publicity.

 

Reputational risk, or the risk to our business, earnings and capital from negative publicity, is inherent in our business.  Negative publicity can result from actual or alleged conduct in a number of areas, including legal and regulatory compliance, lending practices, corporate governance, litigation, inadequate protection of customer data, ethical behavior of our employees, and from actions taken by regulators and others as a result of that conduct.  Damage to our reputation, including as a result of negative publicity associated with the Consent Orders or the Supervisory Letter and the class action filed in July 2014, now or in the future could impact our ability to attract new and maintain existing loan and deposit customers, employees and business relationships, and could result in the imposition of additional regulatory requirements, operational restrictions, enhanced supervision and/or civil money penalties.  Such damage could also adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms.

 

The provisions contained in the Consent Orders present interpretive challenges that may give rise to a difference of interpretation by us and our regulators.

 

The provisions of the Consent Orders and the Supervisory Letter are subject to interpretation and may give rise to differing views between us and our regulators with respect to their scope and application.  Accordingly, management, employees at all levels, and legal counsel of the Bank face significant challenges in applying the terms of the Consent Orders and the Supervisory Letter to the myriad factual scenarios that arise in the ordinary course of business.  While we have sought, and will continue to seek, guidance from our regulators as to the application of the Consent Orders and the Supervisory Letter on our business, there can be no assurance that our regulators will provide such guidance or that we and our regulators will interpret the terms of the Consent Orders and the Supervisory Letter uniformly in every instance. 

 

If the regulators interpret the Consent Orders or the Supervisory Letter in a manner contrary to our interpretation despite our good faith efforts to comply, the FDIC may conclude a violation has occurred, which may result in the imposition of additional regulatory requirements, operational restrictions, enhanced supervision and/or civil money penalties.

 

We may have difficulty managing our growth which may divert resources and limit our ability to expand our operations successfully.

 

 Our future profitability will depend in part on our continued ability to grow; however, we may not be able to sustain our historical growth rate or be able to grow.  Our future success will depend on the ability of our officers and key employees to continue to implement and improve our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures and manage a growing number of customer relationships.  We may not implement improvements to our management information and control systems in an efficient or timely manner and may discover deficiencies in existing systems and controls.  Consequently, any future growth may place a strain on our administrative and operational infrastructure.  Any such strain could increase our costs, reduce or eliminate our profitability and reduce the price at which our common shares trade.

 

New lines of business, and new products and services may result in exposure to new risks. 

 

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The Bank has introduced, and in the future may introduce, new products and services to differing markets either alone or in conjunction with third parties.  New lines of business, products or services could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls or the controls of third parties and could reduce our revenues and potentially generate losses.  There are material inherent risks and uncertainties associated with offering new products and services, especially when new markets are not fully developed or when the laws and regulations regarding a new product are not mature.  New products and services, or entrance into new markets, may require substantial time, resources and capital, and profitability targets may not be achieved.  Factors outside of our control, such as developing laws and regulations, regulatory orders, competitive product offerings and changes in commercial and consumer demand for products or services may also materially impact the successful launch and implementation of new products or services.  Failure to manage these risks, or failure of any product or service offerings to be successful and profitable, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Changes in interest rates could reduce our income, cash flows and asset values.

 

A significant portion of our income and cash flows depends on the difference between the interest rates we earn on interest earning assets, such as loans and investment securities, and the interest rates we pay on interest-bearing liabilities such as deposits and borrowings.  The value of our assets, and particularly loans with fixed or capped rates of interest, may also vary with interest rate changes.  We discuss the effects of interest rate changes on the market value of our portfolio and net interest income in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Asset and Liability Management.” Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors which are beyond our control, including general economic conditions and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies and, in particular, the Federal Reserve.  Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, will influence not only the interest we receive on our loans and investment securities and the amount of interest we pay on deposits, but also our ability to originate loans and obtain deposits and our costs in doing so.  If the rate of interest we pay on our deposits and other borrowings increases more than the rate of interest we earn on our loans and other investments, our net interest income, and therefore our earnings, could decline or we could sustain losses.  Our earnings could also decline or we could sustain losses if the rates on our loans and other investments fall more quickly than those on our deposits and other borrowings.  While the Bank is generally asset sensitive, which implies that significant increases in market rates would generally increase margins, while decreases in interest rates would generally decrease margins, we cannot assure you that increases or decreases in margins will follow such a pattern in the future.      

 

We are subject to lending risks.

 

There are risks inherent in making all loans.  These risks include interest rate changes over the time period in which loans may be repaid and changes in the national economy or the economy that impact the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans or the value of the collateral securing those loans.  Although we have discontinued our Philadelphia-based commercial lending operations, we still hold a significant number of commercial, construction and commercial mortgage loans with relatively large balances. The deterioration of one or a few of these loans would cause a significant increase in non-performing loans, notwithstanding that such loans are now held for sale.  Weak economic conditions have caused increases in our delinquent and defaulted loans in recent years.  We cannot assure you that we will not experience further increases in delinquencies and defaults or that any such increases will not be material.  On a consolidated basis, an increase in non-performing loans could result in an increase in our provision for loan losses or in loan charge-offs and consequent reductions in our earnings.  Our specialty lending operations are subject to additional risks including, with respect to our SBA loans, the risk that the U.S.  Government’s partial guaranty on SBA loans is withdrawn due to noncompliance with regulations.  For other risks which are specific to the different types of loans we make and which could impact our allowance for loan losses, see Item 1,” Business –Lending Activities.”

 

There is a significant concentration in prepaid card fee income which is subject to various risks.

 

We realize a significant portion of our revenues from prepaid card and other prepaid products and services.  Actions by government agencies relating to service charges, or increased regulatory compliance costs, could result in reductions in income which may not be offset by reductions in expense. Some of our clients have significant volume the loss of which would materially affect our revenues. Prepaid card deposits comprise a significant portion of the Bank’s deposits.

 

Regulatory and legal requirements applicable to the prepaid card industry are unique and frequently changing.

 

Achieving and maintaining compliance with frequently changing legal and regulatory requirements requires a significant investment in qualified personnel, hardware, software and other technology platforms, external legal counsel and consultants and other infrastructure components both in the United States and the European Union.  These investments may not ensure compliance or

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otherwise mitigate risks involved in this business.  Our failure to satisfy regulatory mandates applicable to prepaid financial products could result in actions against us by our regulators, legal proceedings being instituted against us by consumers, or other losses, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.  Other risks related to prepaid cards include competition for prepaid and other payment mediums, possible changes in the rules of networks, such as Visa and MasterCard and others, in which the Bank operates and state regulations related to prepaid cards including escheatment.

 

The potential for fraud in the card payment industry is significant.

 

Issuers of prepaid cards and other companies have suffered significant losses in recent years with respect to the theft of cardholder data that has been illegally exploited for personal gain.  The theft of such information is regularly reported and affects individuals and businesses.  Losses from various types of fraud have been substantial for certain card industry participants.  The Bank in many cases has indemnification agreements with third parties; however, such indemnifications may not fully cover losses.  Although fraud has not had a material impact on the profitability of the Bank, it is possible that such activity could impact the Bank in the future.

 

Risk management processes and strategies must be effective, and concentration of risk increases the potential for losses.

 

Our risk management processes and strategies must be effective, otherwise losses may result.  We manage asset quality, liquidity, market sensitivity, operational, regulatory, third-party vendor and partner relationship risks and other risks through various processes and strategies throughout the organization.  If our risk management judgments and strategies are not effective, or unanticipated risks arise, our income could be reduced or we could sustain losses.

 

We may depend in part upon wholesale and brokered certificates of deposit to satisfy funding needs.

 

In the future we may rely in part on funds provided by wholesale deposits and brokered certificates of deposit to support the growth of our loan portfolio.  Wholesale and brokered certificates of deposit are highly sensitive to changes in interest and, accordingly, can be a more volatile source of funding. 

 

Use of wholesale and brokered deposits involves the risk that growth supported by such deposits would be halted, or the Bank’s total assets could contract, if the rates offered by the Bank were less than offered by other institutions seeking such deposits, or if the depositors were to perceive a decline in the Bank’s safety and soundness, or both.  In addition, if we were unable to match the maturities of the interest rates we pay for wholesale and brokered certificates of deposit to the maturities of the loans we make using those funds, increases in the interest rates we pay for such funds could decrease our consolidated net interest income.  Moreover, if the Bank ceases to be categorized as “well capitalized” under banking regulations, it will be prohibited from accepting, renewing or rolling over brokered deposits without the consent of the FDIC. 

 

Our prepaid card and other deposits obtained with the assistance of third parties have been classified as brokered. 

 

In December 2014, the FDIC issued new guidance classifying prepaid deposits and other deposits obtained in cooperation with third parties as brokered deposits, resulting in the vast majority of the Bank’s deposits being classified as brokered.  We do not believe that these deposits are subject to the volatility risks associated with brokered wholesale deposits or brokered certificates of deposit. However, if the Bank ceases to be categorized as “well capitalized” under banking regulations, it will be prohibited from accepting, renewing or rolling over brokered deposits without the consent of the FDIC. In such a case, the FDIC’s refusal to grant consent to our accepting, renewing or rolling over brokered deposits could materially adversely effect the financial condition and operations of the Bank and the Company and could effectively restrict the ability of the Bank to operate its business lines as presently conducted.

We operate in highly competitive markets.

We face substantial competition in all phases of our operations from a variety of different competitors, including commercial banks and their holding companies, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, credit unions, leasing companies, consumer finance companies, factoring companies, insurance companies and money market mutual funds and card issuers.

We face national and even global competition with respect to our other products and services, including payment acceptance products and services, healthcare payment solutions, private label banking, fleet leasing, government guaranteed lending and prepaid payment solutions.  Our commercial partners and banking customers for these products and services are located throughout the United

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States and, with respect to prepaid and electronic money payment solutions, the United States and the European Union, and the competition is strong in each category.  We encounter competition from some of the largest financial institutions in the world as well as smaller specialized regional banks and financial service companies.  Increased competition with any of these product or service offerings could result in the reduced pricing and resultant profit margins, fragmented market share and a failure to enjoy economies of scale, loss of customer and depositor base, and other risks that individually, or in the aggregate, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Some of the financial services organizations with which we compete are not subject to the same degree of regulation as federally-insured and regulated financial institutions such as ours.  As a result, those competitors may be able to access funding and provide various services more easily or at less cost than we can.

We derive a significant percentage of our deposits, total assets and income from deposit accounts we generate through affinity groups.

 

We derive a significant percentage of our deposits, total assets and income from deposit accounts we generate through affinity groups.  Deposits related to our top twenty affinity groups totaled $2.52 billion at December 31, 2015.  We provide oversight over our affinity groups which must meet all internal and regulatory requirements.  We may exit relationships where such requirements are not met or be required by our regulators to exit such relationships. Also, an affinity group could terminate a relationship with us for many reasons, including being able to obtain better terms from another provider or dissatisfaction with the level or quality of our services.  If an affinity group relationship were to be terminated, it could materially reduce our deposits, assets and income.  We cannot assure you that we could replace such relationship. If we cannot replace such relationship, we may be required to seek higher rate funding sources as compared to the exiting affinity group and interest expense might increase.  We may also be required to sell securities or other assets to meet funding needs which would reduce revenues or potentially generate losses.

Our affinity group marketing strategy has been adopted by other institutions with which we compete.

Several online banking operations as well as the online banking programs of conventional banks have instituted affinity group marketing strategies similar to ours.  As a consequence, we have encountered competition in this area and anticipate that we will continue to do so in the future.  This competition may increase our costs, reduce our revenues or revenue growth or, because we are a relatively small banking operation without the name recognition of other, more established banking operations, make it difficult for us to compete effectively in obtaining affinity group relationships.

Our lending limit may adversely affect our competitiveness.

Our regulatory lending limit as of December 31, 2015 to any one customer or related group of customers was $46.7 million for unsecured loans and $77.8 million for secured loans.  Our lending limit is substantially smaller than that of many financial institutions with which we compete.  While we believe that our lending limit is sufficient for our targeted market of small to mid-size businesses within the four specialty lending operations upon which we focus as well as affinity group members, it may in the future affect our ability to attract or maintain customers or to compete with other financial institutions.  Moreover, to the extent that we incur losses and do not obtain additional capital, our lending limit, which depends upon the amount of our capital, will decrease.

Environmental liability associated with lending activities could result in losses.

In the course of our business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing our loans.  If hazardous substances were discovered on any of these properties, we may be liable to governmental entities or third parties for the costs of remediation of the hazard, as well as for personal injury and property damage.  Many environmental laws can impose liability regardless of whether we knew of, or were responsible for, the contamination.  In addition, if we arrange for the disposal of hazardous or toxic substances at another site, we may be liable for the costs of cleaning up and removing those substances from the site, even if we neither own nor operate the disposal site.  Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses and may materially limit use of properties we acquired through foreclosure, reduce their value or limit our ability to sell them in the event of a default on the loans they secure. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability.

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As a financial institution whose principal medium for delivery of banking services is the Internet, we are subject to risks particular to that medium and other technological risks and costs.

We utilize the Internet and other automated electronic processing in our banking services without physical locations, as distinguished from the Internet banking service of an established conventional bank.  Independent Internet banks often have found it difficult to achieve profitability and revenue growth.  Several factors contribute to the unique problems that Internet banks face.  These include concerns for the security of personal information, the absence of personal relationships between bankers and customers, the absence of loyalty to a conventional hometown bank, the customer’s difficulty in understanding and assessing the substance and financial strength of an Internet bank, a lack of confidence in the likelihood of success and permanence of Internet banks and many individuals’ unwillingness to trust their personal assets to a relatively new technological medium such as the Internet.  As a result, many potential customers may be unwilling to establish a relationship with us.

Many conventional financial institutions offer the option of Internet banking and financial services to their existing and prospective customers.  The public may perceive conventional financial institutions as being safer, more responsive, more comfortable to deal with and more accountable as providers of their banking and financial services, including their Internet banking services.  We may not be able to offer Internet banking and financial services and personal relationship characteristics that have sufficient advantages over the Internet banking and financial services and other characteristics of established conventional financial institutions to enable us to compete successfully.

Moreover, both the Internet and the financial services industry are undergoing rapid technological changes, with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services.  In addition to improving the ability to serve customers, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to reduce costs.  Our ability to compete will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations.  Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements.  We may not be able to implement effectively new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers.  Such products may also prove costly to develop or acquire.

Our operations may be interrupted if our network or computer systems, or those of our providers, fail.

Because we deliver our products and services over the Internet and outsource several critical functions to third parties, our operations depend on our ability, as well as that of our service providers, to protect computer systems and network infrastructure against interruptions in service due to damage from fire, power loss, telecommunications failure, physical break-ins and computer hacking or similar catastrophic events.  Our operations also depend upon our ability to replace a third-party provider if it experiences difficulties that interrupt our operations or if an operationally essential third-party service terminates.  Service interruptions to customers may adversely affect our ability to obtain or retain customers and could result in regulatory sanctions.  Moreover, if a customer were unable to access his or her account or complete a financial transaction due to a service interruption, we could be subject to a claim by the customer for his or her loss.  While our accounts and other agreements contain disclaimers of liability for these kinds of losses, we cannot predict the outcome of litigation if a customer were to make a claim against us.

A failure of cyber security may result in a loss of customers and our being liable for damages for such failure.

A significant barrier to online and other financial transactions is the secure transmission of confidential information over public networks and other mediums.  The systems we use rely on encryption and authentication technology to provide secure transmission of confidential information.  Advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries in the field of cryptography or other developments could result in a compromise or breach of the algorithms used to protect customer transaction data.  If we, or another provider of financial services through the Internet, were to suffer damage from a security breach, public acceptance and use of the Internet as a medium for financial transactions could suffer.  Any security breach could deter potential customers or cause existing customers to leave, thereby impairing our ability to grow and maintain profitability and, possibly, our ability to continue delivering our products and services through the Internet.  We could also be liable for any customer damages arising from such a breach.  Other cyber threats involving theft of confidential information could also result in liability.  Although we, with the help of third-party service providers, intend to continue to implement security technology and establish operational procedures to prevent security breaches, these measures may not be successful.

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We outsource many essential services to third-party providers who may terminate their agreements with us, resulting in interruptions to our banking operations.

We obtain essential technological and customer services support for the systems we use from third-party providers.  We outsource our check processing, check imaging, transaction processing, electronic bill payment, statement rendering, and other services to third- party vendors.  For a description of these services, you should read Item 1, “Business—Other Operations—Third-Party Service Providers.” Our agreements with each service provider are generally cancelable without cause by either party upon specified notice periods.  If one of our third-party service providers terminates its agreement with us and we are unable to replace it with another service provider, our operations may be interrupted.  Even a temporary disruption in services could result in our losing cus