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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

________________

FORM 10-K

_______________

(Mark One)

x

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

 

o

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: (302385-5000

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

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share

TBBK

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  o    No  x

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  o    No  x

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

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

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

Large accelerated filer o

Accelerated filer x

Non-accelerated filer o

Smaller reporting company o

Emerging growth company o

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

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

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

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, 2020 of $9.80 was approximately $616.1 million.

As of March 1, 2021, 57,934,841 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 2021 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

Item 1:

Business

3

Item 1A:

Risk Factors

25

Item 1B:

Unresolved Staff Comments

42

Item 2:

Properties

42

Item 3:

Legal Proceedings

42

Item 4:

Mine Safety Disclosures

43

PART II

Item 5:

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

43

Item 6:

Selected Financial Data

47

Item 7:

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

49

Item 7A:

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

83

Item 8:

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

84

Item 9:

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

142

Item 9A:

Controls and Procedures

143

Item 9B:

Other Information

146

PART III

Item 10:

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

146

Item 11:

Executive Compensation

146

Item 12:

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

146

Item 13:

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

146

Item 14:

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

146

PART IV

Item 15:

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

147

Item 16:

Form 10-K Summary

149

SIGNATURES

150


FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“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;

an inconsistent recovery from an extended period of weak economic and slow growth conditions in the U.S. economy, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, 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 credit 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 resulting in a lower net interest margin;

possible geographic concentration 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, principally commercial real estate loans held at fair value, Small Business Administration loans under the 504 Fixed Asset Financing Program and our discontinued commercial loan portfolio, 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 possible future restrictions on adding customers;  

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the loans from our discontinued operations are now held-for-sale and were marked to fair value based on various internal and external inputs; 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

we may not be able to sustain our historical growth rates in our loan, prepaid and debit 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 report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.


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PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

We are a Delaware financial holding company and our primary subsidiary is The Bancorp Bank, which we wholly own and which we refer to as “the Bank”. The vast majority of our revenue and income is generated through the Bank. In our continuing operations, we have four primary lines of specialty lending: securities-backed lines of credit (“SBLOC”) and insurance policy cash value-backed lines of credit (“IBLOC”), vehicle fleet and other equipment leasing (“direct lease financing”), small business loans (“SBL”) and loans which prior to 2020 were generated for sale into capital markets through commercial loan securitizations and other sales (“CMBS”). In the third quarter of 2020, we decided to retain those loans on our balance sheet and no future securitizations or sales are currently planned. SBLs are comprised primarily of Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans. SBLOCs and IBLOCs are loans which are generated through institutional banking affinity groups and are respectively collateralized by marketable securities and the cash value of insurance policies. SBLOCs are typically offered in conjunction with brokerage accounts and are offered nationally. Vehicle fleet and other equipment leases are generated in a number of Atlantic Coast and other states. SBL loans and other commercial loans held at fair value are made nationally. At December 31, 2020, SBLOC and IBLOC, direct lease financing, SBL, Advisor Financing, and other commercial loans held at fair value respectively totaled $1.55 billion, $462.2 million, $821.5 million (including SBL loans held at fair value), $48.3 million, and $1.57 billion (excluding SBL loans held at fair value), respectively, and comprised approximately 35%, 10%, 18%, 1%, and 35% of our loan portfolio and commercial loans held at fair value. Our investment portfolio amounted to $1.21 billion at December 31, 2020, representing a decrease from the prior year.

The majority of our deposits and non-interest income are generated in our payments business which consists of consumer deposit accounts accessed by Bank-issued prepaid or debit cards, automated clearing house, or “ACH” accounts, the collection of card payments on behalf of merchants and other payments. The card-accessed deposit accounts are comprised of debit and prepaid card accounts that are generated by companies that market directly to end users. Our card-accessed deposit account types are diverse and include: consumer and business debit, general purpose reloadable prepaid, pre-tax medical spending benefit, payroll, gift, government, corporate incentive, reward, business payment accounts and others. Our ACH accounts facilitate bill payments and our acquiring accounts provide clearing and settlement services for payments made to merchants which must be settled through associations such as Visa or MasterCard. We also provide banking services to organizations with a pre-existing customer base tailored to support or complement the services provided by these organizations to their customers. These services include loan and deposit accounts for investment advisory companies through our institutional banking department. 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 banking.

Available Information

Our main office is located at 409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19809 and our telephone number is (302) 385-5000. Our website internet 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. 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 our address for our principal executive offices, 409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19809. Also posted on our website, and available in print upon request by any stockholder 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 with Stable Deposits and Generate Non-interest Income from Prepaid and Debit Card Accounts and Other Payment Processing. Our principal focus is to grow our specialty lending operations and investment portfolio, and fund these loans and investments through a variety of sources that provide stable deposits, which are lower cost compared to certain other types of funding.  Funding sources include prepaid and debit card accounts, institutional banking transaction

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accounts and card payment processing.  We derive the largest component of our deposits and non-interest income from our prepaid and debit card operations.   

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 stable and lower cost deposits compared to certain other funding sources, generate fee income and, with respect to private label banking, lower our customer acquisition costs and build close customer relationships.

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.

Payments Business Line: Deposit Products and Services

We offer a range of products and services to our affinity group clients and their customer bases through direct or private label banking strategies, including:

checking accounts;

savings accounts;

money market accounts;

commercial accounts; and

various types of prepaid and debit cards.

We also offer ACH bill payment and other payment services.

Specialty Finance: Lending Activities

We focus our lending activities upon four specialty lending segments: SBLOC and IBLOC loans, direct lease financing and SBL loans. Prior to 2020 we originated and sold commercial real estate loans into CMBS securitizations. In 2020, we decided to retain those loans on our balance sheet and no future securitizations or sales are planned.

SBLOC, IBLOC and Advisor Financing.  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. Substantially all SBLOCs have 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.  We also make similar loans which are collateralized by the cash surrender value of insurance policies, or IBLOCs. Should a loan default, the primary risks for IBLOCs are if the insurance company issuing the policy were to become insolvent, or if that company would fail to recognize the Bank’s assignment of policy proceeds. To mitigate these risks, insurance company ratings are periodically evaluated for compliance with our standards. Additionally, the Bank utilizes assignments of cash surrender value which legal counsel has concluded are enforceable. In 2020, the Bank began originating loans to investment advisors for purposes of debt refinance, acquisition of another firm or internal

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succession.  Maximum loan amounts are subject to loan-to-value ratios of 70%, based on third party business appraisals, but may be increased depending upon the debt service coverage ratio.  Personal guarantees and blanket business liens are obtained as appropriate.  The qualitative factors for advisor financing focus on changes in lending policies and procedures, portfolio performance and economic conditions.

Leases. We provide lease financing for commercial and government vehicle 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 termination value. Termination 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 for which no such payment is due on lease termination.  In a closed-end lease, the risk that 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.

SBL Loans. SBL, or small business loans, consist primarily of SBA loans. We participate in two ongoing 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 business assets and personal real estate until the recovery value equals the loan amount or until all personal real estate 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 up 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 typically paid to the lender after the liquidation of all collateral, but may be paid prior to liquidation of certain assets, 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 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.  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. A 504 loan may not be used for working capital, trading asset purchases 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 20%, 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

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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, we make SBA loans to franchisees of various business concepts, including loans to multiple franchisees with the same concept.  In making loans to franchisees, we consider 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.

We also participated in the Paycheck Protection Program, or “PPP”, in 2020 which was a temporary program to provide Covid-19 pandemic relief to small businesses. Additional PPP lending was authorized by Congress for 2021 and we also intend to participate in that program. PPP loans are fully guaranteed by the U.S. government and are expected to be repaid within one year of origination or less.

CRE Loans. Prior to 2020 we originated commercial real estate, or “CRE”, loans for sale into securitizations into commercial mortgage backed security, or “CMBS” markets. In 2020, we decided to retain the loans which had not been sold on our balance sheet. These loans are collateralized by various types of commercial real estate, primarily multi-family (apartments) but also include, retail, office and hotels, and are not recourse to the borrower (except for carve-outs such as fraud) and, accordingly, depend on cash reserves and cash generated by the underlying properties for repayment.  The vast majority of these loans are variable rate and, as a result, higher market rates will result in higher payments and greater cash flow requirements, although all loans require an interest rate cap to mitigate that risk. Should cash flow and available cash reserves prove inadequate to cover debt service on these loans, repayment will primarily depend upon the sales price of the property. Low occupancy or rental rates may negatively impact loan repayment. Because these loans were originated for sale, the underwriting and other criteria used were those which buyers in the capital markets indicated were most crucial when determining whether to buy the loans. Such criteria include the loan-to-value ratio and debt yield (net operating income divided by first mortgage debt). However, 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. 

Affinity Group Banking Products and Services

Card Issuing Services. We issue debit and prepaid cards to access diverse types of deposit accounts including: consumer and business debit, general purpose reloadable prepaid, pre-tax medical spending benefit, payroll, gift, government, corporate incentive, reward, business payment accounts and others. Our cards are offered to end users through our relationships with benefits administrators, third-party administrators, insurers, corporate incentive companies, rebate fulfillment organizations, payroll administrators, large retail chains, consumer service organizations and FinTech disruptors. 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. These accounts have demonstrated a history of stability and lower cost compared to certain other types of funding. Our accounts are offered throughout the United States.

Card Payment, Bill Payment and ACH 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 and for other companies, such as bill payment companies for which we process ACH payments. We have designed products that enable those organizations to more easily process electronic payments and to better manage their risk of loss. These accounts 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 securities backed loan products to the client base of these groups.

Private Label Banking. Through our private label banking strategy, we provide our affinity group partners with banking services that have been customized to the needs of their respective customers. This allows these affinity groups to provide their members the affinity-branded banking services they desire. Affinity group websites identify the Bank as the provider of these banking services. 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 itself, or the affinity group’s members or customers. Our private label banking services have been developed to include both deposit and lending-related products and services.

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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 may be fixed. Such fees comprise substantially all of the interest expense on deposits in our consolidated statement of operations.

Other Operations

Account Services.  Depending upon the product, account holders may access our products through the website or app of their affinity group, or through our website.  This access may allow account holders to apply for loans, review account activity, pay bills electronically, receive statements electronically and print statements.  

Call Centers. A third-party servicer provides virtually all call center operations that serve inbound customer support, including after hours and overflow support. The call center provides account holders or potential account holders with assistance accessing the Bank’s products and services, and in resolving any related customer issues that may arise. Located in Manila, Philippines, TELUS International currently operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

Third-Party Service ProvidersTo 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:

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

servicing of prepaid and debit card accounts;

call center customer support, including institutional banking for overflow and after-hours support;

access to automated teller machine networks;

bank accounting and general ledger system;

data warehousing services; and

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 maintain business continuity by securing the required services from an alternative source without material interruption of our operations.

Sales and Marketing

Affinity Group Banking. We have a national scope for our affinity group banking operations, and 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 relationships perform marketing functions to the ultimate individual customers. Our marketing program to affinity group organizations consists of:

print advertising;

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

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

Loan Administration and Business Development Offices. We maintain offices to market and administer our leasing programs in Crofton, Maryland, Kent, Washington, Charlotte, North Carolina, Raritan, New Jersey, Logan, Utah, Norristown and Warminster, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. We maintain SBL loan offices in suburban Chicago (Westmont), Illinois and suburban Raleigh (Morrisville), North Carolina, primarily for SBA loans. We maintain a loan administration office in New York, New York.

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Technology

Primary System Architecture.  We provide financial products and services through a secure, tiered architecture using commercially available software and with third party providers whom we believe to be industry leaders.  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 across our service offerings, with internally developed software as well as third-party platforms and processors. The goal of our systems designs is to service our client requirements efficiently, which has been accomplished using data and service replication between internal data centers and cloud platforms for our critical applications.  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 monitor our systems using automated internal tools, and use independent third parties to validate our controls.

Security. The Bancorp has an established Cyber Security Program that is mapped to the NIST Cyber Security Framework. The program is also fully compliant with the FFIEC Cyber Security framework and relevant ISO standards. The Bancorp obtains annual PCI certification. Highlights of the program include:

A security testing schedule which includes internal/external penetration testing;

Regular vulnerability assessments;

Detailed vulnerability management;

Monitoring and reporting of systems and critical applications;

Data loss prevention controls;

File access and integrity monitoring and reporting;

Threat intelligence;

A training and compliance program for staff including a detailed policy; and

Third-party vendor management.

Intellectual Property and Other Proprietary Rights

We use third-party providers for a significant portion of our core and internet banking systems and operations. Where applicable, 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 for 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 online 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. For prepaid and debit accounts, our largest source of funding and fee income, competitors include Meta Financial and for SBLOC, our largest lending portfolio, competitors include TriState Capital and Goldman Sachs. For SBA loans our competitors include Live Oak Bank and for leasing our competitors include Enterprise. Significant costs of entry include Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and other regulatory costs which may impact competition for prepaid and debit card accounts. We believe that our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including:

our ability to expand our affinity group banking program;

competitors’ interest rates and service fees;

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;

satisfaction of our customers with our customer service;

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

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

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 to offering prepaid and debit card accounts, especially compliance costs, 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. 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”.

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, other federal regulatory agencies, the United States Congress, or the states in which we operate or our customers reside could have a material adverse impact on us, the Bank and our operations. Certain regulatory requirements applicable to us and the Bank are referred to below or elsewhere in this report. 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.

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; providing investment and financial advice; acting as an insurance agent for particular types of credit related insurance and providing specified securities brokerage services for customers.

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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.

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.

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.

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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 credit 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, 2020, we and the Bank had total capital to risk-adjusted assets ratios of 14.84% and 14.68%, respectively, and Tier 1 capital to risk-adjusted assets ratios of 14.43% and 14.27%, 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, 2020, we and the Bank had leverage ratios of 9.20% and 9.11%, respectively.

The federal banking agencies’ standards provide that concentration of credit risk and certain risks arising from non-traditional 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 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

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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, our 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.

Minimum capital ratios in effect at December 31, 2020 were as follows:

4.5% CET1 to risk-weighted assets;

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

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

4.0% Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (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 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 were 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 had to be made concurrently with the first

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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 are being 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 began on January 1, 2016 at the 0.625% level and increased by 0.625% on each subsequent January 1, until it reached 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 10.00%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 6.50% and a leverage ratio of at least 5.00%. An institution is adequately capitalized if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.00%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 4.50% and a leverage ratio of at least 4.00%. At December 31, 2020, our total risk-based capital ratio was 14.84%, our Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 14.43% and our leverage ratio was 9.20% while the Bank’s ratios were 14.68%, 14.27% and 9.11%, 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 the interest rates that can be paid on such deposits. Undercapitalized institutions may not accept, renew, or roll over brokered deposits. The majority of the Bank’s deposits are classified as brokered, because related accounts, primarily prepaid and debit card deposit accounts, are obtained with the assistance of third parties. On December 12, 2019, the FDIC issued a proposed notice of regulatory change which, if adopted, could result in the reclassification of the majority of our deposits to non-brokered, see “Insurance of Deposit Accounts” below.

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;

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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. We are in compliance with these rules.

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 non-interest-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 non-interest-bearing transaction accounts are aggregated with any interest-bearing deposits the owner may 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 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, 2020, the Bank’s DIF assessment rate was 16 basis points. On December 15, 2020, the FDIC approved a final rule, effective April 1, 2021 which we believe will result in the reclassification of certain of our deposits currently required to be classified as brokered, to non-brokered. The potentially impacted deposits are those obtained with the assistance of third parties and the new rules specify an application process to the FDIC, which will determine whether the deposits fall under the new rule. If the classification change applications are approved, our FDIC insurance expense could decrease in the future, which may also depend on other factors. However, there can be no assurance as to the extent that our deposits will be reclassified, or as to the amount of a potential FDIC insurance expense reduction, if any.

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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 issued a final rule regarding this offset on March 25, 2016. Accordingly, the Bank received an assessment credit for the portion of its assessment that offset the impact of the increase from 1.15% to 1.35%.

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, 2020, the Bank’s limit on loans-to-one borrower was $85.7 million ($142.8 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 non-bank 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, is 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, 2020, 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 are 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, 2020 and 2019, loans to these related parties included in discontinued assets held-for-sale amounted to $4.7 million and $2.3 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 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.

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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.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. 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 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, or “FinCEN”, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. Under the law, the Bank must have a board-approved written BSA-Anti-Money Laundering, or “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.

On July 26, 2011, FinCEN issued a final rule expanding the reach of BSA-AML related compliance to certain defined “providers” and “sellers” of “prepaid access” either outside of, or minimally regulated under the BSA. The final rule became effective on September 27, 2011 and imposed expanded affirmative BSA-AML compliance obligations on providers and sellers of prepaid access. The Bank has evaluated the impact of these rules on its operations and its third-party relationships, and has established internal processes accordingly.

On May 11, 2016, FinCEN issued a final rule related to Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) under the Bank Secrecy Act for banks and other covered financial institutions, which we refer to as (“the CDD Rule”). The CDD Rule became effective on July 11, 2016, and imposes a new requirement that the Bank identify and verify the identity of the natural persons who are beneficial owners of legal entity customers. Financial institutions were required to be in full compliance by May 11, 2018. As a covered institution, the Bank is required to maintain written compliance procedures that are “reasonably designed to identify and verify the beneficial owners of legal entity customers,” except for those specifically excluded from the definition of “legal entity customer.” As required, the Bank adopted procedures related to the identification and verification of a beneficial owner at the time a new account is opened.

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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, or “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.

Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations for the Financial Community (“OFAC”). 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 or is otherwise asked to facilitate a transaction prohibited under a government sanctions program, the Bank must freeze or block such account or reject a transaction, 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.

Unfair or Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (“UDAAP”). 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.

Other Consumer Protection-Related Laws and Regulations. The Bank is subject to a wide range of consumer protection laws and 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.

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;

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

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,” 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.

Final Prepaid Account Rule Amending Regulation E and Regulation Z. On April 1, 2019, a final rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) went into effect related to prepaid accounts and the applicability of provisions of Regulation E and Regulation Z, respectively, which we call “the Final Prepaid Rule”.

The Final Prepaid 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; and (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. The Bank has evaluated the impact of the Final Prepaid Rule on its operations and its third-party relationships, and has established internal processes accordingly.

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Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”). 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 CRA requires financial insitutions to 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 regulations promulgated pursuant to the CRA contain three evaluation tests which are part of the traditional CRA evaluation:

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).

As an alternative to the traditional evaluation tests summarized above, the CRA permits a financial institution to develop its own strategic plan setting forth specific goals for CRA compliance and related performance ratings. If approved by its regulator, a financial institution may operate under its strategic plan and CRA ratings will be applied based on an institution’s performance under its approved strategic plan.

The Bank operates its CRA program under an FDIC-approved CRA Strategic Plan. The Bank now operates under an approved plan for the period of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023. On July 3, 2019, the Bank received its 2018 CRA Performance Evaluation which was completed on November 11, 2018. The Bank was assigned a “Satisfactory” CRA rating. The Bank continues to closely monitor its performance in alignment with its CRA Strategic Plan to meet the specified lending, service and investment requirements contained therein.

On January 9, 2020, the FDIC and the Comptroller of the Currency issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to strengthen the CRA regulations by clarifying which activities qualify for CRA credit, updating where activities count for CRA credit, creating a more transparent and objective method for measuring CRA performance, and providing for more transparent, consistent, and timely CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting. The Comproller of the Currency issued its final rule on May 20, 2020 which impacts national banks. However, the FDIC, which regulates the Bank, has not yet issued a final rule. The Bank is evaluating the impact of these proposed rules on the Bank and its Strategic Plan.

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 demand deposits and regular checking accounts). For 2020, Federal Reserve regulations generally required that reserves be maintained against aggregate transaction accounts as follows: for accounts aggregating $127.5 million or less (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve), the reserve requirement is 3%; and, for accounts aggregating greater than $127.5 million, the reserve requirement is 10% (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve to between 8% and 14%). The first $16.9 million of otherwise reservable balances (subject to adjustments by the Federal Reserve) were exempt from the reserve requirements. For 2021, the Federal Reserve has announced that the $127.5 million and $16.9 million thresholds will be respectively increased to $182.9 million and $21.1 million. At December 31, 2020, the Bank had $339.5 million in cash and balances at the Federal Reserve. However, the Federal Reserve, after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, has temporarily waived reserve requirements.

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The Dodd-Frank Act. 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 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 for non-interest-bearing demand transaction accounts and Interest On Lawyer Trust Accounts (“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 holding companies and their non-bank subsidiaries;

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; and

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.  

The Durbin Amendment. The Dodd-Frank Act’s “Durbin Amendment,” which applies to all banks, required the Federal Reserve to adopt a rule establishing debit card interchange fee standards and limits and prohibiting network exclusivity and routing requirements. Accordingly, the Federal Reserve promulgated Regulation II to implement these requirements. Durbin Amendment and Regulation II exempts from the debit card interchange fee standards any issuing bank that, together with its affiliates, have assets

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of less than $10 billion. Because of our asset size, we are exempt from the debit card interchange fee standards but may lose the exemption if Regulation II is amended or if we, together with our subsidiaries, surpass $10 billion in assets. Regulation II also prohibits network exclusivity arrangements on debit card transactions and ensures merchants will have choices in debit card routing, which apply to us. The regulations require issuers to make at least two unaffiliated networks available to the merchant, without regard to the method of authentication (PIN or signature), for both debit cards and prepaid cards. As currently applied, a card issuer can guarantee compliance with the network exclusivity regulations by enabling the debit card to process transactions through one signature network and one unaffiliated PIN network. Cards usable only with PINs must be enabled with two unaffiliated PIN networks.

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.

Economic Growth, Regulator Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018. On May 24, 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, or “EGRRCPA”, was signed into law, which amended provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and was intended to ease regulatory burden and refine the rules, particularly with respect to smaller-sized institutions such as the Company. EGRRCPA’s highlights include, among other things: (i) exempts banks with less than $10 billion in assets from the ability-to-repay requirements for certain qualified residential mortgage loans held in portfolio; (ii) waives certain appraisal requirements for certain transactions valued at less than $400,000 in rural areas; (iii) clarifies that, subject to various conditions, reciprocal deposits of another depository institution obtained using a deposit broker through a deposit placement network for purposes of obtaining maximum deposit insurance would not be considered brokered deposits subject to the FDIC’s brokered-deposit regulations; (iv) raises eligibility for the 18-month exam cycle from $1 billion to banks with $3 billion in assets; and (v) simplifies capital calculations by requiring regulators to establish for institutions under $10 billion in assets a community bank leverage ratio (tangible equity to average consolidated assets) at a percentage not less than 8% and not greater than 10% that such institutions may elect to replace the general applicable risk-based capital requirements for determining well capitalized status.

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, 2017.  This did not have a material impact on our operations.

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

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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 Law and Regulation and Other State Laws and Regulations

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 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.

Other State Laws and Regulations. The Bank is governed by other state laws and regulations in connection with some of its business and operational practices. This includes, for example, complying with state laws governing abandoned or unclaimed property, state and local licensing requirements and other state-based rules which direct how the Bank may conduct its activities.

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Prior Regulatory Actions

Historically, the Bank has entered into a number of consent orders with the FDIC which have significantly impacted its operations and financial performance over time. On November 17, 2020, the Bank satisfied the final outstanding consent order with the FDIC and all FDIC consent orders have now been resolved, concluded and terminated. The history of these regulatory actions and the Bank’s response are set forth below.

The Bank entered into a Stipulation and Consent to the Issuance of a Consent Order effective August 7, 2012 with the FDIC, 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 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 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 amended and restated 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, whom we refer to as “Third Parties”.  In addition to restating the general terms of the 2012 Consent Order, the 2015 Consent Order directed the Bank’s Board of Directors 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. The Bank’s Board of Directors appointed the required Complaint and Error Claim Committee on January 29, 2016.

The 2015 Consent Order also required the Bank to implement a corrective action plan (“CAP”) to remediate and provide restitution to those prepaid cardholders who asserted or attempted to assert, or were discouraged from initiating EFT error claims and to provide restitution to cardholders harmed by EFT error resolution practices. The 2015 Consent Order required that if, through the CAP, the Bank identified prepaid cardholders who had been adversely affected by a denial or failure to resolve an EFT error claim, the Bank would ensure that monetary restitution was made.  The Bank completed its implementation of the CAP on January 15, 2020. As of the completion date, $1,592,505.82 of restitution was paid to consumers of which $4,389.06 was paid by the Bank and the remaining amount by Third Parties. The 2015 Consent Order also imposed a $3 million civil money penalty on the Bank, which the Bank paid and which was recognized as expense in the fourth quarter of 2015. The 2015 Consent Order was terminated by the FDIC on November 17, 2020.

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. As described below, the 2014 Consent Order was lifted in May 2020. The Bank consented to the issuance of the 2014 Consent Order 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 required the Bank to take certain affirmative actions to comply with its BSA obligations, including a look-back review. Satisfaction of the requirements of the 2014 Consent Order was subject to the review of the FDIC and the Delaware State Bank Commissioner. Expenses associated with the required look-back review were significant in 2015 and 2016. The look-back review was completed in the third quarter of 2016. The 2014 Consent Order restricted 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 Bank submitted to the FDIC and Delaware State Bank Commissioner a report summarizing the same completion of certain BSA-related corrective actions (“BSA Report”). During the period prior to the approval of the BSA Report by the FDIC and Delaware State Bank Commissioner, those aspects of the growth of our card payment processing and prepaid card operations were affected. The Bank provided the FDIC and the Delaware State Bank Commissioner with the required BSA Report as of December 31, 2019. The BSA Report was implicitly approved by the FDIC and Delaware State Bank Commissioner upon the termination of the Order as described below.

On August 27, 2015, the Bank entered into an Amendment to the 2014 Consent Order with the FDIC. The Bank took this action without admitting or denying any additional charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices or violations of law or regulation

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relating to continued weaknesses in the Bank’s BSA compliance program.  The 2014 Consent Order Amendment provided 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 the Company a letter which we refer to as the “Supervisory Letter”, 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 directed that the Company shall not pay any dividends on our common stock or make any interest payments on its trust preferred securities, without the prior written approval of the Federal Reserve. It further provided 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. The requirement for such approval was lifted by the Federal Reserve in the fourth quarter of 2019, and that letter was terminated at that time.

On December 18, 2019, the Bank’s Board of Directors, without admitting or denying any violations of law, regulation or the provisions of the 2014 Consent Order, executed a Stipulation and Consent to the Issuance of an Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty in the amount of $7.5 million based on supervisory findings during the period of 2013 to 2019 related principally to deficiencies in the Bank’s legacy Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Programs and alleged violations of law during the period, as well as the length of time the Bank had taken to fully implement the corrective actions required by the 2014 Consent Order. The Bank paid this amount and it was recognized as an expense in the Company’s financial statements in the fourth quarter of 2019.

On May 15, 2020, the FDIC notified the Bank that it issued an Order Terminating Consent Order thereby lifting the 2014 Consent Order by and between the Bank and the FDIC. The FDIC’s order was effective on May 14, 2020. The termination of the 2014 Consent Order confirmed that the Bank had satisfactorily complied with all requirements of the 2014 Consent Order, most notably related to its Bank Secrecy Act compliance program and anti-money laundering and sanctions controls. The FDIC’s lifting of the 2014 Consent Order also meant that the business-related restrictions contained in the 2014 Consent order were no longer applicable to the Bank. The State of Delaware’s Office of the State Bank Commissioner concurred with the FDIC in taking this action.

On November 20, 2020, the FDIC notified the Bank that it issued an Order Terminating Amended Consent Order and Order For Restitution thereby lifting the Consent Order dated December 23, 2015 (the “2015 Consent Order”) by and between the Bank and the FDIC. The FDIC’s termination order was effective on November 17, 2020.  The lifting of the 2015 Consent Order confirmed that the Bank had satisfactorily complied with all requirements of the 2015 Consent Order, most notably related the Bank’s Compliance Management System, including the consumer compliance audit function and third-party risk management.  Termination of the 2015 Consent Order concluded all outstanding regulatory actions brought by the FDIC against the Bank.

All FDIC consent orders have now been resolved, concluded and terminated.

Human Capital Resources

The Company believes that human capital management is an essential component of our continued growth and success. Key human capital resources and management strategies are described below.

Employees. As of December 31, 2020, we had 635 full-time employees and believe our relationships with our employees to be good. Our employees are not employed under a collective bargaining agreement.

Structure. The Company’s Chief Human Resources Officer reports directly to the President and CEO and oversees most aspects of the employee experience, including talent acquisition, learning and development, talent management, compensation and benefits. The Company’s Chief Diversity Officer oversees diversity and inclusion efforts and reports directly to the President and CEO in that regard. Our Board of Directors and executive management receive regular updates on human capital management efforts, including diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Talent and Development. We aim to attract, develop and retain high-performing, diverse talent who can further the Company’s strategic business objectives. To that end, we offer market-competitive compensation and strive to accelerate employees’ professional development through performance management and fostering a learning culture. Our employees work together with their managers to set business and professional development goals, supported by a variety of resources and tools developed to help employees enhance their leadership skills.

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Total Rewards and Employee Well-Being. The Company is committed to providing competitive benefits programs designed with the everyday needs of our employees and their families in mind. These programs offer resources that promote employee well-being in various aspects, including mental, physical, and financial wellness. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we added to our well-being offerings to help employees to better balance their work and home responsibilities. In addition, we established an Employee Financial Relief Program in 2020 that is designed to assist employees experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic.

Diversity and Inclusion. We strive to maintain a diverse and inclusive work culture in which individual differences and experiences are valued and all employees have the opportunity to contribute and thrive. We believe that leveraging our employees’ diverse perspectives and capabilities will enhance innovation, foster a collaborative work culture and enable us to better serve our customers and communities. With this vision in mind, the Company’s diversity and inclusion strategy focuses on five key pillars: Organizational Commitment, Workforce Practices, Community Engagement, Supplier Diversity and Transparency. In 2018, the Company established an Internal Diversity & Inclusion Council to oversee and implement initiatives that advance these core values at all levels of the Company, including training and events designed to increase cultural awareness and engaging with external organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. These efforts are supported by the Company’s seven employee resource groups (ERGs). Open to all employees, our ERGs give employees the opportunity to connect with their colleagues and work to provide greater organizational awareness of the unique issues related to women, people of color, working parents, veterans and first responders, health and wellness and the environment.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Risk Factors Summary

Risks Relating to Our Business

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and measures intended to prevent its spread could adversely affect our business activities, financial condition, and results of operations and such effects will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict.

Periods of weak economic and slow growth conditions in the U.S. economy have had, and may continue to have, significant adverse effects on our assets and operating results.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to accomplish our strategic goals that would enable us to meet our financial targets.

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

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

We operate in highly competitive markets.

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

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.

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

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

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

We are subject to extensive government regulation.

Any future FDIC insurance premium increases will adversely affect our earnings.

We may be affected by government regulation including those mandating capital levels and those specifying limitations resulting from Community Reinvestment Act ratings.

We are subject to extensive government supervision with respect to our compliance with numerous laws and regulations.

Our reputation and business could be damaged by our entry into any future enforcement matters with our regulators and other negative publicity.

We may be subject to potential liability and business risk from actions by our regulators related to supervision of third parties.

Legislative and regulatory actions taken now or in the future may increase our operating costs and impact our business, governance structure, financial condition or results of operations.

A further downgrade of the U.S. government credit rating could negatively impact our investment portfolio and other operations. 

New lines of business, and new products and services may result in exposure to new risks and the value and earnings related to existing lines of business are subject to market conditions.

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Potential acquisitions may disrupt our business and dilute stockholder value.

Risks Relating to Our Specialty Lending Business Activities

We are subject to lending risks.

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

Our lending limit may adversely affect our competitiveness.

Changes to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) accounting standards have and will continue to result in a significant change to our recognition of credit losses and may materially impact our financial condition or results of operations.

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

Environmental liability associated with lending activities could result in losses.

We cannot predict whether income resulting from the reinvestment of proceeds from the loans we hold will match or exceed the income from loan dispositions.

A prolonged U.S. government shutdown or default by the U.S. on government obligations could harm our results of operations.

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

We may be adversely impacted by the transition from London Inter-bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a reference rate.

Risks Relating to Our Payments Business Activities

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

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

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

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

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

We derive a significant percentage of our deposits, total assets and income from deposit accounts generated by diverse independent companies, including those which provide card account marketing services, and investment advisory firms.

We face fund transfer and payments-related reputational risks.

Unclaimed funds from deposit accounts or represented by unused value on prepaid cards present compliance and other risks.

Risks Relating to Taxes and Accounting

We are subject to tax audits, and challenges to our tax positions or adverse changes or interpretations of tax laws could result in tax liability.

The appraised fair value of the assets from our discontinued commercial loan operations or collateral from other loan categories may be more than the amounts received upon sale or other disposition.

We have had material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting in the past and cannot assure you that additional material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements which could require us to restate financial statements, cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and have a negative effect on our stock price.

Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock

The trading volume in our common stock is less than that of many financial services companies, which may reduce the price at which our common stock would otherwise trade.

An investment in our common stock is not an insured deposit.

Our ability to issue additional shares of our common stock, or the issuance of such additional shares, may reduce the price at which our common stock trades.

 

Future offerings of debt, which would be senior to our common stock upon liquidation, and/or preferred equity securities which may be senior to our common stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may reduce the market price at which our common stock trades.

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The Bank’s ability to pay dividends is subject to regulatory limitations which, to the extent we require such dividends in the future, may affect our ability to pay our obligations and pay dividends.

Anti-takeover provisions of our certificate of incorporation, bylaws and Delaware law may make it more difficult for holders of our common stock to receive a change in control premium.

General Risks

Severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism or other adverse external events could harm our business.

Pandemic events could have a material adverse effect on our operations and our financial condition.

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.

Risks Relating to Our Business:

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures intended to prevent its spread could adversely affect our business activities, financial condition, and results of operations and such effects will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict.

Global health concerns relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and related government actions taken to reduce the spread of the virus have negatively impacted the macroeconomic environment, and the pandemic has significantly increased economic uncertainty and abruptly reduced economic activity. The pandemic has resulted in government authorities implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, including the declaration of a federal national emergency; multiple cities’ and states’ declarations of states of emergency; school and business closings; limitations on social or public gatherings and other social distancing measures, such as working remotely; travel restrictions, quarantines and shelter-in-place orders. Such measures have significantly contributed to rising unemployment and negatively impacted consumer and business spending, borrowing needs and saving habits. Governmental authorities worldwide have taken unprecedented measures to stabilize markets and support economic growth. To that end, the Trump Administration, Congress, and various federal agencies and state governments have taken measures to address the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, including the passage of the Covid-19 pandemic Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or (“the CARES Act”), and the Main Street Lending Program. The CARES Act, among other things, provides certain measures to support individuals and businesses in maintaining solvency through monetary relief, including in the form of financing, loan forgiveness and automatic forbearance. There can be no assurance, however, that the steps taken by the worldwide community or the U.S. government will be sufficient to address the negative economic effects of Covid-19 or avert severe and prolonged reductions in economic activity.

The pandemic has adversely impacted and could potentially further adversely impact our workforce and operations, and the operations of our customers and business partners. In particular, we may experience adverse financial consequences due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

increased credit losses due to financial strain on its customers as a result of the pandemic and governmental actions, specifically on loans to borrowers in the lodging, retail trade, restaurant and bar, nursing home/assisted living, childcare facilities, and loans to borrowers that are secured by multi-family properties or retail real estate; increased credit losses would require us to increase our provision for credit losses and net charge-offs;

decreases in new business for example if the shutdown of automobile factories continues for an extended time, it may impact the supply of vehicles which the Bank could otherwise lease to its customers, possibly reducing growth in the leasing portfolio which would otherwise have increased revenues and net income;

declines in collateral values;

decline in our stock price or the occurrence of what management would deem to be a triggering event that could, under certain circumstances, cause management to perform impairment testing on its goodwill or core deposit and customer relationships intangibles that could result in an impairment charge being recorded for that period, or declines in assets held at fair value, which would adversely impact our results of operations and the ability of certain of our bank subsidiaries to pay dividends to us;

disruptions if a significant portion of our workforce is unable to work effectively, including because of illness, quarantines, government actions, or other restrictions in connection with the pandemic; we have modified our business practices,

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including restricting employee travel, and implementing work-from-home arrangements, and it may be necessary for us to take further actions as may be required by government authorities or as we determine is in the best interests of our employees, customers and business partners; there is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by Covid-19 or will otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities;

the negative effect on earnings resulting from the Bank modifying loans and agreeing to loan payment deferrals due to the Covid-19 crisis;

increased demand on our liquidity as we meet borrowers’ needs and cover expenses related to the pandemic management plan;

reduced liquidity may negatively affect our capital and leverage ratios, and although not currently contemplated, reduce our ability to pay dividends;

third-party disruptions, including negative effects on network providers and other suppliers, which have been, and may further be, affected by, stay-at-home orders, market volatility and other factors that increase their risks of business disruption or that may otherwise affect their ability to perform under the terms of any agreements with us or provide essential services;

increased cyber and payment fraud risk due to increased online and remote activity; and

other operational failures due to changes in our normal business practices because of the pandemic and governmental actions to contain it.

These factors may remain prevalent for a significant period of time and may continue to adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition even after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided.

Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected the financial markets and has resulted in a number of Federal Reserve actions. Market interest rates have declined significantly. In March 2020, the Federal Reserve reduced the target federal funds rate and announced a $700 billion quantitative easing program in response to the expected economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the Federal Reserve reduced the interest that it pays on excess reserves. We expect that these reductions in interest rates, especially if prolonged, could adversely affect our net interest income and margins and our profitability. The Federal Reserve also launched the Main Street Lending Program, which will offer deferred interest on four-year loans to small and mid-sized businesses. The full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business activities as a result of new government and regulatory policies, programs and guidelines, as well as market reactions to such activities, remains uncertain.

The Bank is a participating lender in the PPP, a loan program administered through the SBA that was created under the CARES Act to help eligible businesses, organizations and self-employed persons fund their operational costs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under this program, the SBA guarantees 100% of the amounts loaned under the PPP, and borrowers are eligible to apply to the FDIC for forgiveness of their PPP loan obligations. The PPP opened on April 3, 2020; however, because of the short window between the passing of the CARES Act and the opening of the PPP, there was some initial ambiguity in the laws, rules and guidance regarding the operation of the PPP, which exposed us to risks relating to noncompliance with the PPP. For instance, other financial institutions have experienced litigation related to their process and procedures used in processing applications for the PPP. Under the PPP, lending banks are generally entitled to rely on borrower representations and certifications of eligibility to participate in the program, and lending banks may also be held harmless by the SBA in certain circumstances for actions taken in reliance on borrower representations and certifications. The PPP was modified on June 5, 2020, with the adoption of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, or (‘the PPFA”). The PPFA increased the amount of time that borrowers have to use PPP loan proceeds and apply for loan forgiveness and made other changes to make the program more favorable to borrowers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Bank has been, and may continue to be, exposed to credit risk on PPP loans if a determination is made by the SBA that there is a deficiency in the manner in which the loan was originated, funded, or serviced. If a deficiency is identified, the SBA may deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty, or, if it has already paid under the guaranty, seek recovery of any loss related to the deficiency from the Bank.

The Bank’s participation in and execution of these and other measures taken by governments and regulatory authorities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic could result in reputational harm and has resulted in, and may continue to result in, litigation, including class actions, or regulatory and government actions and proceedings. Such actions may result in judgments, settlements, penalties and fines levied against us.

In addition, while the Covid-19 pandemic had a material impact on the provision for credit losses and fair value estimates, we are unable to fully predict the impact that Covid-19 will have on the credit quality of the loan portfolios of the Bank, our financial position and results of operations due to numerous uncertainties. One of the provisions of the CARES Act was the payment by the U.S. government of six months of principal and interest on SBA 7a loans, which was largely be completed in the fourth quarter of

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2020. Additional payments were authorized in December 2020 legislation. While proposed legislation for continuation of U.S. government funded loan payments is being considered by Congress, there can be no assurance that such proposals will become law. If legislation does not result in future monthly payments by the U.S. government, we may decide to grant deferrals of monthly interest and principal payments. Accounting and banking regulators have determined that principal and interest deferrals of up to six months do not represent material changes in loan terms and such loans will not, during the deferral period, be classified as delinquent, non-accrual or restructured. We will continue to assess these and other potential impacts on the credit quality of the loan portfolio of the Bank, our financial position and results of operations.

The extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Even after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of the virus’s global economic impact, including the availability of credit, adverse impacts on liquidity and any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.

There are no comparable recent events that provide guidance as to the effect the spread of Covid-19 as a global pandemic may have, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the pandemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of the impacts on our business, operations or the economy as a whole. However, the effects could have a material impact on our results of operations and heighten many of the known risks described in this “Risk Factors” section.

Periods of weak economic and slow growth conditions in the U.S. economy have had, and may continue to have, significant adverse effects on our assets and operating results.

In recent periods, 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 credit losses, and experienced increases in the amount of loans charged off and non-performing assets in our Philadelphia-based commercial loan portfolio which is 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. A continuation of weak economic conditions could further harm our financial condition and results of operations.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to accomplish our strategic goals that would enable us to meet our financial targets.

Our future earnings will reflect our success in replacing and growing both our loans and deposits at targeted rates and yields, and the payments transactions from which we derive fee income. Our businesses differ from most banks in the nature of both our lending niches and our payments businesses, and changes in loan acquisition and repayment speeds. We provide additional information on our lending niches and payments businesses in this Form 10K and other public filings and, on our website, as to our financial planning and performance goals. As noted above, information found on our website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Loan, deposit and transaction growth rates and financial targets may also be impacted by other strategic goals including maintaining a scalable infrastructure, continuing technology innovations, maintaining what we believe to be an industry leading compliance and risk function; non-interest expense management and others. There can be no assurance that we will maintain or increase loan and deposit balances or payment transactions at the required yields or volumes, or succeed in other strategic goals, as necessary to achieve financial targets.

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

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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.

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 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, credit unions, leasing companies, consumer finance companies, factoring companies, insurance companies and money market mutual funds and card issuers. In 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that it would begin to accept and evaluate charters for entities that wanted to conduct certain components of a banking business pursuant to a federal charter, known as a "special purpose national bank" ("SPNB") charter. Intended to promote economic opportunity and spur financial innovation, SPNBs may engage in any of the following activities: paying checks, lending money or taking deposits. If any such applications are granted, recipients of an SPNB charter may enter the U.S. payments market in which the Bank operates, which could have a material adverse effect on the Bank and its Payments division.

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

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.

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.

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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 effectively implement 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.

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, see 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 customers, incurring liability for any damages our customers may sustain, or losing revenues. Moreover, there can be no assurance that a replacement service provider will provide its services at the same or a lower cost than the service provider it replaces.

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We are subject to extensive government regulation.

We and our subsidiary, The Bancorp Bank, are subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision. 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 us and the Bank in substantial and unpredictable ways and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Any future FDIC insurance premium increases will adversely affect our earnings.

 

Any further assessments or special assessments that the FDIC levies will be recorded as an expense during the appropriate period and will decrease our earnings. On February 9, 2011, the FDIC adopted a final rule which redefines the deposit insurance assessment base as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The final rule sets the deposit insurance assessment base as average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity. It also sets a new assessment rate schedule which reflects assessment rate adjustments based upon regulatory examination classification with increased rates for brokered deposits. The final rule became effective on April 1, 2011. If the Bank’s rating is changed, insurance premiums will increase which will adversely affect our earnings.

We may be affected by government regulation including those mandating capital levels and those specifying limitations resulting from Community Reinvestment Act ratings.

We are subject to extensive federal and state banking regulation and supervision, which has increased in the past several years as a result of stresses the financial system has undergone for an extended period of years. The regulations are intended primarily to protect our depositors’ funds, the federal deposit insurance fund and the safety and soundness of the Bank, not our stockholders. Regulatory requirements affect lending practices, product offerings, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy and growth. Under capital adequacy guidelines and the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action, we and the Bank must meet specific capital guidelines that involve quantitative measures of their assets, liabilities and certain off-balance-sheet items as calculated under regulatory accounting practices. The capital amounts and classification of us and the Bank are also subject to qualitative judgments by the regulators about components, risk weightings and other factors. Moreover, capital requirements may be modified based upon regulatory rules or by regulatory discretion at any time reflecting a variety of factors including deterioration in asset quality. A failure by either the Bank or us to meet regulatory capital requirements will result in the imposition of limitations on our operations and could, if capital levels drop significantly, result in our being required to cease operations. Regulatory capital requirements must also be satisfied such that mandated capital ratios are maintained as the Bank grows, or growth may be required to be curtailed. Moreover, a failure by either the Bank or us to comply with regulatory requirements regarding lending practices, investment practices, customer relationships, anti-money laundering detection and prevention, and other operational practices (see "Business--Regulation Under Banking Law") could result in regulatory sanctions and possibly third-party liabilities. Changes in governing law, regulations or regulatory practices could impose additional costs on us or impair our ability to obtain deposits or make loans and, as a consequence, negatively impact our consolidated revenues and profitability.

As a Delaware-chartered bank whose depositors and financial services customers are located in several states, the Bank may be subject to additional licensure requirements or other regulation of its activities by state regulatory authorities and laws outside of Delaware. If the Bank’s compliance with licensure requirements or other regulation becomes overly burdensome, we may seek to convert its state charter to a federal charter in order to gain the benefits of federal preemption of some of those laws and regulations. Conversion of the Bank to a federal charter will require the prior approval of the relevant federal bank regulatory authorities, which we may not be able to obtain. Moreover, even if we obtain approval, there could be a significant period of time between our application and receipt of the approval, and/or any approval we do obtain may be subject to burdensome conditions or restrictions.

Failure to maintain a satisfactory CRA rating may result in business restrictions. The Bank operates its CRA program under an FDIC-approved CRA Strategic Plan.  The Bank operated an approved plan during the period of July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019 and now operates under an approved plan for the period of January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. On July 3, 2019, the Bank received its 2018 CRA Performance Evaluation which was completed on November 11, 2018.  The Bank was assigned a “Satisfactory” CRA rating.  The Bank continues to closely monitor its performance in alignment with its CRA Strategic Plan to meet the specified lending, service and investment requirements contained therein. There can be no assurance that we will maintain a

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satisfactory rating, and if not maintained, the Bank would be subject to certain business restrictions as required by the Community Reinvestment Act and FDIC regulations.

We are subject to extensive government supervision with respect to our compliance with numerous laws and regulations.

We have policies and procedures designed to prevent violations of the extensive federal and state laws and regulations that we are subject to, however there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur. Failure to comply with these statutes, regulations or policies could result in a determination of an apparent violation of law, and could trigger formal or informal enforcement actions or other sanctions against us or the Bank by regulatory agencies, including entering into consent orders or other agreements, assessment of civil money penalties, criminal penalties, reputational damage, and a downgrade in the Company’s ratings or 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. Further, we are at risk of the imposition of additional civil money penalties by our regulators, based on, among other things, repeat violations, or supervisory determinations of non-compliance with any consent order.  Depending on the circumstances, the imposition and size of any such penalty is at the discretion of the regulator. While the Bank may be contractually indemnified for certain violations atrributable to third parties, civil money penalties, if assessed against the Bank, are not recoverable from third parties.

Our reputation and business could be damaged by our entry into any future enforcement matters with our regulators 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 any regulatory enforcement actions, 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.

We may be subject to potential liability and business risk from actions by our regulators related to supervision of third parties.

Our regulators or auditors may require us to increase the level and manner of our oversight of the third parties which provide marketing services which generate most of our accounts and through which we offer products and services. Although we have added significant compliance staff and have used outside consultants, our internal and external compliance examiners continually evaluate our practices and must be satisfied with the results of our third-party oversight activities. We cannot assure you that we will satisfy all related requirements. Not maintaining a compliance management system which is deemed adequate could result in sanctions against the Bank. Our ongoing review and analysis of our compliance management system and implementation of any changes resulting from that review and analysis will likely result in increased non-interest expense.

Legislative and regulatory actions taken now or in the future may increase our operating costs and impact our business, governance structure, financial condition or results of operations.

Federal and state regulatory agencies frequently adopt changes to their regulations or change the manner in which existing regulations are interpreted and applied. Changes to the laws and regulations applicable to the financial industry, if enacted or adopted, could expose us to additional costs, including increased compliance costs, require higher levels of capital and liquidity, negatively impact our business practices, including the ability to offer new products and services and attract and retain new customers and business partners who may do business with us based, in whole or in part, upon our corporate and governance structure, regulatory status, asset size and other factors tied to the legal and regulatory framework governing the financial industry. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, and the rules and regulations emanating therefrom, have significantly changed, and will continue to change the bank regulatory structure, and affect the lending, deposit, investment and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. While a significant number of regulations have already been promulgated to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, including, for example, the Collins Amendment and the Durbin Amendment, future changes or interpretations to these rules and other bank regulations are uncertain and could negatively impact our business, thereby increasing our operating and compliance costs and obligations, and reducing or eliminating our ability to generate profits.

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A further downgrade of the U.S. government credit rating could negatively impact our investment portfolio and other operations. 

A significant amount of our investment portfolio is rated by outside ratings agencies as explicitly or implicitly backed by the United States government and certain of our loans are government guaranteed. In 2011, the credit rating of the United States government was lowered, and it is possible it may be downgraded further, based upon rating agencies’ evaluations of the effect of increasing levels of government debt and related Congressional actions.  A lowering of the United States government credit ratings may reduce the market value or liquidity of our investment and certain loan portfolios.

New lines of business, and new products and services may result in exposure to new risks and the value and earnings related to existing lines of business are subject to market conditions.

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. Additionally, there are uncertainties regarding the market values of existing lines of business which are difficult to measure and are subject to market conditions which may change significantly. Significant amounts of loans are accounted for at fair (market) value, and a decrease in such value would reduce income.

Potential acquisitions may disrupt our business and dilute stockholder value.

Acquiring other banks or businesses involves various risks including, but not limited to:

potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of the target entity;

exposure to potential asset quality issues of the target entity;

difficulty and expense of integrating the operations and personnel of the target entity;

potential disruption to our business;

potential diversion of our management’s time and attention;

the possible loss of key employees and customers of the target entity;

difficulty in estimating the value of the target entity;

potential changes in banking or tax laws or regulations that may affect the target entity; and 

difficulty navigating and integrating legal, operating cultural differences between the United States and the countries of the target entity’s operations.

From time to time we evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities and conduct due diligence activities related to possible transactions with other financial institutions and financial services companies. As a result, merger or acquisition discussions and, in some cases, negotiations may take place and future mergers or acquisitions involving cash, debt or equity securities may occur at any time. Acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values, and, therefore, some dilution of our tangible book value and net income per common share may occur in connection with any future transaction. Furthermore, failure to realize the expected revenue increases, cost savings, increases in geographic or product presence, and/or other projected benefits from an acquisition could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Risks Related to Our Specialty Lending Business Activities:

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 local economies in which our borrowers operate. Such changes may 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, some 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 accounted for at fair value. 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 credit 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 more information about the risks which are specific to the different types of loans we make and which could impact our allowance for credit losses, see Item 1, “Business –Lending Activities.”

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

Like all financial institutions, the Bank maintains an allowance for credit losses to provide for current and future expected losses inherent in its loan portfolio. At December 31, 2020, the ratios of the allowance for credit losses to total loans and to non-performing loans were, respectively, 0.61% and 126.4%. The Bank’s allowance for credit 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 credit 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, industry information, economic conditions and reasonable and supportable forecasts. 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 credit 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 credit losses. Although we believe that the Bank’s allowance for credit losses is adequate to provide for current and future expected credit 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 credit losses, change our methodology for determining our allowance and provision for credit 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 more information about risks which are specific to the different types of loans we make and which could impact the allowance for credit losses, see Item 1,” Business –Lending Activities.”

Our lending limit may adversely affect our competitiveness.

Our regulatory lending limit as of December 31, 2020 to any one customer or related group of customers was $85.7 million for unsecured loans and $142.8 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.

Changes to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) accounting standards have and will continue to result in a significant change to our recognition of credit losses and may materially impact our financial condition or results of operations.

In June 2016, the FASB issued an update to Accounting Standards Update (“ASU” or “Update”) 2016-13 – “Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments”. The Update changes the

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accounting for credit losses on loans and debt securities. For loans and held-to-maturity debt securities, the Update requires a current expected credit loss (“CECL”) approach to determine the allowance for credit losses. CECL requires loss estimates for the remaining estimated life of the financial asset using historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. Also, the Update eliminates the existing guidance for purchased credit deteriorated loans and debt securities, but requires an allowance for purchased financial assets with more than insignificant deterioration since origination. In addition, the Update modifies the other-than-temporary impairment model for available-for-sale debt securities to require an allowance for credit losses instead of a direct write-down, which allows for reversal of credit losses in future periods based on improvements in credit. The CECL model has and will materially impact how we determine our allowance for credit losses and may require us to significantly increase our allowance for credit losses.  Furthermore, our allowance for credit losses may experience more fluctuations, some of which may be significant. If we determined that we would need to increase the allowance for credit losses to appropriately capture the credit risk that exists in our lending and investment portfolios, it may negatively impact our business, earnings, financial condition and results of operations.

We adopted the guidance in first quarter 2020.

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. For other than SBLOC and IBLOC loans, these practices may 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. For SBLOC loans, a primary element of the credit decision is the market value of the borrower’s brokerage account, which is reduced by the varying collateral percentages against which we are willing to lend, resulting in excess collateral. Rapid excessive movements in the market value of brokerage accounts might not be sufficiently offset by the excess collateral and losses could result. For example, we typically lend against 50% of the value of equity securities. For IBLOC, the credit decision is primarily based upon the cash value of insurance policies which may ultimately be dependent upon the insurer for repayment. 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 credit losses. In addition, only certain SBA loans are 75% guaranteed by the U.S. government, and even for those, we still assume credit risk on the remaining 25%. These borrowers, which include new start-ups, may have a higher probability of failure which may result in higher losses on such loans. 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 credit losses, we will have to increase the provision for credit losses which will reduce our income and might cause us to incur losses. At the time loans are classified as troubled debt restructurings, losses are recognized if the fair value of collateral is less than the loan balance. For more information about the risks which are specific to the different types of loans we make and which could impact loan losses, see Item 1, “Business –Lending Activities.”

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 acquire 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.

We cannot predict whether income resulting from the reinvestment of proceeds from the loans we hold will match or exceed the income from loan dispositions.

We are seeking to sell or otherwise dispose of the loans in our discontinued commercial loan operations and expect that we will obtain a significant amount of cash from these dispositions. Although we believe, based upon current market conditions, that we will be able to invest such proceeds profitably, reinvestment income is difficult to predict and depends upon a number of economic and market conditions beyond our control, including interest rates and the availability of suitable investments. We cannot assure you

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that we will be able to generate the same level of income from the reinvested proceeds as we generated from the loan portfolio being sold, or that suitable investments will be available to us. If not, our revenues and net income could be reduced materially.

A prolonged U.S. government shutdown or default by the U.S. on government obligations could harm our results of operations.

Our results of operations, including revenue, non-interest income, expenses and net interest income, could be adversely affected in the event of widespread financial and business disruption due to a default by the United States on U.S. government obligations or a prolonged failure to maintain significant U.S. government operations, particularly those pertaining to the SBA. Any such failure to maintain such U.S. government operations would impede our ability to originate SBA loans and our ability to sell such loans.

Changes in interest rates and loan production 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. Our net interest income is also determined by our level of loan production to replace loan payoffs and to grow our different loan portfolios. Loan demand may vary for economic and competitive reasons and we cannot assure you that historical rates of loan growth will continue or as to other loan production. Net interest income is difficult to project, and our models for making such projections are theoretical. While they may indicate the general direction of changes in net interest income, they do not indicate actual future results. In first quarter 2020, the Federal Reserve instituted emergency rate cuts, and additional rate cuts may still occur in response to economic and other conditions. Such actions may decrease net interest income, to the extent the reduction is not offset with the impact of loan growth or other factors.

We may be adversely impacted by the transition from London Inter-bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) as a reference rate.

The administrator of LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by June 30, 2023, and for LIBOR to be replaced with an alternative reference rate that will be calculated in a different manner. Consequently, at this time, it is not possible to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide submissions for the calculation of LIBOR. Similarly, it is not possible to predict whether LIBOR will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, or what the effect of any such changes in views or alternatives may be on the markets for LIBOR-indexed financial instruments. The majority of our commercial mortgages, at fair value are indexed to LIBOR. Additionally, the interest rates of certain of our investment securities and our trust preferred securities are indexed to LIBOR. The transition from LIBOR could create considerable costs and additional risk. Since proposed alternative rates are calculated differently, payments under contracts referencing new rates will differ from those referencing LIBOR. The transition will change our market risk profiles, requiring changes to risk and pricing models, valuation tools, product design and hedging strategies. Furthermore, failure to adequately manage this transition process with our customers could adversely impact our reputation. Although we are currently unable to assess what the ultimate impact of the transition from LIBOR will be, failure to adequately manage the transition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Risks Relating to Our Payments Business Activities:

Regulatory and legal requirements applicable to the prepaid and debit 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. These investments may not ensure compliance or 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 reduce our earnings or result in losses, make it more difficult to conduct our operations, or prohibit us from conducting specific operations. Other risks related to prepaid cards include competition for prepaid, debit 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 and debit 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.

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

We realize a significant portion of our revenues from prepaid and debit 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. The top ten largest contributors to prepaid, debit card and related fees account for 74% of such fees. Prepaid and debit card deposits comprise a significant portion of the Bank’s deposits.

Our prepaid and debit card and other deposit accounts generated by third parties have been classified as brokered.

In December 2014, the FDIC issued new guidance classifying prepaid deposit accounts and other deposit accounts obtained in cooperation with third parties as brokered, 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 effectively restrict or eliminate the ability of the Bank to operate its business lines as presently conducted. In December 2020, the FDIC adopted a regulation which may result in the reclassification of certain of our deposits as non-brokered, depending on multiple factors including the potential filing of applications with the FDIC for a determination as to the non-brokered status of the deposits. While we intend to pursue reclassification of a significant portion of our deposits, we cannot determine whether the FDIC will agree with the proposed reclassifications.

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

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 rates 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 those 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.

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We derive a significant percentage of our deposits, total assets and income from deposit accounts generated by diverse independent companies, including those which provide card account marketing services, and investment advisory firms.

Deposit accounts acquired with the assistance of our top twenty affinity relationships totaled $4.45 billion at December 31, 2020. The top twenty relationships result in the majority of our payments related income. We provide oversight over these relationships 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.

We face fund transfer and payments-related reputational risks.

Financial institutions, including ourselves, bear fund transfer risks of different types which result from large transaction volumes and large dollar amounts of incoming and outgoing money transfers. Loss exposure may result if money is transferred from the bank before it is received, or legal rights to reclaim monies transferred are asserted. Such exposure results from payments which are made to merchants for payment clearing, while customers have statutory periods to reverse their payments. It also results from funds transfers made prior to receipt of offsetting funds, as accommodations to customers. Transfers could also be made in error. Additionally, as with other financial institutions, we may incur legal liability or reputational risk, if we unknowingly process payments for companies in violation of money laundering laws or regulations or immoral activities.

Unclaimed funds from deposit accounts or represented by unused value on prepaid cards present compliance and other risks.

Unclaimed funds held in deposit accounts or represented by unused balances on prepaid cards may be subject to state escheatment laws where the Bank is the actual holder of the funds and when, after a period of time as set forth in applicable state law, the rightful owner of the funds cannot be readily located and/or identified. The Bank implements controls to comply with state unclaimed property laws and regulations, however these laws and regulations are often open to interpretation, particularly when being applied to unused balances on prepaid card products. State regulators may choose to initiate collection or other litigation action against the Bank for unreported abandoned property, and such actions may seek to assess fines and penalties.

Risks Relating to Taxes and Accounting:

We are subject to tax audits, and challenges to our tax positions or adverse changes or interpretations of tax laws could result in tax liability.

We are subject to federal and applicable state income tax laws and regulations and related audits. We are also periodically subject to state escheat audits. Income tax and escheat laws and regulations are often complex and require significant judgment in determining our effective tax rate and in evaluating our tax positions. Challenges of such determinations may adversely affect our effective tax rate, tax payments or financial condition.

The appraised fair value of the assets from our discontinued commercial loan operations or collateral from other loan categories may be more than the amounts received upon sale or other disposition.

Various internal and external inputs were utilized to analyze fair value of the discontinued commercial loan portfolio and the investment in unconsolidated entity which reflects the financing of the securitization of a portion of the discontinued assets. The valuations for this and other loan catgories and actual sales prices could be significantly less than the estimates, which could materially affect our results of operations in future quarters.

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We have had material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting in the past and cannot assure you that additional material weaknesses will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements which could require us to restate financial statements, cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and have a negative effect on our stock price.

As previously reported, our management had identified material weaknesses in our internal and disclosure controls over financial reporting that resulted in a restatement of our financial statements in 2014 for that year and for prior periods. These weaknesses related to the timing of the recognition of loan losses and the recognition of other loan losses. We believe these weaknesses have been remediated. However, we cannot assure you that additional significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Any failure to maintain or implement required new or improved controls, or any difficulties we encounter in their implementation, could result in additional material weaknesses, cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations or result in material misstatements in our financial statements. Any such failure could also adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and annual auditor attestation reports regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules promulgated under Section 404. The existence of a material weakness could result in errors in our financial statements that could result in a restatement of financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and cause investors or customers to lose confidence in our reported financial information, leading to a decline in our stock price or a loss of business, and could result in stockholder actions against us for damages.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock:

The trading volume in our common stock is less than that of many financial services companies, which may reduce the price at which our common stock would otherwise trade.

Although our common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Global Select Market, the trading volume is less than that of many financial services companies. A public trading market having the desired characteristics of depth, liquidity and orderliness depends on the presence in the marketplace of willing buyers and sellers of our common stock at any given time. This presence depends on the individual decisions of investors and general economic and market conditions over which we have no control. Given the lower trading volume of our common stock, significant sales of our common stock, or the expectation of these sales, could cause our stock price to fall.

An investment in our common stock is not an insured deposit.

Our common stock is not a bank deposit and, therefore, is not insured against loss by the FDIC, any other deposit insurance fund or by any other public or private entity. Investment in our common stock is inherently risky for the reasons described in this “Risk Factors” section and is subject to the same market forces that affect the price of common stock in any company. As a result, if you acquire our common stock, you may lose some or all of your investment.

Our ability to issue additional shares of our common stock, or the issuance of such additional shares, may reduce the price at which our common stock trades.

We cannot predict whether future issuances of shares of our common stock or the availability of shares for resale in the open market will decrease the market price per share of our common stock. We are not restricted from issuing additional shares of common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive shares of common stock. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that such sales might occur could materially adversely affect the market price of the shares of our common stock. The exercise of any options granted to directors, executive officers and other employees under our stock compensation plans, the vesting of restricted stock grants, the issuance of shares of common stock in acquisitions and other issuances of our common stock also could have an adverse effect on the market price of the shares of our common stock. The existence of options, or shares of our common stock reserved for issuance as restricted shares of our common stock may materially adversely affect the terms upon which we may be able to obtain additional capital in the future through the sale of equity securities.

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Future offerings of debt, which would be senior to our common stock upon liquidation, and/or preferred equity securities which may be senior to our common stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may reduce the market price at which our common stock trades.

In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources or, if the Bank’s capital ratios fall below the required minimums, we could be forced to raise additional capital by making additional offerings of debt or preferred equity securities, including medium-term notes, senior or subordinated notes or preferred stock. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive distributions of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Holders of our common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights or other protections against dilution.

The Bank’s ability to pay dividends is subject to regulatory limitations which, to the extent we require such dividends in the future, may affect our ability to pay our obligations and pay dividends.

We are a separate legal entity from the Bank and our other subsidiaries, and we do not have significant operations of our own. We have historically depended on the Bank’s cash and liquidity, as well as dividends, to pay our operating expenses. 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. In addition to these explicit limitations, it is possible, depending upon the financial condition of the Bank and other factors, that federal and state regulatory agencies could take the position that payment of dividends by the Bank would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice and may therefore seek to prevent the Bank from paying such dividends. Although we believe we have sufficient existing liquidity for our needs for the foreseeable future, there is risk that, we may not be able to service our obligations as they become due or to pay dividends on our common stock or trust preferred obligations. Even if the Bank has the capacity to pay dividends, it is not obligated to pay the dividends. Its Board of Directors may determine, as it did in the past, to retain some or all of its earnings to support or increase its capital base.

Anti-takeover provisions of our certificate of incorporation, bylaws and Delaware law may make it more difficult for holders of our common stock to receive a change in control premium.

Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make a merger, tender offer or proxy contest more difficult, even if such events were perceived by many of our stockholders as beneficial to their interests. These provisions include in particular our ability to issue shares of our common stock and preferred stock with such provisions as our board of directors may approve without further shareholder approval. In addition, as a Delaware corporation, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law which, in general, prevents an interested stockholder, defined generally as a person owning 15% or more of a corporation’s outstanding voting stock, from engaging in a business combination with our company for three years following the date that person became an interested stockholder unless certain specified conditions are satisfied.

General Risks:

Severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism or other adverse external events could harm our business.

Severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism and other adverse external events could have a significant impact on our ability to conduct business. The nature and level of severe weather and/or natural disasters cannot be predicted and may be exacerbated by global climate change. Severe weather and natural disasters could harm our operations through interference with communications, including the interruption or loss of our computer systems, which could prevent or impede us from gathering deposits, originating loans and processing and controlling the flow of business, as well as through the destruction of facilities and our operational, financial and management information systems. Additionally, the United States remains a target for potential acts of war or terrorism. Such severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism or other adverse external events could negatively impact our business operations or the stability of our deposit base, cause significant property damage, adversely impact the values of collateral securing our loans and/or interrupt our borrowers' abilities to conduct their business in a manner to support their debt obligations, which could result in losses and increased provisions for credit losses. There is no assurance that our business continuity and disaster recovery program can adequately mitigate the risks of such business disruptions and interruptions.

Pandemic events could have a material adverse effect on our operations and our financial condition.

The outbreak of disease on a national or global level, such as the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on commerce, which may, in turn impact our lines of business. Such an event may also impact our ability to manage

41


those portions of our business or operations which rely on vendors and suppliers from other countries or regions impacted by such a pandemic event.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties.

Our executive office and an operations facility are located at 409 Silverside Road, Wilmington, Delaware. We maintain business development and administrative offices for SBL in Morrisville, North Carolina, and Westmont, Illinois (suburban Chicago), primarily for SBA lending. Leasing offices are located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Crofton, Maryland, Kent, Washington, Logan, Utah, Orlando, Florida, Raritan, New Jersey, and Norristown and Warminster, Pennsylvania. We maintain a loan operations office in New York, New York. Prepaid and debit card offices and other executive offices are located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and one of two New York properties are no longer occupied by us, and have been subleased to outside parties, which pay the majority of the rent. Locations and certain additional information regarding our offices and other material properties at December 31, 2020 are listed below. We own a property in Orlando, Florida which houses our leasing operations, consisting of a stand-alone building of 8,850 square feet. A summary of significant properties is as follows.

Location

Expiration

Square Feet

Monthly Rent

Bank Owned Property

Orlando, Florida

8,850

Leased Space

Charlotte, North Carolina

2021

2,345

$

4,148 

Crofton, Maryland

2025

3,364

4,500 

Kent, Washington

2021

1,700

2,653 

Logan, Utah

2021

3,181

1,425 

Morrisville, North Carolina

2024

3,590

5,576 

New York, New York (one of two properties is subleased)

2024 - 2025

11,701

36,028 

Norristown, Pennsylvania

2025

7,180

10,500 

Raritan, New Jersey

2022

2,145

3,776 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (subleased)

2022

14,839

7,316 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

2022

38,611

54,674 

Warminster, Pennsylvania

2022

2,600

2,295 

Westmont, Illinois

2026

3,003

2,292 

Wilmington, Delaware

2025

70,968

142,993 

We believe that our offices are suitable and adequate for our operations.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

For a historical discussion of prior regulatory actions resulting in Consent Orders issued by the FDIC to the Bank, but which have been terminated, see Part I, Item I, Business—Regulatory Actions.

On June 12, 2019, the Bank was served with a qui tam lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, New Castle County. The Delaware Department of Justice intervened in the litigation. The case is titled The State of Delaware, Plaintiff, Ex rel. Russell S. Rogers, Plaintiff-Relator, v. The Bancorp Bank, Interactive Communications International, Inc., and InComm Financial Services, Inc., Defendants. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the Delaware False Claims Act by not paying balances on certain open-loop “Vanilla” prepaid cards to the State of Delaware as unclaimed property.  The complaint seeks actual and treble damages, statutory penalties, and attorneys’ fees.  The Bank has filed an answer denying the allegations and continues to vigorously defend the claims. The Bank and other defendants previously filed a motion to dismiss the action, but the motion was denied and the case is in preliminary stages of discovery. At this time, the Company is unable to determine whether the ultimate resolution of the matter will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition or operations.

42


The Company has received and is responding to two non-public fact-finding inquiries from the SEC, which in each case is seeking to determine if violations of the federal securities laws have occurred. The Company refers to these inquiries collectively as the SEC matters. On October 9, 2019, the Company received a subpoena seeking records related generally to The Bancorp Bank’s debit card issuance activity and gross dollar volume data, among other things. The Company responded to the subpoena and subsequent subpoenas issued to the Company.  Unrelated to the first inquiry, on April 10, 2020, the Company received a subpoena in connection with The Bancorp Bank’s CMBS business seeking records related to various offerings as well as CMBS securities held by the Bank.  Since inception of these SEC matters to the present, the Company has been cooperating fully with the SEC.  The SEC has not made any findings, or alleged any wrongdoings, with respect to the SEC matters. The costs related to responding to and cooperating with the SEC staff may be material, and could continue to be material at least through the completion of the SEC matters.

On June 2, 2020, the Bank was served with a complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, titled Cascade Funding, LP – Series 6, Plaintiff v. The Bancorp Bank, Defendant. The lawsuit arises from a Purchase and Sale Agreement between Cascade Funding, LP – Series 6 (“Cascade”) and the Bank, pursuant to which Cascade was to purchase certain mortgage loan assets from the Bank for securitization. Cascade improperly attempted to invoke a market disruption clause in the agreement to avoid the purchase. Cascade’s failure to close the transaction constituted a breach of the agreement and, accordingly, the Bank terminated the agreement, effective April 29, 2020. Pursuant to the agreement, the Bank retained Cascade’s deposit of approximately $12.5 million. The lawsuit asserts three causes of action: (i) breach of contract; (ii) injunction and specific performance; and (iii) declaratory judgment. Cascade seeks the return of its deposit plus interest and attorneys’ fees and costs. The Bank is vigorously defending this matter and the case is in preliminary stages of discovery. Given the early stages of this matter, the Company is not yet able to determine whether the ultimate resolution of this matter will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition or operations.

On January 12, 2021, three former employees of the Bank filed separate complaints against the Company in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. The Company subsequently removed all three lawsuits to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The cases are captioned: John Edward Barker, Plaintiff v. The Bancorp, Inc., Defendant; Alexander John Kamai, Plaintiff v. The Bancorp, Inc., Defendant; and John Patrick McGlynn III, Plaintiff v. The Bancorp, Inc., Defendant. The lawsuits arise from the Bank’s termination of the plaintiffs’ employment in connection with the restructuring of its CMBS business. The plaintiffs seek damages in the following amounts: $4,135,142.80 (Barker), $901,088.00 (Kamai) and $2,909,627.20 (McGlynn). The Company intends to vigorously defend these matters. Given the early stage of the lawsuits, the Company is not yet able to determine whether the ultimate resolution of this matter will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial conditions or operations.

In addition, we are a party to various routine legal proceedings arising out of the ordinary course of our business. Management believes that none of these actions, individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or operations.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

PART II

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

Our common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TBBK.” As of March 1, 2021, there were 57,934,841 shares of our common stock outstanding held by 49 record holders. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers, financial institutions and other nominees.  As of January 8, 2021, the most recent date for which we have beneficial ownership information, there were at least 6,317 beneficial owners of our common stock.

We have not paid cash dividends on our common stock since our inception, and do not currently plan to pay cash dividends on our common stock in 2021. Our payment of dividends is subject to restrictions discussed in Item 1, “Business—Regulation under Banking Law,”. Irrespective of such restrictions, it is our intent to generally retain earnings, if any, to increase our capital and fund the development and growth of our operations subject to regulatory restrictions. Our board of directors will determine any changes in our dividend policy based upon its analysis of factors it deems relevant. We expect that these factors would include our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements, regulatory capital levels and available investment opportunities.

43



44


Performance graph

The following graph compares the performance of our common stock to the NASDAQ Composite Index and the NASDAQ Bank Stock Index. The graph shows the value of $100 invested in our common stock and both indices on December 31, 2015 for a five-year period and the change in the value of our common stock compared to the indices as of the end of each year. The graph assumes the reinvestment of all dividends. Historical stock price performance is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

PICTURE 4

Index

12/31/2015

12/31/2016

12/31/2017

12/31/2018

12/31/2019

12/31/2020

The Bancorp, Inc.

100.00 

123.39 

155.10 

124.96 

203.61 

214.29 

NASDAQ Bank Stock Index

100.00 

135.03 

139.77 

114.74 

139.10 

124.31 

NASDAQ Composite Stock Index

100.00 

107.50 

137.86 

132.51 

179.19 

257.38 


45


The following graph reflects stock performance since 2015, compared to the KBW bank index, which is an industry recognized peer group of regional and money center banks.

PICTURE 5

As of

Index

12/31/2015

12/31/2016

12/31/2017

12/31/2018

12/31/2019

12/31/2020

The Bancorp, Inc.

100.00 

123.39 

155.10 

124.96 

203.61 

214.29 

KBW Bank Index

100.00 

125.60 

151.71 

117.39 

155.12 

133.98 


46


Common Stock Repurchase Plan

On November 5, 2020, our Board of Directors authorized and we publicly announced a common stock repurchase program (the “Common Stock Repurchase Program”). Under the Common Stock Repurchase Program, repurchased shares may be reissued for various corporate purposes. We currently plan to spend up to $10.0 million per quarter for such repurchases depending on the share price, securities laws and stock exchange rules which regulate such repurchases. This plan may be modified or terminated at any time. As of December 31, 2020, no share repurchases had been made under the plan.

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

The following table sets forth selected financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. We derived the selected financial data from our consolidated financial statements for those periods included in this annual report on Form 10-K or our prior annual reports on Form 10-K. We have reclassified certain amounts in our historical audited consolidated financial statements, including amounts related to assets and liabilities reclassified as held-for-sale during these periods. These reclassifications had no effect on our reported net income (loss).

You should read the selected financial data in this table together with, and such selected financial data is qualified by reference to, our consolidated financial statements and the notes to those restated consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this report and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7 of this report.

47


As of and for the years ended

December 31,

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

Income Statement Data:

(in thousands, except per share data)

Interest income

$

210,782 

$

179,569 

$

147,960 

$

122,020 

$

102,219 

Interest expense

15,916 

38,281 

27,111 

15,340 

12,253 

Net interest income

194,866 

141,288 

120,849 

106,680 

89,966 

Provision for credit losses

6,352 

4,400 

3,585 

2,920 

3,360 

Net interest income after provision for credit

losses

188,514 

136,888 

117,264 

103,760 

86,606 

Non-interest income

84,617 

104,127 

153,795 

91,548 

42,486 

Non-interest expense

164,847 

168,521 

151,278 

154,914 

198,573 

Income (loss) before income tax benefit

108,284 

72,494 

119,781 

40,394 

(69,481)

Income tax expense (benefit)

27,688 

21,226 

32,241 

23,056 

(12,664)

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

80,596 

51,268 

87,540 

17,338 

(56,817)

Net income (loss) discontinued operations net of tax

(512)

291 

1,137 

4,335 

(39,675)

Net income (loss) available to common shareholders

$

80,084 

$

51,559 

$

88,677 

$

21,673 

$

(96,492)