SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2022
(Commission File No.)
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation)
(IRS Employer Identification No.)
518 West C Street, Newton, North Carolina
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Common Stock, no par value
(title of class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13 (a) ☐
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. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter. $125,528,065 based on the closing price of such common stock on June 30, 2022, which was $27.16 per share.
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date. 5,637,021 shares of common stock, outstanding at February 28, 2023.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Annual Report of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. (the “Company”) for the year ended December 31, 2022 (the “Annual Report”), which will be included as Appendix A to the Company’s Proxy Statement for the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 4, 2023 (the “Proxy Statement”), are incorporated by reference into Part II and filed as Exhibit 13 to this Form 10-K.
Portions of the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A, are incorporated by reference into Part III. The Proxy Statement will be filed on or before April 30, 2023.
This report contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of the Company. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management of the Company and on the information available to management at the time that these disclosures were prepared. These statements can be identified by the use of words like “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate” and “believe,” variations of these words and other similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, (1) competition in the markets served by the Company’s subsidiary, Peoples Bank, (2) changes in the interest rate environment, (3) general national, regional or local economic conditions may be less favorable than expected, resulting in, among other things, a deterioration in credit quality and the possible impairment of collectibility of loans, (4) legislative or regulatory changes, including changes in accounting standards, (5) significant changes in the federal and state legal and regulatory environment and tax laws, (6) the impact of changes in monetary and fiscal policies, laws, rules and regulations and (7) other risks and factors identified in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
PEOPLES BANCORP OF NORTH CAROLINA, INC.
FORM 10-K CROSS REFERENCE INDEX
4 - 15
15 - 25
26 - 27
Item 5 - Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
28 - 30
Item 7 - Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
A-4 - A-18
Item 7A - Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
A-19 - A-59
Item 9 - Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9C - Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
Item 10 - Directors and Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
15 and A-60
19 - 26
Item 12 - Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
32 - 33
5 - 7
Item 13 - Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence
6, 7 and 26
34 - 36
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ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. (the “Company”), was formed in 1999 to serve as the holding company for Peoples Bank (the “Bank”). The Company is a bank holding company registered with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”). The Company’s principal source of income is dividends declared and paid by the Bank on its capital stock, if any. The Company has no operations and conducts no business of its own other than owning the Bank and PEBK Capital Trust II. Accordingly, the discussion of the business which follows primarily concerns the business conducted by the Bank. Our principal executive offices are located at 518 West C Street, Newtown, North Carolina, 28658, and our telephone number is (828) 464-5620.
The Bank, founded in 1912, is a state-chartered commercial bank serving the citizens and business interests of the Catawba Valley and surrounding communities through 17 banking offices, located in Lincolnton, Newton, Denver, Catawba, Conover, Maiden, Claremont, Hiddenite, Hickory, Charlotte, Huntersville, Mooresville, Raleigh, and Cary, North Carolina. The Bank also operates loan production offices in Charlotte, Denver, Salisbury and Winston-Salem North Carolina. The Company’s fiscal year ends December 31. At December 31, 2022, the Company had total assets of $1.6 billion, net loans of $1.0 billion, deposits of $1.4 billion, total securities of $448.1 million, and shareholders’ equity of $105.2 million.
The Bank operates three banking offices focused on the Latino population that were formerly operated as a division of the Bank under the name Banco de la Gente (“Banco”). These offices, which offer the same banking services as our other branches offer, now operate under the same name as our other offices; however, we continue to separately categorize mortgage loans originated from these offices.
The Bank has a diversified loan portfolio, with no foreign loans and few agricultural loans. Real estate loans are predominately variable rate and fixed rate commercial property loans, which include residential development loans to commercial customers. Commercial loans are spread throughout a variety of industries with no one particular industry or group of related industries accounting for a significant portion of the commercial loan portfolio. The majority of the Bank’s deposit and loan customers are individuals and small-to medium-sized businesses located in the Bank’s market area. The Bank’s loan portfolio also includes Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) mortgage loans generated through the Bank’s former Banco offices. Additional discussion of the Bank’s loan portfolio and sources of funds for loans can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” on pages A-4 through A-26 of the Annual Report, which is included in this Form 10-K as Exhibit (13).
The operations of the Bank are significantly influenced by general economic conditions and by related monetary and fiscal policies of the Company and the Bank’s regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) and the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks (the “Commissioner”).
At December 31, 2022, the Company employed 279 full-time employees and 21 part-time employees, which equated to 291 full-time equivalent employees.
The Bank is a subsidiary of the Company. At December 31, 2022, the Bank had four subsidiaries, Peoples Investment Services, Inc., Real Estate Advisory Services, Inc., Community Bank Real Estate Solutions, LLC (“CBRES”) and PB Real Estate Holdings, LLC. Through a relationship with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Peoples Investment Services, Inc. provides the Bank’s customers access to investment counseling and non-deposit investment products such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, tax deferred annuities, and related brokerage services. Real Estate Advisory Services, Inc. provides real estate appraisal and real estate brokerage services. CBRES serves as a “clearing-house” for appraisal services for community banks. Other banks are able to contract with CBRES to find and engage appropriate appraisal companies. As a separate legal entity, CBRES’s services and the appraisal process are conducted independent from the financing process of the Bank. PB Real Estate Holdings, LLC acquires, manages and disposes of real property, other collateral and assets obtained in the ordinary course of collecting debts previously contracted. In 2019, the Company launched PB Insurance Agency, which operated as a division of CBRES, until it was discontinued in 2022. All of the Bank’s subsidiaries are incorporated in the state of North Carolina.
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In June 2006, the Company formed a wholly owned Delaware statutory trust, PEBK Capital Trust II (“PEBK Trust II”), to facilitate the issuance of $20.6 million of trust preferred securities. PEBK Trust II is not included in the consolidated financial statements. The Company redeemed $5.0 million of outstanding trust preferred securities in 2019. The trust preferred securities issued by PEBK Trust II accrue and pay quarterly dividends at a floating rate of three-month LIBOR plus 163 basis points. The Company has guaranteed payment of these dividends and other payments due on the trust preferred securities.
Market Area and Competition
The Bank’s primary market consists of the communities in an approximate 50-mile radius around its headquarters office in Newton, North Carolina. This area includes Catawba County, Alexander County, Lincoln County, Iredell County and portions of northeast Gaston County, North Carolina. The Bank also conducts a portion of its business outside of this area. The Bank is located only 40 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Bank’s primary market area is and will continue to be significantly affected by its close proximity to this major metropolitan area.
Employment in the Bank’s primary market area is diversified among manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, technology, services and utilities. Catawba County’s largest employers include Catawba County Schools, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Duke LifePoint/Frye Regional Medical Center, CommScope, Inc. (manufacturer of fiber optic cable and accessories), Corning Optical Communications (manufacturer of fiber optic cable and accessories), Target Stores Distribution Center (transportation and warehousing), Catawba County, GKN ePowertrain (manufacturing), Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. and Pierre Foods, Inc. Lincoln County’s largest employers include Lincoln County Schools, County of Lincoln, Atrium Health Lincoln, RSI Home Products (manufacturing), Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., The Timken Company (manufacturing), Blum, Inc. (manufacturing), Lowes Home Centers, Inc. and Cataler North America (manufacturing).
The Bank has operated in the Catawba Valley region of North Carolina for over 100 years and is the only financial institution headquartered in Newton, North Carolina. Nevertheless, the Bank faces strong competition both in attracting deposits and making loans. Direct competition for deposits has historically come from other commercial banks, credit unions and brokerage firms located in its primary market area, including large financial institutions. One national money center commercial bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Based upon June 30, 2022 comparative data, the Bank had 20.73% of the deposits in Catawba County, placing it second in deposit size among a total of 11 banks with branch offices in Catawba County; 18.98% of the deposits in Lincoln County, placing it second in deposit size among a total of nine banks with branch offices in Lincoln County; and 17.57% of the deposits in Alexander County, placing it fourth in deposit size among a total of five banks with branch offices in Alexander County.
The Bank also faces additional significant competition for investors’ funds from short-term money market securities and other corporate and government securities. The Bank’s core deposit base has grown principally due to economic growth in the Bank’s market area coupled with the implementation of new and competitive deposit products. The ability of the Bank to attract and retain deposits depends on its ability to generally provide a rate of return, liquidity and risk comparable to that offered by competing investment opportunities.
The Bank experiences strong competition for loans from commercial banks and mortgage banking companies. The Bank competes for loans primarily through the interest rates and loan fees it charges and the efficiency and quality of services it provides to borrowers. Competition is increasing as a result of the continuing reduction of restrictions on the interstate operations of financial institutions.
Lending Policies and Procedures
Our lending activities follow written, non-discriminatory underwriting standards and loan origination procedures established by the Board of Directors of the Bank (the “Bank Board”). The loan approval process is intended to assess the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and the value of the collateral that will secure the loan. To assess the borrower’s ability to repay, we review the borrower’s employment, credit history, and other information on the historical and projected income and expenses of the borrower.
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The objectives of our lending program are to: (i) establish a sound asset structure; (ii) provide a sound and profitable loan portfolio to (a) protect the depositor’s funds and (b) maximize our shareholders’ return on investment; (iii) promote the stable economic growth and development of the market area served by the Bank; and (iv) comply with all regulatory agency requirements and applicable law.
The Bank’s legal lending limit is set by law and is monitored by the FDIC and the Commissioner. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank’s legal lending limit was $26.5 million (absent fully marketable collateral), and the largest credit relationship was $19.7 million. The underwriting standards and loan origination procedures include officer lending limits, which are approved by the Bank Board. The President/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank has loan authority of up to the legal lending limit of the Bank. As of December 21, 2022, the individual lending authority of the Chief Credit Officer/Executive Vice President was set at $6.5 million.
It is the policy of the Bank to ensure that the Bank Board is fully apprised of the status and critical factors affecting the quality and performance of the loan portfolio. These factors include, but are not limited to: (i) credit underwriting policies and procedures; (ii) results of loan reviews and loan audits; and, (iii) credit concentrations (single borrowers and specific industries).
Management provides the Bank Board with the loan portfolio information as described below:
The following reports are submitted to the Bank Board for review and approval on a monthly basis:
|Loan Quality/Yield/Growth/Trend Report|
|Risk Grade Report with Details of Loans Risk Graded 5-8|
|Commercial Loan Delinquency|
|New Loans - $250,000 and Greater|
|Comparison on New Loans in Prior Month with Same Month in Prior Year|
|Outstanding Commitments - $250,000 and greater|
|Commitment Pipeline Report – Outstanding commitments of $2,000,000 and greater (pending final approval and/or acceptance by the applicant)|
|Underwriting Exception Report (Commercial, Consumer and Mortgage)|
|Documentation Exception Report (Commercial and Consumer – quarterly comparison with current month)|
|All New Loans for Prior Month – Details|
The following reports are submitted to the Bank Board for review and approval on a quarterly basis:
|Real Estate Secured Loans with Non-Conforming Loan-To-Value Ratio|
|Status of Other Real Estate Owned|
|Impaired Loan Report|
|Letters of Credit Outstanding|
|Portfolio Status Report - Detailed analytical report summarizing the composition of the bank’s loan portfolio|
|Portfolio Stress Tests|
|Mortgage Report (see Mortgage Policy for complete list of reports)|
|Matured Home Equity Loan Report|
The following report is submitted to the Bank Boards for review and approval on a semi-annual basis:
|Participation Status Report|
On an annual basis, the Bank Board:
|Reviews and approves the Bank’s credit underwriting policies and procedures|
|Reviews findings of the annual independent loan review of borrowing relationships of $1.5 million and greater as well as a periodic sample of commercial relationships with exposures below $1.5 million prepared by an independent loan review company engaged by the Bank|
|Receives information from management detailing all new committed borrowing relationships exceeding $3.0 million and is informed during the year if a borrowing relationship exceeds $2.5 million|
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Investment Policies and Procedures
The Bank’s investment policy is designed to provide flexibility as necessary to maintain satisfactory liquidity while maximizing earnings on funds available for investment. The Bank maintains an investment portfolio of high-quality investment securities that is managed in a manner consistent with safe and sound banking practices. The characteristics and financial goals of the investment portfolio are complementary to the Bank’s broader business strategies and congruent with the Bank’s capital policies, technical expertise, and risk tolerances.
The Bank’s specific investment objectives are as follows:
A. Provide Earnings – Maximize the total return on invested funds in a manner that is consistent with the Bank’s overall financial goals and risk considerations. This objective is fulfilled by investing in, holding, and divesting from individual securities that, when considered in combination, contribute to a superior risk/reward for the total portfolio.
B. Provide Liquidity – Remain sufficiently liquid to meet anticipated funding demands either through declines in deposits and/or increases in loan demand. The Bank makes investments that are marketable and capable of being converted to cash at their market values in a relatively short period of time.
C. Mitigate Interest Rate Risk – Utilize portfolio strategies to assist the Bank in managing its overall interest rate sensitivity position in accordance with the goals and objectives approved by the Asset/Liability Management Committee (“ALCO”) of the Bank.
D. Ensure the Safety of Principal –At all times, the safety of principal is a primary consideration. Upon purchase, the Bank’s investments are limited to investment-grade instruments that fully comply with all applicable regulatory guidelines and limitations.
E. Manage Tax Liabilities – Conduct portfolio management in light of the Bank’s current and projected tax position in order to improve overall profitability by reducing the Bank’s tax exposure to its minimum permissible level.
F. Meet Pledging Requirements – Provide collateral for various deposit and funding products such as public funds, trust deposits, repurchase agreements and FHLB borrowings.
The Bank Board reviews and approves the Bank’s Investment Policy annually or more frequently, if appropriate. All investment portfolio activities are reported to the ALCO and the Bank Board. The Bank Board oversees the establishment of appropriate systems and internal controls designed to keep portfolio strategies and holdings consistent with the overall strategies of the Bank.
The Bank Board designates a Primary Investment Officer who is directed to implement the Investment Policy of the Bank in a safe and sound manner. The Primary Investment Officer of the Bank is charged with the responsibility to actively manage the Bank’s investment portfolio, in conformity with the preceding objectives and the following approval requirements. Such responsibility includes the purchase and/or disposition of any holding within the investment portfolio up to $8 million and the ability to establish accounts with other depository institutions or investment firms as needed to process investment activity approved under this policy. Any activity over $8 million and less than 20% of the Bank’s capital as defined by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) must be approved by the ALCO. Transactions exceeding 20% of GAAP capital must be approved by the Bank Board. Also, any sale of securities that will result in a gain of more than $500,000 or a loss before income taxes exceeding the lesser of $250,000 or 2.5% of the current year’s projected net income must be approved by the Bank Board. The Investment Officer may designate certain investment functions to other officers of the Bank and may also seek outside sources for investment advice or periodic appraisals of the portfolio. The Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer serves as the Primary Investment Officer.
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Human Capital Management
At December 31, 2022, the Company employed 279 full-time employees and 21 part-time employees, which equated to 291 full-time equivalent employees. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreements, and we consider our employee relations to be good.
Oversight of our corporate culture is an important element of our Board of Directors oversight of risk because our people are critical to the success of our corporate strategy. Our Board of Directors sets the “tone at the top,” and holds senior management accountable for embodying, maintaining, and communicating our culture to employees. Our culture is guided by our guiding principles below:
Our Core Values
Employees – We are informed, encouraged, and committed
Integrity – We are fair and truthful
Exceptional Customer Service – We surpass our customers’ expectation
Accountability – We are accountable for our own actions and bank goals.
Progressive and Positive – We see change as an opportunity
Our brand story
Our Bank Promise, Vision, and Mission
We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We are working to cultivate our leaders and shape future talent pools to help us meet the needs of our customers now and in the future. Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture but our reputation and our achievement as well. We embrace our employee’s differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.
By emphasizing a consistent set of principles that all employees follow, we believe that our employees work experience is more satisfying, and they are better able to serve their customers consistently and at a high level.
Our employees are key to our success as an organization. We are committed to attracting, retaining and promoting top quality talent regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, national origin, age, religion and physical ability. We strive to identify and select the best candidates for all open positions based on qualifying factors for each job. We are dedicated to providing a workplace for our employees that is inclusive, supportive, and free of any form of discrimination or harassment; rewarding and recognizing our employees based on their individual results and performance; and recognizing and respecting all of the characteristics and differences that make each of our employees unique.
Employees have annual assignments related to “valuing differences” and diversity training is an integrated part of our leadership training as well. We expanded our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) course library to support our ongoing culture sustainability program development. We launched our “Courageous Conversations” initiative in 2020, a program we will continue to build on annually. We are an active member of the North Carolina Bankers Association DEI Council doing work to expand DEI programming and other resources for community banks.
We also seek to design careers within our organization that are fulfilling ones, with competitive compensation and benefits alongside a positive work-life balance. We dedicate resources to fostering professional and personal growth with continuing education, on-the-job training and development programs.
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Supervision and Regulation
Bank holding companies and commercial banks are extensively regulated under both federal and state law. The following is a brief summary of certain statutes and rules and regulations that affect or will affect the Company, the Bank and their subsidiaries. This summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the particular statute and regulatory provisions referred to below and is not intended to be an exhaustive description of the statutes or regulations applicable to the business of the Company, the Bank and their subsidiaries. Supervision, regulation and examination of the Company and the Bank by the regulatory agencies are intended primarily for the protection of depositors rather than shareholders of the Company. Statutes, rules and regulations which contain wide-ranging proposals for altering the structures, regulations and competitive relationship of financial institutions are introduced regularly. The Company cannot predict whether or in what form any proposed statute, rule or regulation will be adopted or the extent to which the business of the Company and the Bank may be affected by such statute or regulation.
General. There are a number of obligations and restrictions imposed on bank holding companies and their depository institution subsidiaries by law and regulatory policy that are designed to minimize potential loss to depositors and the FDIC deposit insurance fund in the event a depository institution becomes in danger of default or in default. For example, to mitigate the risk of failure, bank holding companies are required to guarantee the compliance of any insured depository institution subsidiary that may become “undercapitalized” with the terms of the capital restoration plan filed by such subsidiary with its appropriate federal banking agency up to the lesser of (i) an amount equal to 5% of the bank’s total assets at the time the bank became undercapitalized or (ii) the amount which is necessary (or would have been necessary) to bring the bank into compliance with all capital standards as of the time the bank fails to comply with such capital restoration plan. The Company, as a registered bank holding company, is subject to the regulation of the Federal Reserve. Under a policy of the Federal Reserve with respect to bank holding company operations, a bank holding company is required to serve as a source of financial strength to its subsidiary depository institutions and to commit resources to support such institutions in circumstances where it might not do so absent such policy. The Federal Reserve under the BHCA also has the authority to require a bank holding company to terminate any activity or to relinquish control of a nonbank subsidiary (other than a nonbank subsidiary of a bank) upon the Federal Reserve’s determination that such activity or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial soundness and stability of any bank subsidiary of the bank holding company.
As a result of the Company’s ownership of the Bank, the Company is also registered under the bank holding company laws of North Carolina. Accordingly, the Company is also subject to regulation and supervision by the Commissioner.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the “Economic Growth Act”). On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act became law. The Dodd-Frank Act has had and will continue to have a broad impact on the financial services industry, including significant regulatory and compliance changes including, among other things,
|enhanced authority over troubled and failing banks and their holding companies;|
|increased capital and liquidity requirements;|
|increased regulatory examination fees; and|
|specific provisions designed to improve supervision and safety and soundness by imposing restrictions and limitations on the scope and type of banking and financial activities.|
In May 2018, the Economic Growth Act, was enacted to modify or remove certain financial reform rules and regulations, including some of those implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act. While the Economic Growth Act maintains most of the regulatory structure established by the Dodd-Frank Act, it amends certain aspects of the regulatory framework for small depository institutions with assets less than $10 billion and for large banks with assets of more than $50 billion.
The Economic Growth Act, among other matters, expands the definition of qualified mortgages which may be held by a financial institution and provides for an alternative capital rule which financial institutions and their holding companies with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion may elect to utilize. The Economic Growth Act instructed the federal banking regulators to establish a single “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” of between 8% and 10%. In addition, the Economic Growth Act includes regulatory relief for community banks of certain sizes regarding regulatory examination cycles, call reports, the Volcker Rule (proprietary trading prohibitions), mortgage disclosures and risk weights for certain high-risk commercial real estate loans. We have not opted to utilize the Community Bank Leverage Ratio and have instead continued to use the Basel III standards (see discussion on Basel III standards under the heading “Capital Adequacy” below).
It is difficult at this time to predict when or how any new standards under the Economic Growth Act will ultimately be applied to, or what specific impact the Economic Growth Act and the yet-to-be-written implementing rules and regulations will have on us.
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Capital Adequacy. At December 31, 2022, the Bank exceeded each of its minimum capital requirements with a Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 9.68%, common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 13.10%, Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 13.10% and total risk-based capital ratio of 13.93%. At December 31, 2022, the Company also exceeded each of its minimum capital requirements with a Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 9.82%, common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.03%, Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 13.21% and total risk-based capital ratio of 14.04%.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Reserve approved a final rule that establishes an integrated regulatory capital framework that addresses shortcomings in certain capital requirements. The rule, which became effective on January 1, 2015, implements in the United States the Basel III regulatory capital reforms from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The final rule:
|established a new minimum common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio (common equity Tier 1 capital to total risk-weighted assets) of 4.5% and increased the minimum Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio from 4.0% to 6.0%, while maintaining the minimum total risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% and the minimum Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 4.0%;|
|revised the rules for calculating risk-weighted assets to enhance their risk sensitivity;|
|phased out trust preferred securities and cumulative perpetual preferred stock as Tier 1 capital;|
|added a requirement to maintain a minimum conservation buffer, composed of common equity Tier 1 capital, of 2.5% of risk-weighted assets, to be applied to the new common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio, the Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio and the Total risk-based capital ratio, which means that banking organizations, on a fully phased in basis no later than January 1, 2019, must maintain a minimum common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 7.0%, a minimum Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.5% and a minimum Total risk-based capital ratio of 10.5%; and|
|changed the definitions of capital categories for insured depository institutions for purposes of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 prompt corrective action provisions. Under these revised definitions, to be considered well-capitalized, an insured depository institution must have a Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of at least 5.0%, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 6.5%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0% and a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10.0%.|
The new minimum regulatory capital ratios and changes to the calculation of risk-weighted assets became effective for the Bank and the Company on January 1, 2015. The required minimum conservation buffer was phased in incrementally, starting at 0.625% on January 1, 2016 and increased to 1.25% on January 1, 2017, 1.875% on January 1, 2018, and 2.5% on January 1, 2019.
The final rule established common equity Tier 1 capital as a new capital component. Common equity Tier 1 capital consists of common stock instruments that meet the eligibility criteria in the final rule, retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive income/loss and common equity Tier 1 minority interest. As a result, Tier 1 capital has two components: common equity Tier 1 capital and additional Tier 1 capital. The final rule also revised the eligibility criteria for inclusion in additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital. As a result of these changes, certain non-qualifying capital instruments, including cumulative preferred stock and trust preferred securities, are excluded as a component of Tier 1 capital for institutions of the size of the Company.
The final rule further requires that certain items be deducted from common equity Tier 1 capital, including (1) goodwill and other intangible assets, other than mortgage servicing rights, net of deferred tax liabilities (“DTLs”); (2) deferred tax assets that arise from operating losses and tax credit carryforwards, net of valuation allowances and DTLs; (3) after-tax gain-on-sale associated with a securitization exposure; and (4) defined benefit pension fund assets held by a depository institution holding company, net of DTLs. In addition, banking organizations must deduct from common equity Tier 1 capital the amount of certain assets, including mortgage servicing assets, that exceed certain thresholds. The final rule also allows all but the largest banking organizations to make a one-time election not to recognize unrealized gains and losses on available for sale debt securities in regulatory capital, as under prior capital rules.
The final rule provides that the failure to maintain the minimum conservation buffer will result in restrictions on capital distributions and discretionary cash bonus payments to executive officers. If a banking organization’s conservation buffer is less than 0.625%, the banking organization may not make any capital distributions or discretionary cash bonus payments to executive officers. If the conservation buffer is greater than 0.625% but not greater than 1.25%, capital distributions and discretionary cash bonus payments are limited to 20% of net income for the four calendar quarters preceding the applicable calendar quarter (net of any such capital distributions), or eligible retained income. If the conservation buffer is greater than 1.25% but not greater than 1.875%, the limit is 40% of eligible retained income, and if the conservation buffer is greater than 1.875% but not greater than 2.5%, the limit is 60% of eligible retained income. The preceding thresholds for the conservation buffer and related restrictions represent the fully phased in rules effective January 1, 2019.
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Dividend and Repurchase Limitations. Federal regulations provide that the Company must obtain Federal Reserve approval prior to repurchasing its common stock for consideration in excess of 10% of its net worth during any twelve-month period unless the Company (i) both before and after the redemption satisfies capital requirements for a “well capitalized” bank holding company; (ii) received a one or two rating in its last examination; and (iii) is not the subject of any unresolved supervisory issues.
The ability of the Company to pay dividends or repurchase shares is largely dependent upon the Company’s receipt of dividends from the Bank. North Carolina commercial banks, such as the Bank, are subject to legal limitations on the amounts of dividends they are permitted to pay. Also, an insured depository institution, such as the Bank, is prohibited from making capital distributions, including the payment of dividends, if, after making such distribution, the institution would become “undercapitalized” (as such term is defined in the applicable law and regulations).
Deposit Insurance. As a member of the FDIC, our deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the FDIC, and such insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. The basic deposit insurance level is generally $250,000, as specified in FDIC regulations. For this protection, each insured bank pays a quarterly statutory assessment and is subject to the rules and regulations of the FDIC.
We recognized approximately $461,000, $415,000 and $263,000 in FDIC insurance expense in 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. In November 2018, the FDIC announced that the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) reserve ratio exceeded the statutory minimum of 1.35% as of September 30, 2018. Among other things, this resulted in the FDIC awarding assessment credits for banks with less than $10 billion in total assets that had contributed to the DIF in prior years. We were notified in January 2019 that we had received approximately $272,000 in credits that would be available to offset deposit insurance assessments once the DIF reached 1.38%. The DIF reached 1.38% as of June 30, 2019 and therefore, the FDIC began to apply the Bank’s credits to our quarterly deposit insurance assessments beginning with the second quarter of 2019. The Bank’s credits were fully utilized in the first quarter of 2020.
The FDIC may conduct examinations of and require reporting by FDIC-insured institutions. It may also prohibit an institution from engaging in any activity that it determines by regulation or order to pose a serious risk to the deposit insurance fund and may terminate the Bank’s deposit insurance if it determines that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices or is in an unsafe or unsound condition.
Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) system provides a central credit facility for member institutions. As a member of the FHLB of Atlanta, the Bank is required to own capital stock in the FHLB of Atlanta in an amount at least equal to 0.20% (or 20 basis points) of the Bank’s total assets at the end of each calendar year, plus 4.25% of its outstanding advances (borrowings) from the FHLB of Atlanta under the new activity-based stock ownership requirement. On December 31, 2022, the Bank was in compliance with this requirement.
Community Reinvestment. Under the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”), as implemented by regulations of the FDIC, an insured institution has a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with its safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions, nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop, consistent with the CRA, the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community. The CRA requires the federal banking regulators, in connection with their examinations of insured institutions, to assess the institutions’ records of meeting the credit needs of their communities, using the ratings of “outstanding,” “satisfactory,” “needs to improve,” or “substantial noncompliance,” and to take that record into account in its evaluation of certain applications by those institutions. All institutions are required to make public disclosure of their CRA performance ratings. The Bank received a “satisfactory” rating in its last CRA examination, which was conducted in January 2020.
Changes in Control. The BHCA prohibits the Company from acquiring direct or indirect control of more than 5% of the outstanding voting stock or substantially all of the assets of any bank or savings bank or merging or consolidating with another bank or financial holding company or savings bank holding company without prior approval of the Federal Reserve. Similarly, Federal Reserve approval (or, in certain cases, non‑objection) must be obtained prior to any person acquiring control of the Company. Control is deemed to exist if, among other things, a person acquires 25% or more of any class of voting stock of the Company or controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the Company.
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Federal Securities Law. The Company has registered its common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended from time to time (the “Exchange Act”). As a result of such registration, the proxy and tender offer rules, insider trading reporting requirements, annual and periodic reporting and other requirements of the Exchange Act are applicable to the Company. In addition, the SEC and Nasdaq have adopted regulations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd Frank Act that apply to the Company as a Nasdaq-traded, public company, which seek to improve corporate governance, provide enhanced penalties for financial reporting improprieties and improve the reliability of disclosures in SEC filings.
Transactions with Affiliates. Under current federal law, depository institutions are subject to the restrictions and limitations contained in Section 22(h) of the Federal Reserve Act with respect to loans to directors, executive officers and principal shareholders. In addition to limitations on the dollar value of loans to directors, executive officers and principal shareholders, pursuant to Section 22(h), the Federal Reserve requires that loans to directors, executive officers, and principal shareholders be made on terms substantially the same as offered in comparable transactions with non-executive employees of the Bank. The FDIC has imposed additional limits on the amount a bank can loan to an executive officer.
Loans to One Borrower. The Bank is subject to the loans-to-one-borrower limits established by North Carolina law, which are substantially the same as those applicable to national banks. Under these limits, no loans and extensions of credit to any borrower outstanding at one time and not fully secured by readily marketable collateral may exceed 15% of the Bank’s total equity capital. At December 31, 2022, this limit was $26.5 million. This limit is increased by an additional 10% of the Bank’s total equity capital, or $44.2 million as of December 31, 2022, for loans and extensions of credit that are fully secured by readily marketable collateral.
Anti-Money Laundering and the USA Patriot Act. A major focus of governmental policy on financial institutions in recent years has been aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”“), substantially broadened the scope of United States anti-money laundering laws and regulations by imposing significant new compliance and due diligence obligations on financial institutions, creating new crimes and penalties and expanding the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Financial institutions are also prohibited from entering into specified financial transactions and account relationships and must use enhanced due diligence procedures in their dealings with certain types of high-risk customers and implement a written customer identification program. Financial institutions must take certain steps to assist government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering and report certain types of suspicious transactions. Regulatory authorities routinely examine financial institutions for compliance with these obligations, and failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious financial, legal and reputational consequences for the institution, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required. Regulatory authorities have imposed cease and desist orders and civil money penalties against institutions found to be violating these obligations.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”), which amends the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (“BSA”), was enacted in January 2021. The AMLA is intended to be a comprehensive reform and modernization to U.S. bank secrecy and anti-money laundering laws. Among other things, it codifies a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering compliance for financial institutions; requires the development of standards for evaluating technology and internal processes for BSA compliance; expands enforcement- and investigation-related authority, including increasing available sanctions for certain BSA violations and instituting BSA whistleblower incentives and protections.
Interstate Banking and Branching. The BHCA was amended by the Interstate Banking Act. The Interstate Banking Act provides that adequately capitalized and managed financial and bank holding companies are permitted to acquire banks in any state. State law prohibiting interstate banking or discriminating against out-of-state banks is preempted. States are not permitted to enact laws opting out of this provision; however, states are allowed to adopt a minimum age restriction requiring that target banks located within the state be in existence for a period of years, up to a maximum of five years, before a bank may be subject to the Interstate Banking Act. The Interstate Banking Act, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, establishes deposit caps which prohibit acquisitions that result in the acquiring company controlling 30% or more of the deposits of insured banks and thrift institutions held in the state in which the target maintains a branch or 10% or more of the deposits nationwide. States have the authority to waive the 30% deposit cap. State-level deposit caps are not preempted as long as they do not discriminate against out-of-state companies, and the federal deposit caps apply only to initial entry acquisitions.
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Limits on Rates Paid on Deposits and Brokered Deposits. FDIC regulations limit the ability of insured depository institutions to accept, renew or roll-over deposits by offering rates of interest which are significantly higher than the prevailing rates of interest on deposits offered by other insured depository institutions having the same type of charter in such depository institution’s normal market area. Under these regulations, “well capitalized” depository institutions may accept, renew or roll-over such deposits without restriction, “adequately capitalized” depository institutions may accept, renew or roll-over such deposits with a waiver from the FDIC (subject to certain restrictions on payments of rates) and “undercapitalized” depository institutions may not accept, renew, or roll-over such deposits. Definitions of “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized” and “undercapitalized” are the same as the definitions adopted by federal banking agencies to implement the prompt corrective action provisions discussed above.
Current Expected Credit Loss Accounting Standard. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has adopted a new accounting standard related to reserving for credit losses. This standard, referred to as Current Expected Credit Loss (or “CECL”), requires FDIC-insured institutions and their holding companies (banking organizations) to recognize credit losses expected over the life of certain financial assets. The CECL framework is expected to result in earlier recognition of credit losses and is expected to be significantly influenced by the composition, characteristics and quality of the Company’s loan portfolio, as well as the prevailing economic conditions and forecasts. The Company adopted CECL as of January 1, 2023. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for a further discussion of risks related to CECL.
Financial Privacy and Cybersecurity. The federal banking regulators have adopted rules that limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to non-affiliated third parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a non-affiliated third party. These regulations affect how consumer information is transmitted through diversified financial companies and conveyed to outside vendors. In addition, consumers may also prevent disclosure of certain information among affiliated companies that is assembled or used to determine eligibility for a product or service, such as that shown on consumer credit reports and asset and income information from applications. Consumers also have the option to direct banks and other financial institutions not to share information about transactions and experiences with affiliated companies for the purpose of marketing products or services.
In the ordinary course of business, we rely on electronic communications and information systems to conduct our operations and to store sensitive data. We employ an in-depth, layered, defensive approach that leverages people, processes and technology to manage and maintain cybersecurity controls. We employ a variety of preventative and detective tools to monitor, block, and provide alerts regarding suspicious activity, as well as to report on any suspected advanced persistent threats. Notwithstanding the strength of our defensive measures, the threat from cyber-attacks is severe, attacks are sophisticated and increasing in volume, and attackers respond rapidly to changes in defensive measures. While to date we have not detected a significant compromise, significant data loss or any material financial losses related to cybersecurity attacks, our systems and those of our customers and third-party service providers are under constant threat and it is possible that we could experience a significant event in the future. Risks and exposures related to cybersecurity attacks are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future due to the rapidly evolving nature and sophistication of these threats, as well as due to the expanding use of Internet banking, mobile banking and other technology-based products and services by us and our customers. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for a further discussion of risks related to cybersecurity.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The BSA requires all financial institutions, including banks and securities broker-dealers, to, among other things, establish a risk-based system of internal controls reasonably designed to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It includes a variety of recordkeeping and reporting requirements (such as cash and suspicious activity reporting) as well as due diligence/know-your-customer documentation requirements. The Bank has established an anti-money laundering program to comply with the BSA requirements.
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The Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) implements a broad range of corporate governance and accounting measures for public companies (including publicly-held bank holding companies such as the Company) designed to promote honesty and transparency in corporate America and better protect investors from the types of corporate wrongdoings that occurred at Enron and WorldCom, among other companies. SOX’s principal provisions, many of which have been implemented through regulations released and policies and rules adopted by the securities exchanges in 2003 and 2004, provide for and include, among other things:
|The creation of an independent accounting oversight board;|
|Auditor independence provisions which restrict non-audit services that accountants may provide to clients;|
|Additional corporate governance and responsibility measures, including the requirement that the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of a public company certify financial statements;|
|The forfeiture of bonuses or other incentive-based compensation and profits from the sale of an issuer’s securities by directors and senior officers in the twelve-month period following initial publication of any financial statements that later require restatement;|
|An increase in the oversight of, and enhancement of certain requirements relating to, audit committees of public companies and how they interact with the public company’s independent auditors;|
|Requirements that audit committee members must be independent and are barred from accepting consulting, advisory or other compensatory fees from the issuer;|
|Requirements that companies disclose whether at least one member of the audit committee is a ‘financial expert’ (as such term is defined by the SEC), and if not, why not;|
|Expanded disclosure requirements for corporate insiders, including accelerated reporting of stock transactions by insiders and a prohibition on insider trading during certain blackout periods;|
|A prohibition on personal loans to directors and officers, except certain loans made by insured financial institutions, such as the Bank, on non-preferential terms and in compliance with bank regulatory requirements;|
|Disclosure of a code of ethics and filing a Form 8-K in the event of a change or waiver of such code; and|
|A range of enhanced penalties for fraud and other violations.|
The Company complies with the provisions of SOX and its underlying regulations. Management believes that such compliance efforts have strengthened the Company’s overall corporate governance structure, and does not believe that such compliance has to date had, or will in the future have, a material impact on the Company’s results of operations or financial condition.
Standards for Safety and Soundness. Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”) the federal bank regulatory agencies have prescribed, by regulation, standards and guidelines for all insured depository institutions and depository institution holding companies relating to: (i) internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems; (ii) loan documentation; (iii) credit underwriting; (iv) interest rate risk exposure; (v) asset growth; and (vi) compensation, fees and benefits. The compensation standards prohibit employment contracts, compensation or benefit arrangements, stock option plans, fee arrangements or other compensatory arrangements that would provide “excessive” compensation, fees or benefits, or that could lead to material financial loss. In addition, the federal bank regulatory agencies are required by FDICIA to prescribe standards specifying: (i) maximum classified assets to capital ratios; (ii) minimum earnings sufficient to absorb losses without impairing capital; and (iii) to the extent feasible, a minimum ratio of market value to book value for publicly-traded shares of depository institutions and depository institution holding companies.
Other. Additional regulations require annual examinations of all insured depository institutions by the appropriate federal banking agency and establish operational and managerial, asset quality, earnings and stock valuation standards for insured depository institutions, as well as compensation standards.
The Bank is subject to examination by the FDIC and the Commissioner. In addition, the Bank is subject to various other state and federal laws and regulations, including state usury laws, laws relating to fiduciaries, consumer credit, equal credit and fair credit reporting laws and laws relating to branch banking. The Bank, as an insured North Carolina commercial bank, is prohibited from engaging as a principal in activities that are not permitted for national banks, unless (i) the FDIC determines that the activity would pose no significant risk to the appropriate deposit insurance fund and (ii) the Bank is, and continues to be, in compliance with all applicable capital standards.
Future Requirements. Statutes and regulations, which contain wide-ranging proposals for altering the structures, regulations and competitive relationships of financial institutions, are introduced regularly. Neither the Company nor the Bank can predict whether or what form any proposed statute or regulation will be adopted or the extent to which the business of the Company or the Bank may be affected by such statute or regulation.
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The Company makes its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports available free of charge on its internet website www.peoplesbanknc.com as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are electronically filed with the SEC. The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q are also available on its internet website in interactive data format using the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which allows financial statement information to be downloaded directly into spreadsheets, analyzed in a variety of ways using commercial off-the-shelf software and used within investment models in other software formats. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy information, statements and other information filed by the Company with the SEC electronically. These filings are also accessible on the SEC’s website at https://www.sec.gov.
The Company maintains an internet website at www.peoplesbanknc.com. The Company’s corporate governance policies, including the charters of the Audit and Enterprise Risk, Compensation, and Governance Committees, and the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics may be found on the Company’s website. A written copy of the foregoing corporate governance policies is available upon written request to the Company. Information included on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones the Company faces. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently deem immaterial, also may become important factors that affect us and our business. If any of these risks were to materialize, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
RISK FACTORS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS
The lingering economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the current inflationary pressures could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant economic disruption throughout the United States. Although the economic activity has improved and there is growth in demand for goods and services, the lingering impact the COVID-19 pandemic has created certain adverse and persistent macroeconomic consequences, including labor shortages and disruptions of global supply chain, which may continue for some time and which have contributed to rising inflationary pressures and the risk of recession.
As a result of the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related adverse economic consequences, we could be subject to the following risks, among others, any of which individually or in combination with others could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations:
|Demand for our products and services may decline, making it difficult to grow assets and income;|
|If we have high levels of unemployment for an extended period of time, loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures may increase, resulting in increased charges and reduced income;|
|Collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, which could cause loan losses to increase;|
|Limitations may be placed on our ability to foreclose on properties we hold as collateral;|
|Our allowance for credit losses may have to be increased if borrowers experience financial difficulties which will adversely affect our net income;|
|The net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us;|
|Our cybersecurity risks are increased if employees work remotely;|
|We rely on third-party vendors for certain services and the unavailability of a critical service could have an adverse effect on us; and|
|FDIC premiums may increase if the FDIC experiences additional resolution costs.|
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Unfavorable economic conditions could adversely affect our business.
Our business is subject to periodic fluctuations based on national, regional and local economic conditions. These fluctuations are not predictable, cannot be controlled, and may have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial condition. Our banking operations are primarily locally oriented and community-based. Our retail and commercial banking activities are primarily concentrated within the same geographic footprint. Our market is primarily based in the Catawba Valley region of North Carolina and surrounding communities. Worsening economic conditions within our markets could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Accordingly, we expect to continue to be dependent upon local business conditions as well as conditions in the local residential and commercial real estate markets we serve. Unfavorable changes in unemployment, real estate values, interest rates, inflation and other factors could weaken the economies of the communities we serve. While economic growth and business activity has been generally favorable in our market area in recent years, there can be no assurance that economic conditions will recover to pre-pandemic levels, and these conditions could worsen. In addition, unfavorable global economic conditions, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic discussed above, have had a negative impact on financial markets and could adversely impact our customers, which in turn could lead to lower business activity and higher loan delinquencies. Weakness in any of our market areas could have an adverse impact on our earnings, and consequently our financial condition and capital adequacy.
Inflation can have an adverse impact on our customers and their ability to repay.
Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be worth less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. Recently, there has been a pronounced rise in inflation and the Federal Reserve has raised certain benchmark interest rates in an effort to combat this trend. Our customers may also be affected by inflation and the rising costs of goods and services used in their households and businesses, which could have a negative impact on their ability to repay their loans with us.
Recessionary conditions could result in increases in our level of nonperforming loans and/or reduce demand for our products and services, which would lead to lower revenue, higher loan losses and lower earnings.
Recessionary conditions and/or continued negative developments in the domestic and international credit markets may significantly affect the markets in which we do business, the value of our loans and investments, and our ongoing operations, costs and profitability. Declines in real estate values and sales volumes and increased unemployment levels may result in higher than expected loan delinquencies, increases in our levels of nonperforming and classified assets and a decline in demand for our products and services. These negative events may cause us to incur losses and may adversely affect our capital, liquidity, and financial condition.
We are subject to credit risk and may incur losses if loans are not repaid.
There are inherent risks associated with our lending activities. These risks include, among other things, the impact of changes in interest rates and changes in the economic conditions in the markets where we operate as well as those across the United States and abroad. Increases in interest rates and/or weakening economic conditions could adversely impact the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans and the value of the collateral securing these loans. We seek to mitigate the risks inherent in our loan portfolio by adhering to specific underwriting practices. Although we believe that our underwriting criteria are appropriate for the various kinds of loans we make, we may incur losses on loans that meet our underwriting criteria, and these losses may exceed the amounts set aside as reserves in our allowance for loan losses.
Our loan portfolio includes loans with a higher risk of loss.
We originate commercial real estate loans, commercial loans, construction and land development loans, and residential mortgage loans primarily within our market area. Commercial real estate, commercial, and construction and land development loans tend to involve larger loan balances to a single borrower or groups of related borrowers and are most susceptible to a risk of loss during a downturn in the business cycle. These loans also have historically had greater credit risk than other loans for the following reasons:
|Commercial Real Estate Loans. Repayment is dependent on income being generated in amounts sufficient to cover operating expenses and debt service. These loans also involve greater risk because they are generally not fully amortizing over the loan period, but rather have a balloon payment due at maturity. A borrower’s ability to make a balloon payment typically will depend on being able to either refinance the loan or timely sell the underlying property.|
|Commercial Loans. Repayment is generally dependent upon the successful operation of the borrower’s business. In addition, the collateral securing the loans may depreciate over time, be difficult to appraise, be illiquid, or fluctuate in value based on the success of the business.|
|Construction and land development loans. The risk of loss is largely dependent on the initial estimate of whether the property’s value at completion equals or exceeds the cost of property construction and the availability of take-out financing. During the construction phase, a number of factors can result in delays or cost overruns. If the estimate is inaccurate or if actual construction costs exceed estimates, the value of the property securing the loan may be insufficient to ensure full repayment when completed through a permanent loan, sale of the property, or by seizure of collateral.|
|Single-family residential loans. Declining home sales volumes, decreased real estate values and higher than normal levels of unemployment could contribute to losses on these loans.|
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A significant amount of the Bank’s business is concentrated in lending which is secured by property located in the Catawba Valley and surrounding areas.
In addition to the financial strength and cash flow characteristics of the borrower in each case, the Bank often secures its loans with real estate collateral. The real estate collateral in each case provides an alternate source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower and may deteriorate in value during the time the credit is extended. If the Bank is required to liquidate the collateral securing a loan during a period of reduced real estate values to satisfy the debt, the Bank’s earnings and capital could be adversely affected.
Additionally, with most of the Bank’s loans concentrated in the Catawba Valley and surrounding areas, a decline in local economic conditions could adversely affect the values of the Bank’s real estate collateral. Consequently, a decline in local economic conditions may have a greater effect on the Bank’s earnings and capital than on the earnings and capital of larger financial institutions whose real estate loan portfolios are more geographically diverse.
Our use of appraisals in deciding whether to make a loan on or secured by real property does not ensure the value of the real property collateral.
In considering whether to make a loan secured by real property, we typically require an appraisal of the property. However, an appraisal is only an estimate of the value of the property at the time the appraisal is made. If the appraisal does not reflect the amount that may be obtained upon any sale or foreclosure of the property, we may not realize an amount equal to the indebtedness secured by the property.
Our allowance for loan losses may be insufficient and could therefore reduce earnings.
The risk of credit losses on loans varies with, among other things, general economic conditions, the creditworthiness of the borrower over the term of the loan and, in the case of a collateralized loan, the value and marketability of the collateral for the loan. Management maintains an allowance for loan losses based upon, among other things, historical experience, an evaluation of economic conditions and regular reviews of delinquencies and loan portfolio quality. Management believes it has established the allowance in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) and in consideration of the current economic environment. Although management uses the best information available to make evaluations, significant future additions to the allowance may be necessary based on changes in economic and other conditions, thus adversely affecting the operating results of the Company. If management’s assumptions and judgments prove to be incorrect and the allowance for loan losses is inadequate to absorb future losses, or if the bank regulatory authorities require the Bank to increase the allowance for loan losses as a part of their examination process, the Bank’s earnings and capital could be significantly and adversely affected. For further discussion related to our process for determining the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses, see “Allowance for Loan Losses” within “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results and Operation” of the Annual Report, which is included in this Form 10-K as Exhibit (13).
In addition, the measure of our allowance for loan losses is dependent on the adoption of new accounting standards. The FASB issued an Accounting Standards Update related to CECL, the new credit impairment model, which was implemented by the Company for reporting periods beginning on January 1, 2023. This new model requires financial institutions to estimate and develop a provision for credit losses at origination for the lifetime of the loan, as opposed to reserving for probable incurred losses up to the balance sheet date. Under the CECL model, credit deterioration will be reflected in the income statement in the period of origination or acquisition of the loan, with changes in expected credit losses due to further credit deterioration or improvement reflected in the periods in which the expectation changes.
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The CECL framework is expected to result in earlier recognition of credit losses and is expected to be significantly influenced by the composition, characteristics and quality of the Company’s loan portfolio, as well as the prevailing economic conditions and forecasts. The Company will initially apply the impact of the new guidance through a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings as of the beginning of the year of implementation.
The CECL standard provides significant flexibility and requires a high degree of judgment with regards to pooling financial assets with similar risk characteristics and adjusting the relevant historical loss information in order to develop an estimate of expected lifetime losses. Providing for losses over the life of the Bank’s loan portfolio is a change to the previous method of providing allowances for loan losses that are probable and incurred. This change may require us to increase our allowance for loan losses rapidly in future periods, and greatly increases the types of data we need to collect and review to determine the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses. It may also result in even small changes to future forecasts having a significant impact on the allowance, which could make the allowance more volatile, and regulators may impose additional capital buffers to absorb this volatility.
If our non-performing assets increase, our earnings will suffer.
Our non-performing assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on non-accrual loans or real estate owned. We must reserve for probable losses, which is established through a current period charge to the provision for loan losses as well as from time to time, as appropriate, the write down of the value of properties in our other real estate owned portfolio to reflect changing market values. Additionally, there are legal fees associated with the resolution of problem assets as well as carrying costs such as taxes, insurance and maintenance related to our other real estate owned. Further, the resolution of non-performing assets requires the active involvement of management, which can distract them from more profitable activity. Finally, if our estimate for the recorded allowance for loan losses proves to be incorrect and our allowance is inadequate, we will have to increase the allowance accordingly.
Changes in interest rates affect profitability and assets.
Changes in prevailing interest rates may hurt the Bank’s business. The Bank derives its income primarily from the difference or “spread” between the interest earned on loans, securities and other interest-earning assets, and interest paid on deposits, borrowings and other interest-bearing liabilities. In general, the larger the spread, the more the Bank earns. When market rates of interest change, and in particular during periods of rapid rate movements as experienced in 2022, the interest the Bank receives on its assets and the interest the Bank pays on its liabilities will fluctuate. This can cause decreases in the “spread” and can adversely affect the Bank’s income. Changes in market interest rates could reduce the value of the Bank’s financial assets. Fixed-rate investments, mortgage-backed and related securities and mortgage loans generally decrease in value as interest rates rise. In addition, interest rates affect how much money the Bank lends. For example, when interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing increases and the loan originations tend to decrease. If the Bank is unsuccessful in managing the effects of changes in interest rates, the financial condition and results of operations could suffer.
A small number of large deposit relationships provide a significant level of funding for the Bank.
The Bank’s five largest deposit relationships, including securities sold under agreements to repurchase, amounted to $117.0 million at December 31, 2022. These balances represent 7.89% of total deposits and securities sold under agreements to repurchase combined at December 31, 2022. Total deposits for the five largest relationships referenced above amounted to $85.7 million, or 5.97% of total deposits at December 31, 2022. Total securities sold under agreements to repurchase for the five largest relationships referenced above amounted to $31.4 million, or 65.76% of total securities sold under agreements to repurchase at December 31, 2022. Withdrawals of deposits by any one of our largest depositors could force us to rely more heavily on borrowings and other sources of funding for our business and withdrawal demands, adversely affecting our net interest margin and results of operations. We may also be forced, as a result of any withdrawal of deposits, to rely more heavily on other, potentially more expensive and less stable funding sources. Consequently, the occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and future prospects.
We may not be able to retain or grow our deposit base, which could adversely impact our funding costs.
Like many financial institutions, the Bank relies on customer deposits as its primary source of funding for its lending activities, and the Bank continues to seek customer deposits to maintain this funding base. The Bank’s future growth will largely depend on its ability to retain and grow its deposit base. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank had $1.4 billion in deposits. The Bank’s deposits are subject to potentially dramatic fluctuations in availability or price due to certain factors outside of its control, such as increasing competitive pressures for deposits, changes in interest rates and returns on other investment classes, customer perceptions of its financial health and general reputation, and a loss of confidence by customers in the Bank or the banking sector generally, which could result in significant outflows of deposits within short periods of time or significant changes in pricing necessary to maintain current customer deposits or attract additional deposits. The availability of deposits can also be impacted by regulatory changes (e.g., changes in FDIC insurance, the liquidity coverage ratio, etc.), changes in the financial condition of the Bank, or the banking industry in general, and other events which can impact the perceived safety and soundness or economic benefits of bank deposits. Any loss by the Bank of its deposit base could limit its lending ability resulting in lower loan originations, which could have a material adverse effect on the Bank’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Increases in FDIC insurance premiums may adversely affect our net income and profitability.
The Company is generally unable to control the amount of premiums that the Bank is required to pay for FDIC insurance. If there are bank or financial institution failures that exceed the FDIC’s expectations, the Bank may be required to pay higher FDIC premiums than those currently in force. Any future increases or required prepayments of FDIC insurance premiums may adversely impact the Company’s earnings and financial condition.
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Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt business operations, result in the loss of critical and confidential information, and adversely impact our reputation and results of operations.
Global cybersecurity threats and incidents can range from uncoordinated individual attempts to gain unauthorized access to information technology (IT) systems to sophisticated and targeted measures known as advanced persistent threats, directed at the Company and/or its third-party service providers. While we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, these types of threats and incidents, none of them to date have been material to the Company. Although we employ comprehensive measures to prevent, detect, address and mitigate these threats (including access controls, employee training, data encryption, vulnerability assessments, continuous monitoring of our IT networks and systems and maintenance of backup and protective systems), cybersecurity incidents, depending on their nature and scope, could potentially result in the misappropriation, destruction, corruption or unavailability of critical data and confidential or proprietary information (our own or that of third parties) and the disruption of business operations. The potential consequences of a material cybersecurity incident include reputational damage, litigation with third parties and increased cybersecurity protection and remediation costs, which in turn could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
Our business continuity plans or data security systems could prove to be inadequate, resulting in a material interruption in, or disruption to, our business and a negative impact on our results of operations.
We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. Our daily operations depend on the operational effectiveness of our technology. We rely on our systems to accurately track and record our assets and liabilities. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of our computer systems or outside technology, whether due to severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, criminal activity, cyberattacks or other factors, could result in failures or disruptions in general ledger, deposit, loan, customer relationship management, and other systems leading to inaccurate financial records. This could materially affect our business operations and financial condition.
While we have disaster recovery and other policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of any failure, interruption or security breach of our information systems, there can be no assurance that any such failures, interruptions, or security breaches will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failures, interruptions or security breaches of our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
In addition, the Bank provides its customers the ability to bank online and through mobile banking. The secure transmission of confidential information over the Internet is a critical element of online and mobile banking. While we use qualified third-party vendors to test and audit our network, our network could become vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, phishing schemes and other security issues. The Bank may be required to spend significant capital and other resources to alleviate problems caused by security breaches or computer viruses.
To the extent that the Bank’s activities or the activities of its customers involve the storage and transmission of confidential information, security breaches and viruses could expose the Bank to claims, litigation, and other potential liabilities. Any inability to prevent security breaches or computer viruses could also cause existing customers to lose confidence in the Bank’s systems and could adversely affect its reputation and its ability to generate deposits.
Additionally, we outsource the processing of our core data system, as well as other systems such as online banking, to third party vendors. Prior to establishing an outsourcing relationship, and on an ongoing basis thereafter, management monitors key vendor controls and procedures related to information technology, which includes reviewing reports of service auditor’s examinations. If our third-party provider encounters difficulties or if we have difficulty in communicating with such third party, it will significantly affect our ability to adequately process and account for customer transactions, which would significantly affect our business operations.
In the normal course of business, we process large volumes of transactions involving millions of dollars. If our internal controls fail to work as expected, if our systems are used in an unauthorized manner, or if our employees subvert our internal controls, we could experience significant losses.
We process large volumes of transactions on a daily basis involving millions of dollars and are exposed to numerous types of operational risk. Operational risk includes the risk of fraud by persons inside or outside the Company, the execution of unauthorized transactions by employees, errors relating to transaction processing and systems and breaches of the internal control system and compliance requirements. This risk also includes potential legal actions that could arise as a result of an operational deficiency or as a result of noncompliance with applicable regulatory standards.
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We establish and maintain systems of internal operational controls that provide us with timely and accurate information about our level of operational risk. Although not foolproof, these systems have been designed to manage operational risk at appropriate, cost-effective levels. Procedures exist that are designed to ensure that policies relating to conduct, ethics, and business practices are followed. From time to time, losses from operational risk may occur, including the effects of operational errors. We continually monitor and improve our internal controls, data processing systems, and corporate-wide processes and procedures, but there can be no assurance that future losses will not occur.
Financial services companies depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about customers and counterparties.
In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions, we may rely on information furnished by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements, credit reports, and other financial information. We may also rely on representations of those customers, counterparties, or other third parties, such as independent auditors, as to the accuracy and completeness of that information. Reliance on inaccurate or misleading financial statements, financial advisors and consultants, credit reports, or other financial information could cause us to enter into unfavorable transactions, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to extensive regulation, which could have an adverse effect on our operations.
The Company and the Bank are subject to extensive regulation and supervision from the Commissioner, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. This regulation and supervision is intended primarily to enhance the safe and sound operation of the Bank and for the protection of the FDIC insurance fund and our depositors and borrowers, rather than for holders of our equity securities. In the past, our business has been materially affected by these regulations. This trend is likely to continue in the future.
Regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in their supervisory and enforcement activities, including the imposition of restrictions on operations, the classification of our assets and the determination of the level of allowance for loan losses. Changes in the regulations that apply to us, or changes in our compliance with regulations, could have a material impact on our operations.
We face a risk of noncompliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations and related enforcement actions.
The federal BSA, the USA Patriot Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain effective anti-money laundering programs and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FINCEN”), established by the Treasury to administer the BSA, is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service. There is also increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the OFAC. Federal and state bank regulators also have begun to focus on compliance with BSA and AML regulations. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient or the policies, procedures and systems of the financial institutions that we have already acquired or may acquire in the future are deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions such as restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including our acquisition plans, which would negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us.
We are subject to federal and state fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to material penalties.
Federal and state fair lending laws and regulations, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act, impose nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Department of Justice, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and other federal and state agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. A successful challenge to our performance under the fair lending laws and regulations could adversely impact our CRA rating and result in a wide variety of sanctions, including the required payment of damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, imposition of restrictions on or delays in approving merger and acquisition activity and restrictions on expansion activity, which could negatively impact our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
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Consumers may decide not to use banks to complete their financial transactions.
Technology and other changes are allowing parties to complete financial transactions through alternative methods that historically have involved banks. For example, consumers can now maintain funds that would have historically been held as bank deposits in brokerage accounts, mutual funds or general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards. Consumers can also complete transactions such as paying bills and/or transferring funds directly without the assistance of banks. The process of eliminating banks as intermediaries, known as “disintermediation,” could result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the related income generated from those deposits. The loss of these revenue streams and the lower cost of deposits as a source of funds could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us.
Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services companies are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty or other relationships. We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, and investment banks. Defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services companies, or the financial services industry generally, have led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. We can make no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and jeopardize our financial condition.
Liquidity is essential to our business. We rely on a number of different sources in order to meet our potential liquidity demands. Our primary sources of liquidity are increases in deposit accounts, cash flows from loan payments and our securities portfolio. Borrowings also provide us with a source of funds to meet liquidity demands. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and other sources could have a substantial negative effect on our liquidity.
Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities or on terms which are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically, or the financial services industry or economy in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include adverse regulatory action against us or a decrease in the level of our business activity as a result of a downturn in the markets in which our loans are concentrated. Our ability to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a disruption in the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry in light of the recent turmoil faced by banking organizations or deterioration in credit markets.
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Risks related to decline in value of investment securities portfolio.
At December 31, 2022, unrealized losses in our available for sale investment securities portfolio totaled $62.3 million. These unrealized losses arose due to changing interest rates and are considered to be temporary; however, in the event that we sell these securities while they are in an unrealized loss position, we will recognize a corresponding loss. In January and February 2023, we sold securities available for sale totaling $53.5 million, which resulted in gross losses of $2.7 million and gross gains of $177,000. In the event that we decide to sell additional securities while they are in an unrealized loss position, we will experience additional losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and financial condition.
We could experience losses due to competition with other financial institutions.
We face substantial competition in all areas of our operations from a variety of different competitors, both within and beyond our principal markets, many of which are larger and may have more financial resources. Such competitors primarily include national, regional and internet banks within the various markets in which we operate. We also face competition from many other types of financial institutions, including, without limitation, thrifts, credit unions, finance companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries, such as online lenders and banks. The financial services industry could become even more competitive as a result of legislative and regulatory changes and continued consolidation. In addition, as customer preferences and expectations continue to evolve, technology has lowered barriers to entry and made it possible for nonbanks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as automatic transfer and automatic payment systems. Banks, securities firms and insurance companies can merge under the umbrella of a financial holding company, which can offer virtually any type of financial service, including banking, securities underwriting, insurance (both agency and underwriting) and merchant banking. Many of our competitors have fewer regulatory constraints and may have lower cost structures. Additionally, due to their size, many competitors may be able to achieve economies of scale and, as a result, may offer a broader range of products and services as well as better pricing for those products and services than we can.
Our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including, among other things:
|the ability to develop, maintain, and build upon long-term customer relationships based on top quality service, high ethical standards, and safe, sound assets;|
|the ability to expand our market position;|
|the scope, relevance, and pricing of products and services offered to meet customer needs and demands;|
|the rate at which we introduce new products and services relative to our competitors;|
|customer satisfaction with our level of service; and|
|industry and general economic trends.|
Failure to perform in any of these areas could significantly weaken our competitive position, which could adversely affect our growth and profitability, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to keep pace with technological change could adversely affect our business.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. Our future success depends, 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. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on our business and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on other companies to provide key components of our business infrastructure.
Third party vendors provide key components of our business infrastructure such as internet connections, network access and core application processing. While we have selected these third-party vendors carefully, we do not control their actions. Any problems caused by these third parties, including as a result of their not providing us their services for any reason or their performing their services poorly, could adversely affect our ability to deliver products and services to our customers and otherwise to conduct our business and could negatively impact our reputation. Replacing these third-party vendors could also entail significant delay and expense.
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Negative publicity could damage our reputation.
Reputation risk, or the risk to our earnings and capital from negative public opinion, is inherent in our business. Negative public opinion could adversely affect our ability to keep and attract customers and expose us to adverse legal and regulatory consequences. Negative public opinion could result from our actual or alleged conduct in any number of activities, including lending practices, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and disclosure, sharing or inadequate protection of customer information, and from actions taken by government regulators and community organizations in response to that conduct. Our reputation could also be adversely impacted by negative public opinion regarding the financial services industry in general.
Loss of key personnel could adversely impact results.
The success of the Bank has been and will continue to be greatly influenced by the ability to retain the services of existing senior management. The Bank has benefited from consistency within its senior management team, with two of its top three executives averaging 26 years of service with the Bank. The unexpected loss of the services of any of the key management personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse impact on the business and financial results of the Bank.
We may be subject to examinations by taxing authorities which could adversely affect our results of operations.
In the normal course of business, we may be subject to examinations from federal and state taxing authorities regarding the amount of taxes due in connection with investments we have made and the businesses in which we are engaged. Recently, federal and state taxing authorities have become increasingly aggressive in challenging tax positions taken by financial institutions. The challenges made by taxing authorities may result in adjustments to the timing or amount of taxable income or deductions or the allocation of income among tax jurisdictions. If any such challenges are made and are not resolved in our favor, they could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
As discussed in Item 3. Legal Proceedings, the North Carolina Department of Revenue is seeking to disallow certain tax credits taken by the Bank in prior tax years from an investment made by the Bank. While the Bank purchased a Guaranty Agreement along with the investment, which we believe limits our potential exposure, in the event the tax credits are ultimately disallowed, there can be no assurance that the guarantor will perform under the Guaranty Agreement or that we will recover all of any of these potential losses under the Guaranty Agreement. This could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Changes in our accounting policies or in accounting standards could materially affect how we report our financial results and condition.
Our accounting policies are fundamental to understanding our financial results and condition. Some of these policies require use of estimates and assumptions that may affect the value of our assets or liabilities and financial results. Some of our accounting policies are critical because they require management to make difficult, subjective and complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain and because it is likely that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions.
From time to time the FASB and the SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards or the interpretation of those standards that govern the preparation of our external financial statements. These changes are beyond our control, can be hard to predict and could materially impact how we report our results of operations and financial condition. We could be required to apply a new or revised standard retroactively, resulting in our restating prior period financial statements in material amounts.
Our internal controls may be ineffective.
Management regularly reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
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Impairment of investment securities or deferred tax assets could require charges to earnings, which could result in a negative impact on our results of operations.
In assessing the impairment of investment securities, management considers the length of time and extent to which the fair value has been less than cost, the financial condition and near-term prospects of the issues, and the intent and ability of the Company to retain its investment in the issuer for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery of fair value in the near term. In assessing the future ability of the Company to realize the deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which those temporary differences become deductible. The impact of each of these impairment matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Because we engage in lending secured by real estate and may be forced to foreclose on the collateral property and own the underlying real estate, we may be subject to the increased costs associated with the ownership of real property, which could result in reduced net income.
Since we originate loans secured by real estate, we may have to foreclose on the collateral property to protect our investment and may thereafter own and operate such property, in which case we are exposed to the risks inherent in the ownership of real estate. The amount that we, as a mortgagee, may realize after a default is dependent upon factors outside of our control, including, but not limited to:
|general or local economic conditions;|
|environmental cleanup liability;|
|real estate tax rates;|
|operating expenses of the mortgaged properties;|
|supply of and demand for rental units or properties;|
|ability to obtain and maintain adequate occupancy of the properties;|
|governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; and|
|acts of God.|
Certain expenditures associated with the ownership of real estate, principally real estate taxes and maintenance costs, may adversely affect the income from the real estate. Therefore, the cost of operating real property may exceed the rental income earned from such property, and we may have to advance funds in order to protect our investment or we may be required to dispose of the real property at a loss.
We are subject to losses due to errors, omissions or fraudulent behavior by our employees, clients, counterparties or other third parties.
We are exposed to many types of operational risk, including the risk of fraud by employees and third parties, clerical recordkeeping errors and transactional errors. Our business is dependent on our employees as well as third-party service providers to process a large number of increasingly complex transactions. We could be materially and adversely affected if employees, clients, counterparties or other third parties caused an operational breakdown or failure, either as a result of human error, fraudulent manipulation or purposeful damage to any of our operations or systems.
In deciding whether to extend credit or to enter into other transactions with clients and counterparties, we may rely on information furnished to us by or on behalf of clients and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information, which we do not independently verify. We also may rely on representations of clients and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information and, with respect to financial statements, on reports of independent auditors. For example, in deciding whether to extend credit to a client, we may assume that the client’s audited financial statements conform with GAAP and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the client. Our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively affected to the extent we rely on financial statements that do not comply with GAAP or are materially misleading, any of which could be caused by errors, omissions, or fraudulent behavior by our employees, clients, counterparties, or other third parties.
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Our articles of incorporation and bylaws, and certain banking laws may have an anti-takeover effect.
Provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws, and federal banking laws, including regulatory approval requirements, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would be perceived to be beneficial to our shareholders. The combination of these provisions may prohibit a non-negotiated merger or other business combination, which, in turn, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
RISKS RELATED TO THE COMPANY’S STOCK
Our stock price can be volatile.
Stock price volatility may make it more difficult for you to resell your common stock when you want and at prices you find attractive. Our stock price can fluctuate significantly in response to a variety of factors including the risk factors discussed elsewhere in this report that are outside of our control and which may occur regardless of our operating results.
Future sales of our stock by our shareholders or the perception that those sales could occur may cause our stock price to decline.
Although our common stock is listed for trading in The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “PEBK”, the trading volume in our common stock is lower than that of other larger 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 relatively low trading volume of our common stock, significant sales of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that those sales may occur, could cause the trading price of our common stock to decline or to be lower than it otherwise might be in the absence of those sales or perceptions.
Our common stock is not FDIC insured.
The Company’s common stock is not a savings or deposit account or other obligation of any bank and is not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental agency and is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal. Investment in our common stock is inherently risky for the reasons described in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this report and is subject to the same market forces that affect the price of common stock in any company. As a result, holders of our common stock may lose some or all of their investment.
We may reduce or eliminate dividends on our common stock.
Although we have historically paid a quarterly cash dividend to the holders of our common stock, holders of our common stock are not entitled to receive dividends. Downturns in the domestic and global economies could cause our Board of Directors to consider, among other things, reducing or eliminating dividends paid on our common stock. This could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Furthermore, as a bank holding company, our ability to pay dividends is subject to the guidelines of the Federal Reserve regarding capital adequacy and dividends before declaring or paying any dividends. Dividends also may be limited as a result of safety and soundness considerations.
We may need additional access to capital, which we may be unable to obtain on attractive terms or at all.
We may need to incur additional debt or equity financing in the future to make strategic acquisitions or investments, for future growth or to fund losses or additional provision for loan losses in the future. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend in part on conditions in the capital markets at that time, which are outside our control, and on our financial performance. Accordingly, we may be unable to raise additional capital, if and when needed, on terms acceptable to it, or at all. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, our ability to further expand our operations through internal growth and acquisitions could be materially impaired and our stock price negatively affected.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
At December 31, 2022, the Company and the Bank conducted their business from their headquarters office in Newton, North Carolina and the Bank’s 17 branch offices in Lincolnton, Hickory, Newton, Catawba, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Denver, Triangle, Hiddenite, Charlotte, Huntersville, Mooresville, Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina. The Bank also operates loan production offices in Charlotte, Denver, Salisbury and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The following table sets forth certain information regarding the Bank’s properties at December 31, 2022.
518 West C Street
Newton, North Carolina 28658
420 West A Street
Newton, North Carolina 28658
213 1st Street, West
Conover, North Carolina 28613
3261 East Main Street
Claremont, North Carolina 28610
6125 Highway 16 South
Denver, North Carolina 28037
5153 N.C. Highway 90E
Hiddenite, North Carolina 28636
200 Island Ford Road
Maiden, North Carolina 28650
3310 Springs Road NE
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
142 South Highway 16
Denver, North Carolina 28037
106 North Main Street
Catawba, North Carolina 28609
2050 Catawba Valley Boulevard
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
1074 River Highway
Mooresville, North Carolina 28117
163 Plantation Ridge Drive
Mooresville, North Carolina 28117
1910 East Main Street
Lincolnton, North Carolina 28092
1333 2nd Street NE
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
6350 South Boulevard
Charlotte, North Carolina 28217
3752/3754 Highway 16 North
Denver, North Carolina 28037
9617 Holly Point Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078
4000 Westchase Boulevard
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
1117 Parkside Main Street
Cary, North Carolina 27519
13840 Ballantyne Corporate Place
Charlotte, North Carolina 28277
118 East Council Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
380 Knollwood Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
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ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
On October 19, 2018, the Bank received a draft audit report from the North Carolina Department of Revenue (“NCDOR”) setting forth certain proposed adjustments to the North Carolina income tax returns for the Bank for the tax years January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016. The NCDOR sought to disallow certain tax credits taken by the Bank in tax years January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016 from an investment made by the Bank. The total proposed adjustments sought by the NCDOR as of the date of the draft audit report (including additional tax, penalties and interest up to the date of the draft audit report) was approximately $1.4 million. The Bank disagreed with the NCDOR’s proposed adjustments and the disallowance of certain tax credits, and challenged the proposed adjustments and the disallowance of such tax credits. During the second quarter of 2019, the Bank paid the NCDOR $1.2 million in taxes and interest associated with the proposed adjustments noted above. This payment stopped the accrual of interest during the period while the proposed adjustments and disallowance are being contested, and the NCDOR waived associated penalties. The Bank purchased a Guaranty Agreement along with this tax credit investment that unconditionally guarantees the amount of its investment plus associated penalties and interest which management believes would limit the Bank’s exposure to approximately $125,000. The Tax Credit Guaranty Agreement by State Tax Credit Exchange, LLC dated September 10, 2014 was attached to the Company’s September 30, 2018 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as Exhibit 99.
In the opinion of management, the Company is not involved in any other material pending legal proceedings other than routine proceedings occurring in the ordinary course of business.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
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ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The Company’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, under the symbol “PEBK.” Market makers for the Company’s shares include Raymond James Financial, Inc. and Hovde Group, LLC.
The ability of the Company to pay dividends and repurchase shares is largely dependent upon the Company’s receipt of dividends from the Bank. The Bank’s ability to pay dividends is limited. North Carolina commercial banks, such as the Bank, are subject to legal limitations on the amount of dividends they are permitted to pay. Dividends may be paid by the Bank from undivided profits, which are determined by deducting and charging certain items against actual profits, including any contributions to surplus required by North Carolina law. Also, an insured depository institution, such as the Bank, is prohibited from making capital distributions, including the payment of dividends, if, after making such distribution, the institution would become “undercapitalized” (as such term is defined in the applicable law and regulations). For further discussion, see Supervision and Regulation under Item 1 Business.
As of March 8, 2023, the Company had 668 shareholders of record, not including the number of persons or entities whose stock is held in nominee or street name through various brokerage firms or banks.
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STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH
The following graph compares the Company’s cumulative shareholder return on its common stock with a NASDAQ index and with a southeastern bank index. The graph was prepared by S&P Global Market Intelligence, using data as of December 31, 2022.
COMPARISON OF FIVE-YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURNS
Performance Report for
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc.
The information required by Item 201(d) concerning securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans is set forth in Item 12 hereof.
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ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
of Shares Purchased (1)
of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs (2)
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (3)
October 1 - 31, 2022
November 1 - 30, 2022
December 1 - 31, 2022
(1) The Company purchased 1,715 shares on the open market in the three months ended December 31, 2022 for its deferred compensation plan. All purchases were funded by participant contributions to the plan.
(2) Reflects shares purchased under the Company's publicly announced stock repurchase program.
(3) Reflects dollar value of balance available for repurchase at end of period under the Company's stock repurchase program, which was authorized in February 2022 and expires in February 2023.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The information required by this Item is set forth in the section captioned “Selected Financial Data” on page A-3 of the Annual Report, which Annual Report is filed with this Form 10-K as Exhibit (13). The section captioned “Selected Financial Data” on page A-3 of the Annual Report is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The information required by this Item is set forth in the section captioned “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” on pages A-4 through A-18 of the Annual Report, which section is filed with this Form 10-K as Exhibit (13). The section captioned “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
The consolidated financial statements of the Company and supplementary data are set forth on pages A-19 through A-60 of the Annual Report, which Annual Report is filed with this Form 10-K as Exhibit (13). The consolidated financial statements of the Company and supplementary data set forth on pages A-19 through A-59 of the Annual Report are incorporated herein by reference.
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ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
The Company’s management, under the supervision and with the participation of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, has concluded, based on their evaluation as of the end of the period covered by this Report, that the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13A-15(e) promulgated under the Exchange Act) are effective to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Company in the reports filed or submitted by it under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the applicable rules and forms and include controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Company in such reports is accumulated and communicated to the Company’s management including the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
Changes in Internal Controls over Financial Reporting
There have been no changes in internal control over financial reporting during the quarter ended December 31, 2022 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
Management’s Annual Report on Internal Controls over Financial Reporting
The Company’s management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Internal control over financial reporting is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) promulgated under the Exchange Act. The Company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that in reasonable detail accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company, (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Management assessed the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022. In making this assessment, management used the criteria established in “Internal Control – Integrated Framework” issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in 2013. Based on our assessment and those criteria, management believes that the Company maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K does not include an attestation report of the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financial reporting. As a smaller reporting company, management’s report was not subject to attestation by the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm.
ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION
ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS
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ITEM 10. DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
The information required by this Item is set forth under the sections captioned “Director Nominees”, “Executive Officers of the Company “, “Security Ownership Of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management, “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance”, “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics”, “Board Committees – Governance Committee” and “Board Committees – Audit and Enterprise Risk Committee” contained in the Proxy Statement, which sections are incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
The information required by this Item is set forth under the section captioned “Compensation Discussion and Analysis”, “Summary Compensation Table”, “Grants of Plan-Based Awards”, “Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year End”, “Option Exercises and Stock Vested”, “Pension Benefits”, “Nonqualified Deferred Compensation”, “Employment Agreements”, “Potential Payments upon Termination or Change in Control”, “Omnibus Stock Option and Long Term Incentive Plan”, “Director Compensation”, “Compensation Committee – Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation”, “Compensation Committee – Compensation Committee Report”, and “Pay versus Performance”, contained in the Proxy Statement, which sections are incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
For the information required by the Item see the section captioned “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” contained in the Proxy Statement, which section is incorporated herein by reference.
The following table presents the number of shares of Company common stock to be issued upon the exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights; the weighted-average price of the outstanding options, warrants and rights and the number of options, warrants and rights remaining that may be issued under the Company’s Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plans.
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Number of securities
to be issued upon
outstanding options, warrants and rights (1)
exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights (2)
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a))
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
(1) Includes: 3,245 restricted stock units granted on January 24, 2018 under the 2009 Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plan, all of which vested on January 24, 2022; 5,115 restricted stock units granted on February 21, 2019 under the 2009 Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plan, all of which vested on February 21, 2023; 7,635 restricted stock units granted on May 7, 2020 under the 2020 Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plan, all of which vest on May 7, 2024; 7,060 restricted stock units granted on February 3, 2021 under the 2020 Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plan, all of which vest on February 3, 2025; and 5,385 restricted stock units granted on January 20, 2022 under the 2020 Omnibus Stock Ownership and Long Term Incentive Plan, all of which vest on January 20, 2026.
(2) The restricted stock units granted by the Company under the Omnibus Plans do not have an exercise price.
The above table excludes shares awarded from time to time pursuant to the Service Recognition Program. The Service Recognition Program is described under the section captioned “Discretionary Bonus and Service Awards” contained in the Proxy Statement.
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
See the sections captioned “Indebtedness of and Transactions with Management and Directors” and “Board Leadership Structure and Risk Oversight” contained in the Proxy Statement, which sections are incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES
See the section captioned “Proposal 2 - Ratification of Selection of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” contained in the Proxy Statement, which section is incorporated herein by reference.
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ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES
Consolidated Financial Statements (contained in the Annual Report attached hereto as Exhibit (13) and incorporated herein by reference)
Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2022 and 2021
Consolidated Statements of Earnings for the Years Ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the Years Ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Consolidated Financial Statement Schedules
All schedules have been omitted, as the required information is either inapplicable or included in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
PEOPLES BANCORP OF NORTH CAROLINA, INC.
/s/ Lance A. Sellers
Lance A. Sellers
President and Chief Executive Officer
Date: March 17, 2023
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated:
/s/ Lance A. Sellers
President and Chief Executive Officer
March 17, 2023
Lance A. Sellers
(Principal Executive Officer)
/s/ James S. Abernethy
March 17, 2023
James S. Abernethy
/s/ Robert C. Abernethy
Chairman of the Board and Director
March 17, 2023
Robert C. Abernethy
/s/ Douglas S. Howard
March 17, 2023
Douglas S. Howard
/s/ Jeffrey N. Hooper
Executive Vice President and Chief
March 17, 2023
Jeffrey N. Hooper
Financial Officer (Principal Financial
and Principal Accounting Officer)
/s/ John W. Lineberger, Jr.
March 17, 2023
John W. Lineberger, Jr.
/s/ Gary E. Matthews
March 17, 2023
Gary E. Matthews
/s/ Billy L. Price, Jr., M.D.
March 17, 2023
Billy L. Price, Jr., M.D.
/s/ Larry E. Robinson
March 17, 2023
Larry E. Robinson
/s/ William Gregory Terry
March 17, 2023
William Gregory Terry
/s/ Dan Ray Timmerman, Sr.
March 17, 2023
Dan Ray Timmerman, Sr.
/s/ Benjamin I. Zachary
March 17, 2023
Benjamin I. Zachary
/s/ Kimberly Boyd-Leaks
March 17, 2023