This report contains forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions and may describe future plans, strategies and expectations of
The Company and the Bank's ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Factors that could have a material adverse effect on the operations of the Company and its subsidiaries include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, national and regional economic conditions, legislative and regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, including policies of the U.S. Treasury and the
Critical Accounting Policies
Critical accounting policies are defined as those that involve significant judgments and uncertainties and could potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. The Company considers its determination of the allowance for loan losses, the determination of other-than-temporarily impaired securities, the valuation of foreclosed real estate and the valuation of deferred tax assets to be critical accounting policies.
The Company's Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in
Estimates, assumptions and judgments are necessary when assets and liabilities are required to be recorded at fair value, when a decline in the value of an asset not carried on the financial statements at fair value warrants an impairment write-down or valuation reserve to be established or when an asset or liability needs to be recorded contingent upon a future event. Carrying assets and liabilities at fair value inherently results in more financial statement volatility. The fair values and the information used to record valuation adjustments for certain assets and liabilities are based either on quoted market prices or are provided by other third-party sources, when available. When these sources are not available, management makes estimates based upon what it considers to be the best available information.
Allowance for Loan Losses
The allowance for loan losses is an estimate of the losses that exist in the loan portfolio. The allowance is based on two principles of accounting: (1)
The allowance for loan loss balance is an estimate based upon management's evaluation of the loan portfolio. The allowance is comprised of a specific and a general component. The specific component consists of management's evaluation of certain classified, impaired and non-accrual loans and their underlying collateral. Management assesses the ability of the borrower to repay the loan based upon all information available. Loans are examined to determine a specific allowance based upon the borrower's payment history, economic conditions specific to the loan or borrower and other factors that would impact the borrower's ability to repay the loan on its contractual basis. Depending on the assessment of the borrower's ability to pay and the type, condition and value of collateral, management will establish an allowance amount specific to the loan.
Management uses a risk scale to assign grades to commercial real estate, construction and land development, commercial loans and commercial equipment loans. Commercial loan relationships with an aggregate exposure to the Bank of
The Company's commercial loan portfolio is periodically reviewed by regulators and independent consultants engaged by management.
In establishing the general component of the allowance, management analyzes non-impaired loans in the portfolio including changes in the amount and type of loans. This analysis reviews trends by portfolio segment in charge-offs, delinquency, classified loans, loan concentrations and the rate of portfolio segment growth. Qualitative factors also include an assessment of the current regulatory environment, the quality of credit administration and loan portfolio management and national and local economic trends. Based upon this analysis a loss factor is applied to each loan category and the Bank adjusts the loan loss allowance by increasing or decreasing the provision for loan losses.
Management has significant discretion in making the judgments inherent in the determination of the allowance for loan losses, including the valuation of collateral, assessing a borrower's prospects of repayment and in establishing loss factors on the general component of the allowance. Changes in loss factors have a direct impact on the amount of the provision and on net income. Errors in management's assessment of the allowance factors and their impact on the portfolio could result in the allowance not being adequate to cover losses in the portfolio, and may result in additional provisions. An increase or decrease in the allowance could result in a charge or credit to income before income taxes that materially impacts earnings.
For additional information regarding the allowance for loan losses, refer to Notes 1 and 6 of the Consolidated Financial Statements as presented in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
Debt securities are evaluated quarterly to determine whether a decline in their value is other-than-temporary. The term "other-than-temporary" is not necessarily intended to indicate a permanent decline in value. It means that the prospects for near-term recovery of value are not necessarily favorable, or that there is a lack of evidence to support fair values equal to, or greater than, the carrying value of the investment. Accounting guidance indicates that the amount of other-than-temporary impairment that is recognized through earnings for debt securities is determined by comparing the present value of the expected cash flows to the amortized cost of the security. The discount rate used to determine the credit loss is the expected book yield on the security.
For additional information regarding the evaluation of OTTI, refer to Notes 1 and 5 of the Consolidated Financial Statements as presented in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
Other Real Estate Owned
The Company maintains a valuation allowance on its other real estate owned. As with the allowance for loan losses, the valuation allowance on OREO is based on FASB ASC 450 "Contingencies," as well as the accounting guidance on impairment of long-lived assets. These statements require that the Company establish a valuation allowance when it has determined that the carrying amount of a foreclosed asset exceeds its fair value. Fair value of a foreclosed asset is measured by the cash flows expected to be realized from its subsequent disposition. These cash flows are reduced for the costs of selling or otherwise disposing of the asset.
In estimating the cash flows from the sale of OREO, management must make significant assumptions regarding the timing and amount of cash flows. For example, in cases where the real estate acquired is undeveloped land, management must gather the best available evidence regarding the market value of the property, including appraisals, cost estimates of development and broker opinions. Due to the highly subjective nature of this evidence, as well as the limited market, long time periods involved and substantial risks, cash flow estimates are highly subjective and subject to change. Errors regarding any aspect of the costs or proceeds of developing, selling or otherwise disposing of foreclosed real estate could result in the allowance being inadequate to reduce carrying costs to fair value and may require an additional provision for valuation allowances.
For additional information regarding OREO, refer to Notes 1 and 8 of the Consolidated Financial Statements as presented in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
Deferred Tax Assets
The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with FASB ASC 740, "Income Taxes," which requires that deferred tax assets and liabilities be recognized using enacted tax rates for the effect of temporary differences between the book and tax bases of recorded assets and liabilities. FASB ASC 740 requires that deferred tax assets be reduced by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some portion or the entire deferred tax asset will not be realized.
The Company periodically evaluates the ability of the Company to realize the value of its deferred tax assets. If the Company were to determine that it was not more likely than not that the Company would realize the full amount of the deferred tax assets, it would establish a valuation allowance to reduce the carrying value of the deferred tax asset to the amount it believes would be realized. The factors used to assess the likelihood of realization are the Company's forecast of future taxable income and available tax-planning strategies that could be implemented to realize the net deferred tax assets.
Failure to achieve forecasted taxable income might affect the ultimate realization of the net deferred tax assets. Factors that may affect the Company's ability to achieve sufficient forecasted taxable income include, but are not limited to, the following: increased competition, a decline in net interest margin, a loss of market share, decreased demand for financial services and national and regional economic conditions.
The Company's provision for income taxes and the determination of the resulting deferred tax assets and liabilities involve a significant amount of management judgment and are based on the best information available at the time. The Company operates within federal and state taxing jurisdictions and is subject to audit in these jurisdictions.
For additional information regarding the deferred tax assets, refer to Note 12 in the Consolidated Financial Statements as presented in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
The Bank has sought to increase assets through loan production. The Bank believes that its ability to offer fast, flexible, local decision-making will continue to attract significant new business relationships. The Bank focuses its commercial business generation efforts on targeting small and medium sized businesses with revenues between
During the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company began to leverage the
The Bank opened a commercial loan production office ("LPO") in
The U.S. economy grew slowly throughout 2013. Locally, real estate values have stabilized and housing prices began to recover during 2012 and 2013. However, uncertainty for small and medium size businesses lessened the demand for lending. The impact of slower economic growth on the
For additional information regarding the local economy and its impact on the Company's business refer to the Business Section in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended