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Old Second Bancorp Inc (OSBC) SEC Filing 10-K Annual Report for the fiscal year ending Friday, December 31, 2021

Old Second Bancorp Inc

CIK: 357173 Ticker: OSBC

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(NASDAQ: OSBC)

Exhibit 99.1

Contact:

Bradley S. Adams

For Immediate Release

Chief Financial Officer

January 26, 2022

(630) 906-5484

Old Second Bancorp, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Results

AURORA, IL, January 26, 2022 – Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company,” “Old Second,” “we,” “us,” and “our”) (NASDAQ: OSBC), the parent company of Old Second National Bank (the “Bank”), today announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021.  We had a net loss of $9.1 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to net income of $8.4 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2021, and net income of $8.0 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted net income, which excludes acquisition-related costs and provision for credit loss adjustments stemming from our acquisition of West Suburban Bancorp, Inc. (“West Suburban”) on December 1, 2021, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $12.5 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2021.   See the discussion entitled “Non-GAAP Presentations” below and the table on page 17 that provides a reconciliation of each non-GAAP measure to the most comparable GAAP equivalent.

In addition to pre-tax acquisition-related costs of $12.8 million, the fourth quarter of 2021 also included acquisition-related adjustments that impacted our provision for credit losses.  The fourth quarter 2021 provision for credit losses was $12.3 million, which included a $12.2 million Day Two adjustment to provision for credit losses on loans due to the inclusion of the lifetime estimated credit losses on non-purchase credit deteriorated (“PCD”) loans, and a $2.4 million Day Two provision for unfunded commitments, net of a $2.3 million reversal of the allowance for credit losses in the fourth quarter of 2021 stemming from the impact of an improved forecast related to future credit losses and economic conditions.  This compares to a $1.5 million release of provision for credit losses for the third quarter of 2021, and no provision expense or release of provision expense for the fourth quarter of 2020.  The reduction to net income in the fourth quarter of 2021 was partially offset by growth in net interest income, due to a full month of West Suburban loan and securities income included in the fourth quarter of 2021, net of interest expense on acquired deposits.  

Operating Results

Fourth quarter 2021 net loss was $9.1 million, reflecting a decrease in earnings of $17.5 million from the third quarter of 2021, and a decrease of $17.1 million from the fourth quarter of 2020.  Adjusted net income, a non-GAAP financial measure that excludes acquisition-related costs and the Day Two provision for credit loss adjustments, was $12.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, which was a $3.7 million increase from adjusted net income for the third quarter of 2021, and a $4.4 million increase from the fourth quarter of 2020.
Net interest and dividend income was $28.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of $6.0 million, or 26.7%, from the third quarter of 2021, and an increase of $4.8 million, or 20.0%, from the fourth quarter of 2020.  
Interest and dividend income for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $30.8 million, an increase of $6.0 million and $4.8 million from the third quarter of 2021 and fourth quarter of 2020, respectively.  As of December 31, 2021, Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans outstanding totaled $38.5 million, and net loan interest and fee income recorded in 2021 year to date on all PPP loans totaled $3.1 million.  Approximately $188,000 of net PPP loan fees remain unearned as of December 31, 2021.  
Interest expense for both the third and fourth quarters of 2021 totaled $2.2 million, compared to $2.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.  The interest expense stemming from deposits acquired in the West Suburban

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The following information was filed by Old Second Bancorp Inc (OSBC) on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

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

For the transition period from                    to                   

Commission file number 000-10537

Graphic

Delaware

36-3143493

(State of Incorporation)

(IRS Employer Identification Number)

37 South River Street, AuroraIllinois 60507

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(630) 892-0202

(Registrant's telephone number, including Area Code)

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

Title of Class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $1.00 par value

OSBC

The Nasdaq Stock Market

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

None

(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 Exchange Act.

Yes               No

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

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

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

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

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

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

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, on June 30, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $341.6 million.  The number of shares outstanding of the registrant's common stock, par value $1.00 per share, was 44,461,045 at March 7, 2022.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:

Certain information required by Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference from the registrant's definitive proxy statement relating to the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this Annual Report on Form 10-K relates.

OLD SECOND BANCORP, INC.

Form 10-K

INDEX

PART I

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

3

Item 1

Business

4

Item 1A

Risk Factors

17

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

31

Item 2

Properties

31

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

32

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

32

PART II

Item 5

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

32

Item 6

[Reserved]

34

Item 7

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

34

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

61

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

63

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

110

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

110

Item 9B

Other Information

110

Item 9C

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

110

PART III

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

110

Item 11

Executive Compensation

111

Item 12

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

111

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

111

Item 14

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

111

PART IV

Item 15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

112

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

112

Signatures

116

2

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This report and other publicly available documents of the Company contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, including, but not limited to, management’s expectations regarding future plans, strategies and financial performance, including regulatory developments, industry and economic trends and estimates and assumptions underlying accounting policies.  Forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and on information currently available and, can be identified by the use of words such as “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “possible,” “likely” or the negative thereof as well as other similar words and expressions of the future. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict as to timing, extent, likelihood and degree of occurrence, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in or by such statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following:

our ability to execute our growth strategy;
the continuing impact of COVID-19 and its variants on our business, including the impact of the actions taken by governmental authorities to try and contain the virus or address the impact of the virus on the United States economy and the resulting effect of these items on our operations, liquidity and capital position, and on the financial condition of our borrowers and other customers;
negative economic conditions that adversely affect the economy, real estate values, the job market and other factors nationally and in our market area, in each case that may affect our liquidity and the performance of our loan portfolio;
risks with respect to our ability to successfully expand and  integrate businesses and operations that we acquire, such as the recent acquisition of West Suburban Bancorp, Inc., as well our ability to identify and complete future mergers or acquisitions;
the financial success and viability of the borrowers of our commercial loans;
changes in U.S. monetary policy, the level and volatility of interest rates, the capital markets and other market conditions that may affect, among other things, our liquidity and the value of our assets and liabilities;
the transition away from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate;
competitive pressures from other financial service businesses and from nontraditional financial technology (“FinTech”) companies;
any negative perception of our reputation or financial strength;
our ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms when needed;
our ability to raise cost-effective funding to support business plans when needed:
our ability to use technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands and create efficiencies in operations;
adverse effects on our information technology systems resulting from system failures, human error or cyberattacks;
adverse effects of failures by our vendors to provide agreed upon services in the manner and at the cost agreed, particularly our information technology vendors and those vendors performing a service on the Company’s behalf;
the impact of any claims or legal actions, including any effect on our reputation;
losses incurred in connection with repurchases and indemnification payments related to mortgages;
the soundness of other financial institutions and other counter-party risk;
changes in accounting standards, rules and interpretations and the related impact on our financial statements, including assumptions surrounding the ongoing impact of our adoption of the Current Expected Credit Losses (“ CECL”) model, which are subject to change based on a number of factors including changes in our macroeconomic forecasts, credit quality, loan composition and other factors;
our ability to receive dividends from our subsidiaries;
a decrease in our regulatory capital ratios;
adverse federal or state tax assessments, or changes in tax laws or policies;
risks associated with actual or potential litigation or investigations by customers, regulatory agencies or others;
legislative or regulatory changes, particularly changes in regulation of financial services companies;
increased costs of compliance, heightened regulatory capital requirements and other risks associated with changes in regulation and the current regulatory environment, including  changes as a result of the new presidential administration and Democratic control of Congress;
negative changes in our capital position;
the adverse effects of events beyond our control that may have a destabilizing effect on financial markets and the economy, such as epidemics and pandemics (including COVID-19), war or terrorist activities, essential utility outages, deterioration in the global economy, instability in the credit markets, disruptions in our customers’ supply chains or disruption in transportation;
changes in trade policy and any related tariffs; and
each of the factors and risks under the heading “Risk Factors” in our 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K and in subsequent filings we make with the SEC.

Because the Company’s ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain, there can be no assurances that future actual results will correspond to any forward-looking statements and you should not rely on any forward-looking statements.  Additionally, all statements in this Form 10-K, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events, except as required by applicable law.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

General

Old Second Bancorp, Inc. is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware in 1981 that serves as the bank holding company for its wholly-owned subsidiary bank, Old Second National Bank.  Old Second National Bank (the “Bank”) is a national banking association headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, that operates through 63 banking centers located in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle and Will counties in Illinois.

In this report, unless the context suggests otherwise, references to the “Company” refer to Old Second Bancorp, Inc. and references to “we,” “us,” and “our” mean the combined business of the Company, the Bank and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

We conduct a full service community banking and trust business through the Bank and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, as follows:

Old Second Affordable Housing Fund, L.L.C., which was formed for the purpose of providing down payment assistance for home ownership to qualified individuals;
Station I, LLC, which was formed to hold property acquired by the Bank through foreclosure or in the ordinary course of collecting a debt previously contracted with borrowers;
River Street Advisors, LLC, which was formed in May 2010 to provide investment advisory/management services;
West Suburban Insurance Services, Inc., which we acquired in our acquisition of West Suburban Bank (discussed below). This subsidiary, which provided a review of customer insurance policies and coverages and offerings, as a broker for third party insurance companies, various insurance products, was sold on December 31, 2021, and is in the process of dissolution; and
14 additional subsidiaries acquired in our acquisition of West Suburban Bank, which were formed by West Suburban Bank to hold foreclosed real estate (12 of which are currently inactive and are in the process of dissolution).

Intercompany transactions and balances are eliminated in consolidation. We evaluate our operations as one operating segment, which is community banking. Financial information concerning our operations can be found in the financial statements in this annual report.

Recent Developments

Merger with West Suburban Bancorp, Inc.

On December 1, 2021, we completed our merger with West Suburban Bancorp, Inc. (“West Suburban”), the holding company for West Suburban Bank.  Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of West Suburban common stock was converted into 42.413 shares of our common stock and $271.15 in cash. Total cash and stock consideration paid was approximately $295.2 million. With the acquisition of West Suburban, we acquired 34 branches in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties in Illinois.

Principal Business and Services

We are a full-service banking business offering a broad range of deposit products, trust and wealth management services, and lending services, including demand, NOW, money market, savings, time deposit and individual retirement accounts; commercial, industrial, consumer and real estate lending, including installment loans, agricultural loans, lines of credit, lease financing receivables and overdraft checking; safe deposit operations, and an extensive variety of additional services tailored to the needs of individual customers, such as the acquisition of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, money orders, cashiers’ checks and foreign currency, direct deposit, discount brokerage, debit cards, credit cards, and other special services. Our lending activities include making commercial and consumer loans, primarily on a secured basis.  Commercial lending focuses on business, capital, construction, inventory, health care and real estate lending, as well as lease financing.  Installment lending includes direct loans to consumers and commercial customers.

We also offer a full complement of electronic banking services such as online and mobile banking and corporate cash management products including remote deposit capture, mobile deposit capture, investment sweep accounts, zero balance accounts, automated tax payments, ATM access, telephone banking, lockbox accounts, automated clearing house transactions, account reconciliation, controlled disbursement, detail and general information reporting, foreign and domestic wire transfers, vault services for currency and coin, and checking accounts.  Additionally, we provide a wide range of wealth management, investment, agency, and custodial services for individual, corporate, and not-for-profit clients.  These services include the administration of estates and personal trusts, as well as the management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans, and charitable foundations.  We also originate residential mortgages, offering a wide range of mortgage products including conventional, government, and jumbo loans.  We also handle secondary marketing of those mortgages.

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Market Area

Our main office is located at 37 South River Street, Aurora, Illinois 60507. The city of Aurora is located in northeastern Illinois, approximately 40 miles west of Chicago. The Bank operates primarily in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, and Will counties in Illinois, and it has developed a strong presence in these counties.  The Bank offers its services to retail, commercial, industrial, and public entity customers in the Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burlington, Carol Stream, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Darien, Downers Grove, Elburn, Elgin, Frankfort, Glendale Heights, Joliet, Kaneville, Lisle, Lombard, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace, Oswego, Ottawa, Plano, Romeoville, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Sycamore, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wasco, Westmont, Wheaton, and Yorkville communities and surrounding areas through its 63 banking locations that are located primarily in the western and southern portions of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Lending Activities

We provide a broad range of commercial and retail lending services to corporations, partnerships, individuals and government agencies.  We market our services to qualified borrowers, and our lending officers actively solicit the business of new borrowers entering our market areas as well as long-standing members of the local business community.  We have established lending policies that include a number of underwriting factors to be considered in making a loan, including location, amortization, loan to value ratio, cash flow, pricing, documentation and the credit history of the borrower.  In 2021, our total loan portfolio grew $1.39 billion year over year due primarily to the $1.50 billion of loans acquired in the West Suburban acquisition, which was partially offset by paydowns, net of originations, during the year.  We had approximately $992.2 million in loan originations in 2021, including $62.3 million of Paycheck Protection Program (”PPP”) loan originations (with $38.4 million of PPP loans outstanding at December 31, 2021).  We originated approximately $314.3 million of residential mortgage loans in 2021, which includes originations of loans held for sale of $239.2 million.  Proceeds from the sales of residential mortgage loans to third parties were $254.4 million in 2021.    

Our loan portfolio is comprised of loans in the areas of commercial real estate, residential real estate, general commercial, construction real estate, leases, and consumer lending.  As of December 31, 2021, commercial real estate loans represented approximately 44.8% (45.0% at year-end 2020) of our loan portfolio, residential mortgages represented approximately 17.1% (17.8% at year-end 2020), general commercial loans represented approximately 22.5% (20.0% at year-end 2020), home equity lines of credit represented approximately 3.7% (5.0% at year-end 2020), construction lending represented approximately 6.0% (4.8% at year-end 2020), leases represented approximately 5.1% (7.0% at year-end 2020), and consumer and other lending represented less than 1.0% (less than 1.0% at year-end 2020).  It is our policy to comply at all times with the various consumer protection laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Community Reinvestment Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

Commercial Loans.  We continue to focus on identifying commercial and industrial prospects in our new business pipeline, which led to favorable results in 2021.  As noted above, we are an active commercial lender in the Chicago metropolitan area, with primary markets in the city of Chicago, as well as west and south of Chicago.  In 2019, we enhanced our commercial lending team with new hires specializing in health care, bringing additional expertise to our developing presence in the Chicago metropolitan market, which led to continued growth in our loan portfolio.  In 2021, we continued to grow our commercial lending team with the addition of a sponsor finance team, which began to grow their line of business in early 2022, focusing on lower middle market private equity-backed businesses.  Commercial lending is comprised of revolving lines of credit for working capital, lending for capital expenditures on manufacturing equipment and lending to small business manufacturers, service companies, medical and dental entities as well as specialty contractors.  We also have commercial and industrial loans to customers in food product manufacturing, food process and packing, machinery tooling manufacturing as well as service and technology companies.  Collateral for these loans generally includes accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and real estate.  In addition, we often obtain personal guarantees to help assure repayment.  Loans may be made on an unsecured basis if warranted by the overall financial condition of the borrower.  Commercial term loans range principally from one to seven years with the majority falling in the one to five year range.  Interest rates on commercial loans are a mixture of fixed and variable rates, with these rates often tied to the prime rate, a spread over the FHLB Chicago index rate, a Treasury constant maturity index, LIBOR, or an alternative rate, such as SOFR.  

Repayment of commercial loans is largely dependent upon the cash flows generated by the operations of the commercial borrower.  Our underwriting procedures identify the sources of those cash flows and seek to match the repayment terms of the commercial loans to those sources.  Secondary repayment sources are typically found in collateralization and guarantor support.

Lease Financing Receivables. We continued growth of our lease portfolio in 2021 with organic lease originations. The collateral for lease financing receivables primarily includes construction and transportation equipment, and lease terms typically range from one to seven years, with the majority falling in the one to five year range.  Growth in this portfolio reflects management’s efforts to diversify lending product offerings, and lessen our commercial real estate loan concentration.

Commercial Real Estate Loans.  While management has been actively working to reduce our concentration in real estate loans, a large portion of the loan portfolio continues to be comprised of commercial real estate loans.  As of December 31, 2021, approximately $574.4 million, or 37.5% (36.3%, at year-end 2020) of the total commercial real estate loan portfolio of $1.53 billion consisted of loans to borrowers secured by owner occupied property.  A primary repayment risk for owner occupied commercial real estate loans is a reduction

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of or discontinuance of cash flows from underlying operations; for non-owner occupied loans, cash flow disruptions may occur with the loss of a tenant or rental income reductions.   Repayment could also be influenced by economic events, which may or may not be under the control of the borrower, or changes in regulations that negatively impact the future cash flow and market values of the affected properties.  Repayment risk can also arise from general downward shifts in the valuations of classes of properties over a given geographic area, and property valuations could continue to be affected by changes in demand and other economic factors, which could further influence cash flows associated with the borrower and/or the property.  We seek to mitigate these risks by staying apprised of market conditions and by maintaining underwriting practices that provide for adequate cash flow margins and multiple repayment sources as well as remaining in regular contact with our borrowers.  In most cases, we have collateralized these loans and/or have taken personal guarantees to help assure repayment.  Commercial real estate loans are primarily made based on the identified cash flow of the borrower and/or the property at origination and secondarily on the underlying real estate acting as collateral.  Additional credit support is provided by the borrower for most of these loans and the probability of repayment is based on the liquidation value of the real estate and enforceability of personal and corporate guarantees if any exist.

Construction Loans.  Our construction and development portfolio increased from $98.5 million at December 31, 2020, to $206.1 million at December 31, 2021, primarily due to the West Suburban acquisition, as well as organic growth.  We use underwriting and construction loan guidelines to determine whether to issue loans on build-to-suit or build out arrangements of existing borrower properties.

Construction loans are structured most often to be converted to permanent loans at the end of the construction phase or, infrequently, to be paid off upon receiving financing from another financial institution.  Construction loans are generally limited to our local market area.  Lending decisions have been based on the “as-is” and “prospective” appraised value of the property as determined by an independent appraiser, an analysis of the potential marketability and profitability of the project and identification of a cash flow source to service the permanent loan or verification of a refinancing source.  Construction loans generally have terms of 12 to 24 months, with extensions as needed.  The Bank disburses loan proceeds in increments as construction progresses and as inspections warrant.

Development lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest.  Therefore, development lending generally involves more risk than other lending because it is based on future estimates of value and economic circumstances.  While appraisals are required prior to funding, loan advances are limited to the lesser of the cost to complete or “prospective” value determined by the appraisal, therefore there is the possibility of an unforeseen event affecting the value and/or costs of the project.  Development loans are primarily used for multi-family developments, where the leasing of units is tied to local demand and rental rates, and commercial developments, where the success of the project is tied to the demand for commercial space, cap rates and leasing rates.  If the borrower defaults prior to completion of the project, we may be required to fund additional amounts so that another developer can complete the project.  We are located in an area where a large amount of development activity has occurred as rural and semi-rural areas are being suburbanized.  This type of growth presents some economic risks should local demand for commercial buildings and multi-family housing shift.  We address these risks by closely monitoring local real estate activity, adhering to proper underwriting procedures, closely monitoring construction projects, and limiting the amount of construction development lending by project type and obligor.

Residential Real Estate Loans.  Residential first mortgage loans and second mortgages are included in this category.  First mortgage loans may include fixed rate loans that are generally sold to investors.  We are a direct seller to the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) and to several large financial institutions.  We retain servicing rights for mortgages sold to FNMA and FHLMC.  The retention of such servicing rights is a source of noninterest income and also allows us an opportunity to have regular contact with mortgage customers and can help to solidify our community involvement.  Other loans that are not sold include adjustable rate mortgages, lot loans, and construction loans that are held in our portfolio.  Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) and the Veterans Administration (“VA”) loans are sold to third party investors with servicing released.  We experienced significant growth in residential mortgage purchase activity in 2020, as falling interest rates resulted in an increase in volume and mixture of both refinance and purchase financing opportunities. The growth in mortgage activity slowed in 2021, due to the continued reduced housing inventory, and in a rising rate environment, mortgage activity is anticipated to experience minimal to moderate growth rates.

Home Equity Lines of Credit.   Our home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, consist of originated as well as purchased HELOCs acquired in 2017 and 2018.  We experienced a decline in our organic home equity lending in 2021, as HELOC payoffs were accelerated on both the organic and purchased portfolios held.  This decline was offset by the purchase of HELOCs with our West Suburban acquisition.

Consumer Loans.  We also provide many types of consumer loans including primarily motor vehicle, home improvement and signature loans.  Consumer loans typically have shorter terms and lower balances with higher yields as compared to other loans but generally carry higher risks of default. Consumer loan collections are dependent on the borrower’s continuing financial stability and thus are more likely to be affected by adverse personal circumstances.  In addition, with the West Suburban acquisition, we acquired a small credit card portfolio of approximately $5.2 million at December 31, 2021, but we are anticipating exiting this line of business in 2022.

Deposit Products

We offer a full range of deposit products and services that are typically available from most banks and savings institutions. These include consumer and business checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and other time deposits of various types and

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maturity options. Interest bearing transaction accounts and time deposits are tailored to and offered at rates competitive with those offered in our primary market areas. In addition, we offer certain retirement account services. We solicit accounts from individuals, businesses, associations, organizations and governmental authorities. We believe that our significant branch network will assist us in continuing to attract and retain deposits from local customers in our market areas.

Wealth Management

We offer wide range of wealth management, investment, agency, and custodial services for individual, corporate, and not-for-profit clients.  These services include the administration of estates and personal trusts, as well as the management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans, and charitable foundations. At December 31, 2021, we had approximately $1.74 billion in assets under administration and/or management.

Competition

Our market area is highly competitive and our business activities require us to compete with many other financial institutions.  A number of these financial institutions are affiliated with large bank holding companies headquartered outside of our principal market area as well as other institutions that are based in Aurora's surrounding communities and in Chicago, Illinois.  All of these financial institutions operate banking offices in the greater Chicago area or actively compete for customers within our market area.  We also face competition from finance companies, insurance companies, credit unions, mortgage companies, securities brokerage firms, money market funds, loan production offices and other providers of financial services, including nontraditional financial technology companies or FinTech companies.  Many of our nonbank competitors which are not subject to the same extensive federal regulations that govern bank holding companies and banks, such as the Company and the Bank, may have certain competitive advantages.

We compete for loans principally through the quality of our client service and our responsiveness to client needs in addition to competing on interest rates and loan fees.  Management believes that our long-standing presence in the community and personal one-on-one service philosophy enhances our ability to compete favorably in attracting and retaining individual and business customers.  We actively solicit deposit-related clients and compete for deposits by offering personal attention, competitive interest rates, and professional services made available through experienced bankers and multiple delivery channels that fit the needs of our market. In wealth management and trust services, we compete with a variety of custodial banks as well as a diverse group of investment managers.

We believe the financial services industry will likely continue to become more competitive as further technological advances enable more financial institutions to provide expanded financial services without having a physical presence in our market.

Human Capital Resources

Our business is relationship-driven, and we believe that our continued growth and future success will depend in large part on the quality of service provided by our employees.  Accordingly, we seek to attract, develop and retain employees who can drive our financial and strategic growth objectives and build long-term stockholder value. We respect, value and invite diversity in our team members, customers, suppliers, marketplace, and community.

We seek to provide a compelling value proposition to our employees by providing market-competitive pay and benefits which include retirement programs, broad-based bonuses, health and welfare benefits, financial counseling, paid time off, family leave and flexible work schedules. We have also created internal programs to support employee development and retention, which has contributed to our long-term tenure rates, with 39% of our employees having tenure of over ten years and 29% of our employees having at least 15 years of service as of December 31, 2021. We believe that employee development and retention starts with relationships, both among employees and with the communities we serve.  Our “O2 Cares Committee,” led by three members of our executive management team, provides oversight and direction to employee ambassadors that are tasked with fulfilling the O2 Cares Mission to “Positively affect company culture through employee led initiatives focused on career development, building strong relationships, celebrating success and community service.”  In 2021, we continued to focus on the development of our employees, providing self-directed, virtual and in person opportunities to build critical skills relative to career advancement.  A few examples of offerings include titles such as Onboarding through Connections, Coaching to Connect and Leading Career Conversations. We believe these programs improve job satisfaction, retention and advancement.  In addition, we had hundreds of attendees at our very popular Executive Coffee Break sessions where we strive to make executives accessible to all employees in a casual and fun venue.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to maintain employee and customer safety, while continuing to be open for business.  In March 2020, as part of our efforts to exercise social distancing, we closed all of our banking lobbies (other than by appointment) and conducted most of our business through drive-thru tellers and through electronic and online means.  At this time, our lobbies have reopened, but we continue to encourage customers to use electronic and online means to conduct their banking activity, and we are following social distancing and personal protective protocols as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In addition, a significant percentage of our workforce has been working from home since mid-March 2020, and we expect this to continue through the majority of 2022.  In response to the pandemic, we are also monitoring employee morale and stress levels, developing new paid leave practices and providing personal protective equipment.

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At December 31, 2021, we employed 891 full-time equivalent employees.  

Available Information

We file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Those reports include our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and proxy statements. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.    

Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and proxy statements, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 may be obtained without charge upon written request to Investor Relations, Old Second Bancorp, Inc., 37 South River Street, Aurora, Illinois 60507 and are accessible at no cost on our website at www.oldsecond.com in the “Investor Relations” section, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Certain governance policies, committee charters and other investor information including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are also available on our website.  No information contained on our website is intended to be included as part of, or incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

SUPERVISION AND REGULATION

General

FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and their affiliates, are extensively regulated under federal and state law.  As a result, our  growth and earnings performance may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”).  Furthermore, taxation laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), securities laws administered by the SEC and state securities authorities, and anti-money laundering laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) have an impact on our business.  The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and accounting rules are significant to our operations and results.

Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and affiliates that is intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than stockholders.  These laws, and the regulations of the bank regulatory agencies issued under them, affect, among other things, the scope of our business, the kinds and amounts of investments we may make, reserve requirements, required capital levels relative to assets, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, our ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with our insiders and affiliates and our payment of dividends. We experienced heightened regulatory requirements and scrutiny following the 2008 global financial crisis, and as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”).    In addition, newer regulatory developments implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which enhanced and expanded certain provisions of the CARES Act, had an impact on our operations.

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

The following is a summary of certain of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and the Bank.  It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described.  The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.  These statutes and regulations are subject to change, and additional statutes, regulations, and corresponding guidance may be adopted. We are unable to predict these future changes or the effects, if any, that these changes could have on our business, revenues, and results of operations.

Legislative and Regulatory Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to cause extensive disruptions to the global economy, to businesses, and to the lives of individuals throughout the world. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law. The CARES Act was a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that was intended to provide relief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have also been a number of regulatory actions intended to help mitigate the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on borrowers, including several mandates from the bank regulatory agencies, requiring financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by the COVID-19

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pandemic. Although these programs generally have expired, governmental authorities may take additional actions in the future to limit the adverse impact of COVID-19 on borrowers and tenants.

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), originally established under the CARES Act and extended under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, authorized financial institutions to make federally-guaranteed loans to qualifying small businesses and non-profit organizations. These loans carry an interest rate of 1% per annum and a maturity of two years for loans originated prior to June 5, 2020 and five years for loans originated on or after June 5, 2020. The PPP provides that such loans may be forgiven if the borrowers meet certain requirements with respect to maintaining employee headcount and payroll and the use of the loan proceeds after the loan is originated. The initial phase of the PPP, after being extended multiple times by Congress, expired on August 8, 2020. However, on January 11, 2021, the SBA reopened the PPP for First Draw PPP loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations that did not receive a loan through the initial PPP phase. Further, on January 13, 2021, the SBA reopened the PPP for Second Draw PPP loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations that did receive a loan through the initial PPP phase. Maximum loan amounts were also increased for accommodation and food service businesses. Although the PPP ended in accordance with its terms on May 31, 2021, outstanding PPP loans continue to go through the process of either obtaining forgiveness from the SBA or pursuing claims under the SBA guaranty.

The CARES Act, as extended by certain provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, initially permitted banks to suspend requirements under GAAP for loan modifications to borrowers affected by COVID-19 that would otherwise had been characterized as troubled debt restructurings and suspended any determination related thereto if (i) the borrower was not more than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019, (ii) the modifications were related to COVID-19, and (iii) the modification occurred between March 1, 2020 and the earlier of 60 days after the date of termination of the national emergency or January 1, 2022. Federal bank regulatory authorities also issued guidance to encourage banks to make loan modifications for borrowers affected by COVID-19.

Regulatory Emphasis on Capital

Regulatory capital represents the net assets of a banking organization available to absorb losses. Because of the risks attendant to their business, FDIC-insured institutions are generally required to hold more capital than other businesses, which directly affects our earnings capabilities. While capital has historically been one of the key measures of the financial health of both bank holding companies and banks, its role became fundamentally more important in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, as the banking regulators recognized that the amount and quality of capital held by banks prior to the crisis was insufficient to absorb losses during periods of severe stress.  Certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III, discussed below, establish strengthened capital standards for banks and bank holding companies that are meaningfully more stringent than those in place previously.

Basel III Capital Standards. Regulatory capital rules known as the Basel III rules, impose minimum capital requirements for bank holding companies and banks.  The Basel III rules apply to all national and state banks and savings and loan associations regardless of size and bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies other than “small bank holding companies,” generally holding companies with consolidated assets of less than $3 billion. Following the merger with West Suburban, the Company is no longer considered a “small bank holding company” as of December 31, 2021.  

The Basel III rules require the Company and the Bank to maintain the following minimum capital levels:

a common equity Tier 1 (“CET1”), risk-based capital ratio of 4.5%;  
a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6%;  
a total risk-based capital ratio of 8%; and
a leverage ratio of 4%.

In order to avoid restrictions on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments to executives, under Basel III, a banking organization must maintain a “capital conservation buffer” on top of its minimum risk-based capital requirements. This buffer must consist solely of CET1 capital, but the buffer applies to all three risk-based measurements (CET1, Tier 1 capital and total capital). The 2.5% capital conservation buffer effectively results in the following effective minimum capital ratios (taking into account the capital conservation buffer): (i) a CET1 capital ratio of 7.0%, (ii) a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.5%, and (iii) a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.5%.

As part of its response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first quarter of 2020, U.S. federal regulatory authorities issued an interim final rule that provides banking organizations that adopted the new credit impairment model, the Current Expected Credit Loss, or CECL, during the 2020 calendar year with the option to delay for two years the estimated impact of CECL on regulatory capital relative to regulatory capital determined under the prior incurred loss methodology, followed by a three-year transition period to phase out the aggregate amount of the capital benefit provided during the initial two-year delay (i.e., a five-year transition in total).  In connection with our adoption of CECL on January 1, 2020, we elected to utilize the five-year CECL transition.  The cumulative amount that is not recognized in regulatory capital, in addition to the $3.8 million Day One impact of CECL adoption, will be phased in at 25% per year beginning January 1, 2022. As of December 31, 2021, this additional component added to capital has been materially reversed over the past year, as provision for credit loss reversals of $10.3 million were recorded in 2021, excluding the impact of the West Suburban acquisition and resultant PCD loan marks,   As of December 31, 2021, capital measures of the Company exclude $3.8 million, which is primarily the Day One impact of CECL adoption to retained earnings recorded in 2020.

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In November 2019, the federal banking regulators published final rules implementing a simplified measure of capital adequacy for certain banking organizations that have less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets.  Under the final rules, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, depository institutions and depository institution holding companies that have less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets and meet other qualifying criteria, including a leverage ratio of greater than 9%, off-balance-sheet exposures of 25% or less of total consolidated assets, and trading assets plus trading liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets, are deemed “qualifying community banking organizations” and are eligible to opt into the “community bank leverage ratio framework.”  A qualifying community banking organization that elects to use the community bank leverage ratio framework and that maintains a leverage ratio of greater than 9% is considered to have satisfied the generally applicable risk-based and leverage capital requirements under the Basel III rules and, if applicable, is considered to have met the “well capitalized” ratio requirements for purposes of its primary federal regulator’s prompt corrective action rules, discussed below.  We do not have any immediate plans to elect to use the community bank leverage ratio framework but may make such an election in the future.

Well-Capitalized Requirements. The ratios described above are minimum standards in order for banking organizations to be considered “adequately capitalized.”  Bank regulatory agencies uniformly encourage banks to hold more capital and be “well-capitalized” and, to that end, federal law and regulations provide various incentives for banking organizations to maintain regulatory capital at levels in excess of minimum regulatory requirements.  For example, a banking organization that is well-capitalized may: (i) qualify for exemptions from prior notice or application requirements otherwise applicable to certain types of activities; (ii) qualify for expedited processing of other required notices or applications; and (iii) accept, roll-over or renew brokered deposits.  Higher capital levels could also be required if warranted by the particular circumstances or risk profiles of individual banking organizations.  For example, the Federal Reserve’s capital guidelines contemplate that additional capital may be required to take adequate account of, among other things, interest rate risk, or the risks posed by concentrations of credit, nontraditional activities or securities trading activities.  Further, any banking organization experiencing or anticipating significant growth would be expected to maintain capital ratios, including tangible capital positions (i.e., Tier 1 Capital less all intangible assets), well above the minimum levels.

Under the capital regulations of the OCC, in order to be well-capitalized, a banking organization must maintain:

A CET1 ratio to risk-weighted assets of 6.5% or more;
A ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total risk-weighted assets of  8%;
A ratio of Total Capital to total risk-weighted assets of 10%; and
A leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total adjusted average quarterly assets of 5% or greater.

It is possible under the Basel III Rule to be well-capitalized while remaining out of compliance with the capital conservation buffer discussed above.

As of December 31, 2021, the Bank was well-capitalized, as defined by OCC regulations.  As of December 31, 2021, we had regulatory capital in excess of the Federal Reserve’s requirements and met the Basel III Rule requirements to be well-capitalized.

Prompt Corrective Action.  An FDIC-insured institution’s capital plays an important role in connection with regulatory enforcement as well. Federal law provides the federal banking regulators with broad power to take prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized institutions.  The extent of the regulators’ powers depends on whether the institution in question is “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized,” in each case as defined by regulation.  Depending upon the capital category to which an institution is assigned, the regulators’ corrective powers include: (i) requiring the institution to submit a capital restoration plan; (ii) limiting the institution’s asset growth and restricting its activities; (iii) requiring the institution to issue additional capital stock (including additional voting stock) or to sell itself; (iv) restricting transactions between the institution and its affiliates; (v) restricting the interest rate that the institution may pay on deposits; (vi) ordering a new election of directors of the institution; (vii) requiring that senior executive officers or directors be dismissed; (viii) prohibiting the institution from accepting deposits from correspondent banks; (ix) requiring the institution to divest certain subsidiaries; (x) prohibiting the payment of principal or interest on subordinated debt; and (xi) ultimately, appointing a receiver for the institution.

Regulation and Supervision of the Company

General.  The Company, as the sole stockholder of the Bank, is a bank holding company.  As a bank holding company, the Company is registered with, and subject to regulation, supervision and enforcement by, the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act, as amended (the “BHCA”).  The Company is legally obligated to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to the Bank and to commit resources to support the Bank in circumstances where the Company might not otherwise do so.  Under the BHCA, the Company is subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve and is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of the Company’s operations and such additional information regarding the Company and the Bank as the Federal Reserve may require.  

Permitted Activities.  The BHCA generally prohibits the Company from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries.  This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions.  The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve to be “so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto.”  This authority would permit the Company to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development)

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and mortgage banking and brokerage services.  The BHCA does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies.

As a bank holding company, we also can elect to be treated as a “financial holding company,” which would allow us to engage in a broader array of activities. In sum, a financial holding company can engage in activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to financial activities, including insurance underwriting, sales and brokerage activities; providing financial and investment advisory services and underwriting services; and engaging in limited merchant banking activities. We have not sought financial holding company status, but we may elect that status in the future as our business matures. If we were to elect in writing for financial holding company status, we would be required to be well capitalized and well managed, and each insured depository institution we control would also have to be well capitalized, well managed and have at least a satisfactory rating under the Community Reinvestment Act (discussed below).  

Acquisition Activities.  The primary purpose of a bank holding company is to control and manage banks.  The BHCA generally requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company or any acquisition by a bank holding company of another bank or bank holding company.  In addition, the prior approval of the OCC is required for a national bank to merge with another bank or purchase the assets or assume the deposits of another bank.  In determining whether to approve a proposed bank acquisition, federal bank regulators will consider, among other factors, the effect of the acquisition on competition, the public benefits expected to be received from the acquisition, the projected capital ratios and levels on a post-acquisition basis, and the acquiring institution’s record of addressing the credit needs of the communities it serves, including the needs of low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of the bank, under the CRA.

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Among other initiatives, the Executive Order encouraged the federal banking agencies to review their current merger oversight practices under the BHCA and the Bank Merger Act and adopt a plan for revitalization of such practices. There are many steps that must be taken by the agencies before any formal changes to the framework for evaluating bank mergers can be finalized and the prospects for such action are uncertain at this time; however, the adoption of more expansive or prescriptive standards may have an impact on our acquisition activities.  

Change in Control.  Under the Change in Bank Control Act, a person or company is required to file a notice with the Federal Reserve if it will, as a result of the transaction, own or control 10% or more of any class of voting securities or direct the management or policies of a bank or bank holding company and either if the bank or bank holding company has registered securities or if the acquirer would be the largest holder of that class of voting securities after the acquisition. For a change in control at the holding company level, both the Federal Reserve and the subsidiary bank’s primary federal regulator must approve the change in control; at the bank level, only the bank’s primary federal regulator is involved.

In addition, the BHCA prohibits any entity from acquiring 25% (5% if the acquirer is a bank holding company) or more of a bank holding company’s voting securities, or otherwise obtaining control or a controlling influence over the management or policies of a bank or bank holding company without regulatory approval. On January 30, 2020, the Federal Reserve issued a final rule (which became effective September 30, 2020) that clarified and codified the Federal Reserve’s standards for determining whether one company has control over another. The final rule established four categories of tiered presumptions of noncontrol that are based on the percentage of voting shares held by the investor (less than 5%, 5-9.9%, 10-14.9% and 15-24.9%) and the presence of other indicia of control. As the percentage of ownership increases, fewer indicia of control are permitted without falling outside of the presumption of noncontrol. These indicia of control include nonvoting equity ownership, director representation, management interlocks, business relationship and restrictive contractual covenants. Under the final rule, investors can hold up to 24.9% of the voting securities and up to 33% of the total equity of a company without necessarily having a controlling influence.

Capital Requirements.  The Federal Reserve imposes certain capital requirements on a bank holding company under the BHCA, including a minimum leverage ratio and a minimum ratio of “qualifying” capital to risk-weighted assets.  These requirements are essentially the same as those that apply to the Bank and are described above under “Regulatory Emphasis on Capital.”  Subject to certain restrictions, we are able to borrow money to make a capital contribution to the Bank, and these loans may be repaid from dividends paid from the Bank to the Company.  Our ability to pay dividends depends on, among other things, the Bank’s ability to pay dividends to us, which is subject to regulatory restrictions as described below in “Regulation and Supervision of the Bank—Dividend Payments.”  We are also able to raise capital for contribution to the Bank by issuing securities without having to receive regulatory approval, subject to compliance with federal and state securities laws.

Dividend Payments.  The Company’s ability to pay dividends to its stockholders may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies.  As a Delaware corporation, the Company is subject to the limitations of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”).  The DGCL allows the Company to pay dividends only out of its surplus (as defined and computed in accordance with the provisions of the DGCL) or if the Company has no such surplus, out of its net profits for the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding fiscal year.  

As a general matter, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce dividends to stockholders if: (i) the company's net income available to stockholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the company's capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios.  The Federal Reserve also possesses enforcement powers over bank holding companies and their non-bank subsidiaries to prevent or remedy actions that represent unsafe or unsound practices or violations of applicable statutes and regulations. Among these powers is the ability to proscribe the payment of dividends by banks and

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bank holding companies.  In addition, under the Basel III Rule, financial institutions that seek to pay dividends will have to maintain the 2.5% capital conservation buffer.  See “Regulatory Emphasis on Capital – Basel III Capital Standards” above.

Incentive Compensation. In addition to the potential restrictions on discretionary bonus compensation under the Basel III rules, the federal bank regulatory agencies have issued guidance on incentive compensation policies (the “Incentive Compensation Guidance”) intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of financial institutions do not undermine the safety and soundness of such institutions by encouraging excessive risk-taking.  The Incentive Compensation Guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an institution, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon the key principles that a financial institution’s incentive compensation arrangements should comply with the following principles: (i) provide employees incentives that appropriately balance risk and reward; (ii) be compatible with effective controls and risk-management; and (iii) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors.  

The scope and content of federal bank regulatory agencies’ policies on executive compensation are continuing to develop and are likely to continue evolving in the near future. In 2016, federal agencies proposed regulations which could significantly change the regulation of incentive compensation programs at financial institutions. The proposal would create four tiers of institutions based on asset size. Institutions in the top two tiers would be subject to rules much more detailed and proscriptive than are currently in effect. If interpreted aggressively by the regulators, the proposed rules could be used to prevent, as a practical matter, larger institutions from engaging in certain lines of business where substantial commission and bonus pool arrangements are the norm. In the 2016 proposal, the top two tiers included institutions with more than $50 billion of assets, which would not currently apply to us. We cannot predict what final rules may be adopted, nor how they may be implemented and, therefore, it cannot be determined at this time whether compliance with such policies will adversely affect our ability to hire, retain and motivate our key employees.

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

Corporate Governance.  The Dodd-Frank Act addressed many investor protection, corporate governance and executive compensation matters that affect most U.S. publicly traded companies.  The Dodd-Frank Act (i) grants stockholders of U.S. publicly traded companies an advisory vote on executive compensation and so-called “golden parachute” payments, (ii) enhances independence requirements for compensation committee members, (iii) requires the SEC to adopt rules directing national securities exchanges to establish listing standards requiring all listed companies to adopt incentive-based compensation clawback policies for executive officers, and (iv) provides the SEC with authority to adopt proxy access rules that would allow stockholders of publicly traded companies to nominate candidates for election as a director and have those nominees included in a company’s proxy materials.  The SEC has completed the bulk (although not all) of the rulemaking necessary to implement these provisions.  However, on October 14, 2021, the SEC signaled a renewed interest in this rulemaking initiative by re-opening the comment period on a proposed rule issued originally in 2015 regarding clawbacks of incentive-based executive compensation.

Regulation and Supervision of the Bank

General.  The Bank is a national bank, chartered by the OCC under the National Bank Act.  The deposit accounts of the Bank are insured by the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund (the “DIF”) to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations, currently $250,000 per insured depositor category.  As a national bank, the Bank is subject to the examination, supervision, reporting and enforcement requirements of the OCC, the chartering authority for national banks.  The FDIC, as administrator of the DIF, also has regulatory authority over the Bank.

Deposit Insurance.  As an FDIC-insured institution, the Bank is required to pay deposit insurance premium assessments to the FDIC.  Effective July 1, 2016, the FDIC changed its pricing system for banks under $10 billion, so that minimum and maximum initial base assessment rates are based on supervisory ratings.  The initial base assessment rates currently range from three basis points to 30 basis points.  At least semi-annually, the FDIC updates its loss and income projections for the DIF and, if needed, increases or decreases the assessment rates, following notice and comment on proposed rulemaking.

The assessment base against which an FDIC-insured institution’s deposit insurance premiums paid to the DIF are calculated based on its average consolidated total assets less its average tangible equity.  This method shifts the burden of deposit insurance premiums toward those large depository institutions that rely on funding sources other than U.S. deposits. 

The reserve ratio is the DIF balance divided by estimated insured deposits.  The Dodd-Frank Act altered the minimum reserve ratio of the DIF, increasing the minimum from 1.15% to 1.35% of the estimated amount of total insured deposits, and eliminating the requirement that the FDIC pay dividends to FDIC-insured institutions when the reserve ratio exceeds certain thresholds.  The reserve ratio reached 1.36% on September 30, 2018.  Because the reserve ratio has reached 1.35%, two deposit insurance assessment changes occurred under FDIC regulations: (1) surcharges on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more (large institutions) ceased; and (2) banks with assets of less than $10 billion, such as us, received assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the growth in the reserve ratio from between 1.15% and 1.35%, which were applied when the reserve ratio was at or above 1.38%.  These assessment credits started with the June 30, 2019, assessment invoiced in September 2019 and were fully used by March 31, 2020.  

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Supervisory Assessments.  National banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the OCC to fund the operations of the OCC.  The amount of the assessment is calculated using a formula that considers the Bank’s size and its supervisory condition.  During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Bank paid supervisory assessments to the OCC totaling $474,000.

Capital Requirements.  Banks are generally required to maintain capital levels in excess of other businesses.  For a discussion of capital requirements, see “Regulatory Emphasis on Capital” above.

Dividend Payments.  The primary source of funds for the Company is dividends from the Bank. Under the National Bank Act, a national bank may pay dividends out of its undivided profits in such amounts and at such times as the bank’s board of directors deems prudent.  Without prior OCC approval, however, a national bank may not pay dividends in any calendar year that, in the aggregate, exceed the bank’s year-to-date net income plus the bank’s retained net income for the two preceding years.  The payment of dividends by any FDIC-insured institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and an FDIC-insured institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized.  As described above, the Bank exceeded its capital requirements under applicable guidelines as of December 31, 2021.  Notwithstanding the availability of funds for dividends, however, the OCC may prohibit the payment of dividends by the Bank if it determines such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice.  In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends will have to maintain the 2.5% capital conservation buffer.  See “Regulatory Emphasis on Capital” above.

Affiliate and Insider Transactions.  The Bank is subject to certain restrictions imposed by federal law on “covered transactions” between the Bank and its “affiliates.”  The Company is an affiliate of the Bank for purposes of these restrictions, and covered transactions subject to the restrictions include extensions of credit to the Company, investments in the stock or other securities of the Company and the acceptance of the stock or other securities of the Company as collateral for loans made by the Bank.  The Dodd-Frank Act enhanced the requirements for certain transactions with affiliates, including an expansion of the definition of “covered transactions” and an increase in the amount of time for which collateral requirements regarding covered transactions must be maintained.

Certain limitations and reporting requirements are also placed on extensions of credit by the Bank to its directors and officers, to directors and officers of the Company and its subsidiaries, to principal stockholders of the Company and to “related interests” of such directors, officers and principal stockholders.  In addition, federal law and regulations may affect the terms upon which any person who is a director or officer of the Company or the Bank, or a principal stockholder of the Company, may obtain credit from banks with which the Bank maintains a correspondent relationship.  

On December 22, 2020, the federal banking agencies issued an interagency statement extending the temporary relief from enforcement action against banks or asset managers, which become principal stockholders of banks, with respect to certain extensions of credit by banks that otherwise would violate Regulation O, provided the asset managers and banks satisfy certain conditions designed to ensure that there is a lack of control by the asset manager over the bank.  This relief has been extended and will expire on the sooner of January 1, 2023, or the effective date of a final Federal Reserve rule having a revision to Regulation O that addresses the treatment of extensions of credit by a bank to fund complex-controlled portfolio companies that are insiders of a bank.

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

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

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

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Branching Authority. National banks headquartered in Illinois, such as the Bank, have the same branching rights in Illinois as banks chartered under Illinois law, subject to OCC approval.  Illinois law grants Illinois-chartered banks the authority to establish branches anywhere in the State of Illinois, subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

The Dodd-Frank Act permits well-capitalized and well-managed banks to establish new interstate branches or acquire individual branches of a bank in another state (rather than the acquisition of an out-of-state bank in its entirety) without impediments.

Financial Subsidiaries.  Under federal law and OCC regulations, national banks are authorized to engage, through “financial subsidiaries,” in any activity that is permissible for a financial holding company and any activity that the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Federal Reserve, determines is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity, except (i) insurance underwriting, (ii) real estate development or real estate investment activities (unless otherwise permitted by law), (iii) insurance company portfolio investments and (iv) merchant banking.  The authority of a national bank to invest in a financial subsidiary is subject to a number of conditions, including, among other things, requirements that the bank must be well-managed and well-capitalized (after deducting from capital the bank’s outstanding investments in financial subsidiaries).  The Bank has not applied for approval to establish any financial subsidiaries.

Federal Home Loan Bank System.  The Bank is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (the “FHLBC”), which serves as a central credit facility for its members.  The FHLBC is funded primarily from proceeds from the sale of obligations of the FHLBC system.  It makes loans to member banks in the form of FHLBC advances.  All advances from the FHLBC are required to be fully collateralized as determined by the FHLBC.

Transaction Account Reserves.  Federal Reserve regulations have historically required FDIC-insured institutions to maintain reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily NOW and regular checking accounts). As of March 26, 2020, the FRBC eliminated reserve requirements for certain depository institutions, including the Bank.  As such, there was no reserve requirement as of December 31, 2020 or 2021.  The nature of the Company’s business requires that it maintain amounts with other banks and federal funds which, at times, may exceed federally insured limits.  Management monitors these correspondent relationships, and the Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts. These reserve requirements are subject to annual adjustment by the Federal Reserve.

Community Reinvestment Act Requirements.  The Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) requires the Bank to have a continuing and affirmative obligation in a safe and sound manner to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.  Federal regulators regularly assess the Bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its communities. Applications for additional acquisitions would be affected by the evaluation of the Bank’s effectiveness in meeting its CRA requirements.  The Bank received an overall “outstanding” rating on its most recent CRA performance evaluation.

In December 2019, the OCC and the FDIC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking intended to (i) clarify which activities qualify for CRA credit; (ii) update where activities count for CRA credit; (iii) create a more transparent and objective method for measuring CRA performance; and (iv) provide for more transparent, consistent, and timely CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting. However, the Federal Reserve has not joined the proposed rulemaking. In May 2020, the OCC issued its final CRA rule, which was later rescinded in December 2021, replacing it with a rule based on the rules adopted jointly by the federal banking agencies in 1995. On the same day that the OCC announced its plans to rescind the CRA final rule, the OCC, FDIC, and Federal Reserve announced that they are working together to “strengthen and modernize the rules implementing the CRA.”  The effects on the Bank of any potential change to the CRA rules will depend on the final form of any federal rulemaking and cannot be predicted at this time. Management will continue to evaluate any changes to the CRA’s regulations and their impact to the Bank.

Fair Lending Requirements.  We are subject to certain fair lending requirements and reporting obligations involving lending operations. A number of laws and regulations provide these fair lending requirements and reporting obligations, including, at the federal level, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, and Regulation B, as well as the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and regulations implementing the FHA. ECOA and Regulation B prohibit discrimination in any aspect of a credit transaction based on a number of prohibited factors, including race or color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, the applicant’s receipt of income derived from public assistance programs, and the applicant’s exercise, in good faith, of any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. ECOA and Regulation B include lending acts and practices that are specifically prohibited, permitted, or required, and these laws and regulations proscribe data collection requirements, legal action statute of limitations, and disclosure of the consumer’s ability to receive a copy of any appraisal(s) and valuation(s) prepared in connection with certain loans secured by dwellings. FHA prohibits discrimination in all aspects of residential real-estate related transactions based on prohibited factors, including race or color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination in credit transactions on the basis of prohibited factors, these laws and regulations can cause a lender to be liable for policies that result in a disparate treatment of or have a disparate impact on a protected class of persons. If a pattern or practice of lending discrimination is alleged by a regulator, then the matter may be referred by the agency to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for investigation. In December 2012, the DOJ and CFPB entered into a Memorandum of Understanding under which the agencies have agreed to share information, coordinate investigations, and have generally committed to strengthen their coordination efforts. In addition to substantive penalties and corrective measures that may be required for a violation of certain fair lending laws, the federal banking agencies may take compliance with fair lending requirements into account when regulating and supervising other activities of the bank, including in acting on expansionary proposals.

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Anti-Money Laundering.  As a financial institution, we must maintain anti-money laundering programs that include established internal policies, procedures and controls, a designated compliance officer, an ongoing employee training program, and testing of the program by an independent audit function. The program must comply with the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). Financial institutions are prohibited from entering into specified financial transactions and account relationships and must meet enhanced standards for due diligence and “knowing your customer” in their dealings with foreign financial institutions, foreign customers and other high risk customers. Financial institutions must also take reasonable steps to conduct enhanced scrutiny of account relationships to guard against money laundering and to report any suspicious transactions.  Financial institutions must comply with requirements regarding risk-based procedures for conducing ongoing customer due diligence, which requires us to take appropriate steps to understand the nature and purpose of customer relationships and identify and verify the identity of the beneficial owners of legal entity customers.

Current laws, such as the USA PATRIOT Act (which amended the BSA), as described below, provide law enforcement authorities with increased access to financial information maintained by banks. Anti-money laundering obligations have been substantially strengthened as a result of the USA PATRIOT Act. Bank regulators routinely examine institutions for compliance with these obligations, and this area has become a particular focus of the regulators in recent years. Federal regulators evaluate the effectiveness of an applicant in combating money laundering when determining whether to approve a proposed bank merger, acquisition, restructuring, or other expansionary activity. The regulators and other governmental authorities have been active in imposing “cease and desist” orders and significant money penalty sanctions against institutions found to be in violation of the anti-money laundering regulations.

On January 1, 2021, Congress overrode former President Trump’s veto and thereby enacted the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”). The NDAA provides for one of the most significant overhauls of the BSA and related anti-money laundering laws since the USA Patriot Act. Notably, changes include:

expansion of coordination and information sharing efforts among the agencies tasked with administering anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the primary federal banking regulators, federal law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, the intelligence community, and financial institutions;
providing additional penalties with respect to violations of BSA and enhancing the powers of FinCEN;
significant updates to the beneficial ownership collection rules and the creation of a registry of beneficial ownership which will track the beneficial owners of reporting companies which may be shared with law enforcement and financial institutions conducting due diligence under certain circumstances;
improvements to existing information sharing provisions that permit financial institutions to share information relating to SARs with foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates (except those located in China, Russia, or certain other jurisdictions) for the purpose of combating illicit finance risks; and
enhanced whistleblower protection provisions, allowing whistleblower(s) who provide original information which leads to successful enforcement of anti-money laundering laws in certain judicial or administrative actions resulting in certain monetary sanctions to receive up to 30% of the amount that is collected in monetary sanctions as well as increased protections.

Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate.  Concentration risk exists when FDIC-insured institutions deploy too many assets to any one industry or segment.  A concentration in commercial real estate is one example of regulatory concern.  The interagency Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices guidance (“CRE Guidance”) provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant commercial real estate loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans outstanding plus any undrawn commitment exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans outstanding plus any undrawn commitment exceeding 100% of capital.  The CRE Guidance does not limit banks’ levels of commercial real estate lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their commercial real estate concentrations.  On December 18, 2015, the federal banking agencies issued a statement to reinforce prudent risk-management practices related to CRE lending, having observed substantial growth in many CRE asset and lending markets, increased competitive pressures, rising CRE concentrations in banks, and an easing of CRE underwriting standards.  The federal bank agencies reminded FDIC-insured institutions to maintain underwriting discipline and exercise prudent risk-management practices to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks arising from CRE lending.  In addition, FDIC-insured institutions must maintain capital commensurate with the level and nature of their CRE concentration risk.

Based on the Bank’s loan portfolio as of December 31, 2021, concentrations in commercial real estate exceeded the 300% guideline for non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans, primarily due to additional loans acquired from the West Suburban acquisition.  We continue to monitor concentration levels as we seek to manage to an acceptable level of risk with all loan portfolio segments.

Financial Privacy and Cybersecurity.  Under privacy protection provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and related regulations, we are limited in our ability to disclose non-public information about consumers to nonaffiliated 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 nonaffiliated third party.  Federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines for establishing information security standards and cybersecurity programs for implementing safeguards under the supervision of the board of directors.  These

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guidelines, along with related regulatory materials, increasingly focus on risk management and processes related to information technology and the use of third parties in the provision of financial services.

Consumers must be notified in the event of a data breach under applicable state laws. Multiple states and Congress are considering laws or regulations which could create new individual privacy rights and impose increased obligations on companies handling personal data. For example, on November 18, 2021, the federal financial regulatory agencies published a final rule that will impose upon banking organizations and their service providers new notification requirements for significant cybersecurity incidents. Specifically, the final rule requires banking organizations to notify their primary federal regulator as soon as possible and no later than 36 hours after the discovery of a “computer-security incident” that rises to the level of a “notification incident” within the meaning attributed to those terms by the final rule. Banks’ service providers are required under the final rule to notify any affected bank to or on behalf of which the service provider provides services “as soon as possible” after determining that it has experienced an incident that materially disrupts or degrades, or is reasonably likely to materially disrupt or degrade, covered services provided to such bank for as much as four hours. The final rule will take effect on April 1, 2022 and banks and their service providers must be in compliance with the requirements of the rule by May 1, 2022.

Consumer Protection Regulations.  The activities of the Bank are subject to a variety of statutes and regulations designed to protect consumers.  This includes Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits engaging in any unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”). UDAAP claims involve detecting and assessing risks to consumers and to markets for consumer financial products and services. Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. The loan operations of the Bank are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, such as:

 

the Truth-In-Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z, governing disclosures of credit and servicing terms to consumer borrowers and including substantial requirements for mortgage lending and servicing, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act;
the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C, requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the communities they serve;
ECOA and Regulation B, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or other prohibited factors in any aspect of a credit transaction;
the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and Regulation V, as well as the rules and regulations of the FDIC governing the use of consumer reports, provision of information to credit reporting agencies, certain identity theft protections and certain credit and other disclosures;
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Regulation F, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies and intending to eliminate abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices;  
the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and Regulation X, which governs various aspects of  residential mortgage loans, including the settlement and servicing process, dictates certain disclosures to be provided to consumers, and imposes other requirements related to compensation of service providers, insurance escrow accounts, and loss mitigation procedures;
the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (“SAFE Act”) which mandates a nationwide licensing and registration system for residential mortgage loan originators. The SAFE Act also prohibits individuals from engaging in the business of a residential mortgage loan originator without first obtaining and maintaining annually registration as either a federal or state licensed mortgage loan originator;
the Homeowners Protection Act, or the PMI Cancellation Act, provides requirements relating to private mortgage insurance on residential mortgages, including the cancelation and termination of PMI, disclosure and notification requirements, and the requirement to return unearned premiums;
the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in all aspects of residential real-estate related transactions based on race or color, national origin, religion, sex, and other prohibited factors;
the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and Military Lending Act, providing certain protections for servicemembers, members of the military, and their respective spouses, dependents and others; and
Section 106(c)(5) of the Housing and Urban Development Act requires making home ownership available to eligible homeowners.

The deposit operations of the Bank are also subject to federal laws, such as:

the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDIA”), which, among other things, limits the amount of deposit insurance available per insured depositor category to $250,000 and imposes other limits on deposit-taking;
the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records;
the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E, which governs the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of consumers and financial institutions using electronic fund transfer services, and which generally mandates disclosure requirements, establishes limitations on liability applicable to consumers for unauthorized electronic fund transfers,

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dictates certain error resolution processes, and applies other requirements relating to automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts;
the Expedited Funds Availability Act and Regulation CC, setting forth requirements to make funds deposited into transaction accounts available according to specified time schedules, disclose funds availability policies to customers, and relating to the collection and return of checks and electronic checks, including the rules regarding the creation or receipt of substitute checks; and
the Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD, which requires depository institutions to provide disclosures so that consumers can make meaningful comparisons about depository institutions and accounts.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) is an independent regulatory authority housed within the Federal Reserve. The CFPB has broad authority to regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products and services. The CFPB has the authority to supervise and examine depository institutions with more than $10 billion in assets for compliance with federal consumer laws. The authority to supervise and examine depository institutions with $10 billion or less in assets, such as us, for compliance with federal consumer laws remains largely with those institutions’ primary regulators. However, the CFPB may participate in examinations of these smaller institutions on a “sampling basis” and may refer potential enforcement actions against such institutions to their primary regulators. As such, the CFPB may participate in examinations of the Bank. In addition, states are permitted to adopt consumer protection laws and regulations that are stricter than the regulations promulgated by the CFPB, and state attorneys general are permitted to enforce consumer protection rules adopted by the CFPB against certain institutions.

The CFPB has issued a number of significant rules that impact nearly every aspect of the lifecycle of consumer financial products and services, including rules regarding residential mortgage loans. These rules implement Dodd-Frank Act amendments to ECOA, TILA and RESPA. Among other things, the rules adopted by the CFPB require banks to: (i) develop and implement procedures to ensure compliance with a “reasonable ability-to-repay” test; (ii) implement new or revised disclosures, policies and procedures for originating and servicing mortgages, including, but not limited to, pre-loan counseling, early intervention with delinquent borrowers and specific loss mitigation procedures for loans secured by a borrower’s principal residence, and mortgage origination disclosures, which integrate existing requirements under TILA and RESPA; (iii) comply with additional restrictions on mortgage loan originator hiring and compensation; and (iv) comply with new disclosure requirements and standards for appraisals and certain financial products.

Bank regulators take into account compliance with consumer protection laws when considering approval of any proposed expansionary proposals.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

There are risks, many beyond our control, which could cause our results to differ significantly from management’s expectations. Some of these risk factors are described below.  Any factor described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K could, by itself or together with one or more other factors, adversely affect our business, results of operations and/or financial condition.  Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently consider to not be material also may materially and adversely affect us. In assessing these risks, you should also refer to other information disclosed in our SEC filings, including the financial statements and notes thereto.  The risks discussed below also include forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ substantially from those discussed or implied in these forward-looking statements.

Risks Related to Economic Conditions, including the Impact of COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could have an adverse impact on our financial performance and results of operations.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved from its emergence in early 2020, so has its impact. Many states have re-instituted, or strongly encouraged, varying levels of quarantines and restrictions on travel and in some cases have at times limited operations of certain businesses and taken other restrictive measures designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Governments and businesses have also instituted vaccine mandates and testing requirements for employees. While vaccine availability and uptake has increased, the longer-term macro-economic effects on global supply chains, inflation, labor shortages and wage increases continue to impact many industries, including the collateral underlying certain of our loans. Moreover, with the potential for new strains of COVID-19 to emerge, governments and businesses may re-impose aggressive measures to help slow its spread in the future. For this reason, among others, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the potential impacts are uncertain and difficult to assess.

Although financial markets have largely rebounded from the significant declines that occurred earlier in the pandemic and global economic conditions showed signs of improvement during the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021, many of the circumstances that arose or became more pronounced after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, which may subject us to a number of risks, including, without limitation, the following:

lower loan demand and an increased risk of loan delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures due a number of factors, including continuing supply chain issues, decreased consumer and business confidence and economic activity;

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collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, which may reduce our ability to liquidate such collateral and could cause loan losses to increase and impair our ability over the long run to maintain our loan origination volume;
volatility in financial and capital markets, interest rates, and exchange rates;
a significant decline in the market value of our common stock, which may result in us recording a goodwill impairment charge, which could adversely affect our results of operations;
increased demands on capital and liquidity;
a reduction in the value of the assets that we manage or otherwise administer or service for others, affecting related fee income and demand for our services;
heightened cybersecurity, information security, and operational risks as cybercriminals attempt to profit from the disruption resulting from the pandemic given increased online and remote activity, including as a result of work-from-home arrangements;
disruptions to business operations experienced by counterparties and service providers;
increased risk of business disruption from the loss of employees due to their inability to work effectively because of illness, quarantines, government actions, failures in systems or technology that disrupt work-from-home arrangements, or other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the increase in employee resignations currently taking place throughout the United States in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is commonly referred to as the “great resignation”; and
decreased demands for our products and services.

We have also experienced and may experience other negative impacts to our business as a result of the pandemic that could exacerbate other risks discussed in this “Risk Factors” section. The ongoing fluidity of this situation precludes any prediction as to the ultimate adverse impact of COVID-19 on economic and market conditions, and, as a result, presents material uncertainty and risk with respect to us.  

In addition, COVID-19 initially caused us to materially increase our allowance for credit losses (“ACL”) under the current expected credit losses, or CECL, methodology. During the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded a $14.1 million net increase in our ACL, bringing our total ACL to $33.9 million as of December 31, 2020. During the year ended December 31, 2021, we recorded an aggregate $9.5 million decrease in our ACL related to legacy Company credit losses, a $12.1 million increase related to the West Suburban acquired loan Day One fair valuation, a $12.2 million increase related to the West Suburban Day Two non-PCD life of loan credit loss estimates, and $4.4 million of net charge-offs, bringing our total ACL to $44.3 million as of December 31, 2021. The ACL reflects, among other things, the macroeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the adverse macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic persist or worsen, we may further materially increase our ACL, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business may be adversely affected by economic conditions.

Our financial performance generally, and in particular, the ability of borrowers to pay interest on and repay principal of outstanding loans and the value of collateral securing those loans, as well as demand for loans and other products and services we offer and whose success we rely on to drive our growth, is highly dependent upon the business environment in the primary markets where we operate and in the United States as a whole.  Unlike larger financial institutions that are more geographically diversified, our banking franchise is headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, and is concentrated in the suburbs west and south of the Chicago metropolitan area.  In addition, the State of Illinois continues to experience severe fiscal challenges, which could result in future state tax increases, impact the economic vitality of the businesses operating in Illinois, encourage businesses to leave the state or discourage new employers to start or move businesses to Illinois, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Unfavorable market conditions can result in a deterioration in the credit quality of our borrowers and the demand for our products and services, an increase in the number of loan delinquencies, defaults and charge-offs, foreclosures, additional provisions for loan losses, adverse asset values of the collateral securing our loans and an overall material adverse effect on the quality of our loan portfolio, and a reduction in assets under management or administration. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions can be caused by declines in economic growth, business activity or investor or business confidence; limitations on the availability of or increases in the cost of credit and capital; increases in inflation or interest rates; high unemployment; natural disasters; epidemics and pandemics (such as COVID-19); state or local government insolvency; or a combination of these or other factors.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is fluid and continues to evolve and there is pervasive uncertainty surrounding the future economic conditions that will emerge in the months and years following the onset of the pandemic. Moreover, as economic conditions relating to the pandemic have improved over time, the Federal Reserve has shifted its focus to limiting inflationary and other potentially adverse effects of the extensive pandemic-related government stimulus, which signals the potential for a continued period of economic uncertainty even if the pandemic subsides. In addition, there are continuing concerns related to, among other things, the level of U.S. government debt and fiscal actions that may be taken to address that debt, the potential resurgence of economic and political tensions with China, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and increasing oil prices due to Russian supply disruptions, each of which may have a destabilizing effect on financial markets and economic activity.  Economic pressure on consumers and overall economic uncertainty may result in changes in consumer and business spending, borrowing and saving habits.  These economic conditions and/or other negative developments in the domestic or 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 high unemployment or underemployment may also result in higher than expected loan delinquencies, increases in our levels of nonperforming

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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.

Our trust and wealth management business may be negatively impacted by changes in economic and market conditions and clients may seek legal remedies for investment performance.

Our trust and wealth management business may be negatively impacted by changes in general economic and market conditions because the performance of this businesses is directly affected by conditions in the financial and securities markets.  The financial markets and businesses operating in the securities industry are highly volatile (meaning that performance results can vary greatly within short periods of time) and are directly affected by, among other factors, domestic and foreign economic conditions and general trends in business and finance, and by the threat, as well as the occurrence of global conflicts, all of which are beyond our control.  We cannot assure you that broad market performance will be favorable in the future.  Declines in the financial markets or a lack of sustained growth may result in a decline in the performance of our wealth management business and may adversely affect the market value and performance of the investment securities that we manage, which could lead to reductions in our wealth management fees, because they are based primarily on the market value of the securities we manage, and could lead some of our clients to reduce their assets under management by us or seek legal remedies for investment performance.  If any of these events occur, the financial performance of our wealth management business could be materially and adversely affected.

Credit and Interest Rate Risks

If we fail to effectively manage credit risk, our business and financial condition will suffer.

We must effectively manage credit risk.  As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that our borrowers will be unable to repay their loans according to their original contractual terms, and that the collateral securing repayment of their loans, if any, may not be sufficient to ensure repayment.  This risk has been and may be further exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, there are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks relating to proper loan underwriting, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers, including the risk that a borrower may not provide information to us about its business in a timely manner, and/or may present inaccurate or incomplete information to us, and risks relating to the value of collateral.  In order to manage credit risk successfully, we must, among other things, maintain disciplined and prudent underwriting standards and ensure that our lenders follow those standards.  The weakening of these standards for any reason, such as an attempt to attract higher yielding loans, a lack of discipline or diligence by our employees in underwriting and monitoring loans, the inability of our employees to adequately adapt policies and procedures to changes in economic or any other conditions affecting borrowers and the quality of our loan portfolio, may result in loan defaults, foreclosures and additional charge-offs and may necessitate that we significantly increase our allowance for credit losses, each of which could adversely affect our net income.  Our inability to successfully manage credit risk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our allowance for credit losses, or ACL, and fair value adjustments with respect to acquired loans, may be insufficient to absorb potential losses in our loan portfolio, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our success depends significantly on the quality of our assets, particularly loans.  Like other financial institutions, we are exposed to the risk that our borrowers may not repay their loans according to their terms, and the collateral securing the payment of these loans may be insufficient to fully compensate us for the outstanding balance of the loan plus the costs to dispose of the collateral.  As a result, we may experience significant loan, lease or commitment credit losses that may have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

We maintain an ACL at a level we believe is adequate to absorb estimated credit losses that are expected to occur within the existing loan portfolio through their contractual terms. The level of the ACL is inherently subjective and is dependent upon a variety of factors beyond our control, including, but not limited to, the performance of the loan portfolio, consideration of current economic trends, changes in interest rates and property values, estimated losses on pools of homogeneous loans based on an analysis that uses historical loss experience for prior periods that are determined to have like characteristics with management’s economic forecast period, such as pre-recessionary, recessionary, or recovery periods, portfolio growth and concentration risk, management and staffing changes, the interpretation of loan risk classifications by regulatory authorities and other credit market factors.  We expect economic uncertainty to continue into 2022, which may result in a significant increase to our ACL in future periods.  In addition, bank regulatory agencies periodically review our ACL and may require an increase in the provision for credit losses or the recognition of additional loan charge-offs, based on judgments different from those of management.  If charge-offs in future periods exceed the ACL, we will need additional provisions to increase the allowance.  Any increases in the ACL will result in a decrease in net income and capital and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We may be required to make significant increases in the provision for credit losses and to charge-off additional loans in the future.

The application of the purchase method of accounting in our acquisition of West Suburban and any future acquisitions will impact our ACL.  Under the purchase method of accounting, all acquired loans are recorded in our consolidated financial statements at their estimated fair value at the time of acquisition and any related acquired ACL is eliminated, as new credit marks are established on acquired loans

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based on an assessment of credit quality as of the acquisition date.  To the extent that our estimates of fair value are too high, we will incur losses associated with the acquired loans.

Our loan portfolio is concentrated heavily in commercial and residential real estate loans, including exposure to construction loans, which involve risks specific to real estate values and the real estate markets in general.

Our loan portfolio generally reflects the profile of the communities in which we operate.  Because we operate in areas that saw rapid historical growth, real estate lending of all types is a significant portion of our loan portfolio.  Total real estate lending was $2.45 billion, or approximately 71.6%, of our loan portfolio at December 31, 2021, compared to $1.48 billion, or approximately 72.5%, at December 31, 2020.  Given that the primary (if not only) source of collateral on these loans is real estate, adverse developments affecting real estate values in our market area could increase the credit risk associated with our real estate loan portfolio.

In addition, with respect to commercial real estate loans, the banking regulators are examining commercial real estate lending activity with greater scrutiny, and may require banks with higher levels of commercial real estate loans to implement enhanced underwriting, internal controls, risk management policies and portfolio stress testing, as well as possibly higher levels of allowances for credit losses and capital levels as a result of commercial real estate lending growth and exposures.  At December 31, 2021, primarily as a result of the acquisition of West Suburban, our outstanding commercial real estate loans and undrawn commercial real estate commitments, excluding owner occupied real estate were equal to 313.4% of our Tier 1 capital plus allowance for credit losses, compared to 274.1% at December 31, 2020.  It is management’s intent to manage our non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans back under 300% capital, as outlined in regulatory guidance, and are performing heightened monitoring over commercial real estate exposures, including concentration limits on commercial real estate type, sub-types and individual tenant exposure, frequent loan portfolio stress testing, as well as sensitivity analysis and using current and prospective market data during underwriting.  Executive management and the Board are actively involved in the review of our commercial real estate portfolio and the approval of individual transactions, with transactions over $5.0 million approved by a management loan committee that includes our chief executive officer, vice chairman, senior lending officer and the chief operating officer.  Commercial real estate transactions over $20.0 million require the additional approval of the Board.  Commercial real estate loans rated watch or worse are actively monitored and reviewed by management and the Board no less than quarterly.  If our regulators require us to maintain higher levels of capital than we would otherwise be expected to maintain due to our commercial real estate concentration, this could limit our ability to leverage our capital and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Real estate market volatility and future changes in disposition strategies could result in net proceeds that differ significantly from our fair value appraisals of loan collateral and OREO and could negatively impact our operating performance.

Many of our nonperforming real estate loans are collateral-dependent, meaning the repayment of the loan is largely dependent upon the value of the property securing the loan and the borrower’s ability to refinance, recapitalize or sell the property.  For collateral-dependent loans, we estimate the value of the loan based on the appraised value of the underlying collateral less costs to sell.  Our OREO portfolio essentially consists of properties acquired through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure in partial or total satisfaction of certain loans as a result of borrower defaults.  Some property in OREO reflects property formerly utilized as a bank premise or land that was acquired with the expectation that a bank premise would be established at the location. In some cases, the market for such properties has been significantly depressed, and we have been unable to sell them at prices or within timeframes that we deem acceptable.  OREO is recorded at the fair value of the property when acquired, less estimated selling costs.  In determining the value of OREO properties and loan collateral, an orderly disposition of the property is generally assumed.  Significant judgment is required in estimating the fair value of property, and the period of time within which such estimates can be considered current is significantly shortened during periods of market volatility.  In response to market conditions and other economic factors, we may utilize alternative sale strategies other than orderly disposition as part of our OREO disposition strategy, such as immediate liquidation sales. In this event, as a result of the significant judgments required in estimating fair value and the variables involved in different methods of disposition, the net proceeds realized from such sales transactions could differ significantly from appraisals, comparable sales and other estimates used to determine the fair value of our OREO properties.

We are subject to interest rate risk, and a change in interest rates could have a negative effect on our net income.

Our earnings and cash flows are largely dependent upon our net interest income.  Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, including general economic conditions, our competition and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies, particularly the Federal Reserve.  Changes in monetary policy could influence our earnings.  In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve reduced the target Federal Funds rate to between zero and 0.25%. If short-term interest rates continue to remain at their historically low levels for a prolonged period and assuming longer-term interest rates fall further, we could experience net interest margin compression as our interest-earning assets would continue to reprice downward while our interest-bearing liability rates could fail to decline in tandem, which would have an adverse effect on our net interest income and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. However, due in part to rising inflation, in its December 2021 meeting, the Federal Reserve signaled its intention to raise interest rates, potentially three times, in 2022. When interest-bearing liabilities mature or reprice more quickly, or to a greater degree than interest-earning assets in a period, an increase in interest rates could reduce net interest income.  Similarly, when interest-earning assets mature or reprice more quickly, or to a greater degree than interest-bearing liabilities, falling interest rates could reduce net interest income.  Additionally, an increase in the general level of interest rates may also,

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among other things, adversely affect our current borrowers’ ability to repay variable rate loans, the demand for loans and our ability to originate loans and decrease loan prepayment rates.  Conversely, a decrease in the general level of interest rates, among other things, may lead to increased prepayments on our loan and mortgage-backed securities portfolios and increased competition for deposits.  Accordingly, changes in the general level of market interest rates may adversely affect our net yield on interest-earning assets, loan origination volume and our overall results.  Although management believes it has implemented effective asset and liability management strategies to reduce the potential effects of changes in interest rates on our results of operations, any substantial, unexpected, prolonged change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Nonperforming assets take significant time to resolve, adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and could result in further losses in the future.

Our nonperforming loans (which consist of nonaccrual loans, loans past due 90 days or more still accruing interest and restructured loans still accruing interest), were $44.7 million at December 31, 2021, an increase of 93.8%, compared to $23.0 million at December 31, 2020, primarily due to the loans acquired with the West Suburban acquisition. Other real estate owned, or OREO, totaled $2.4 million at December 31, 2021, a decrease of 4.8%, compared to $2.5 million at December 31, 2020.  Our nonperforming assets adversely affect our net income in various ways.  For example, we do not accrue interest income on nonaccrual loans and OREO may have expenses in excess of any lease revenues collected, thereby adversely affecting our net income, return on assets and return on equity. Our loan administration costs also increase because of our nonperforming assets. The resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant time commitments from management, which can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities.  There is no assurance that we will not experience increases in nonperforming assets in the future, or that our nonperforming assets will not result in losses in the future.

Operational Risks

We are a community bank and our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to the success of our business and the failure to do so may materially adversely affect our performance.

We are a community bank, and our reputation is one of the most valuable components of our business.  As such, we strive to conduct our business in a manner that enhances our reputation.  This is done, in part, by recruiting, hiring and retaining employees who share our core values: being an integral part of the communities we serve; delivering superior service to our customers; and caring about our customers and associates.  Damage to our reputation could undermine the confidence of our current and potential clients in our ability to provide financial services.  Such damage could also impair the confidence of our counterparties and business partners, and ultimately affect our ability to effect transactions.  Maintenance of our reputation depends not only on our success in maintaining our core values and controlling and mitigating the various risks described herein, but also on our success in identifying and appropriately addressing issues that may arise in areas such as potential conflicts of interest, anti-money laundering, client personal information and privacy issues, record-keeping, regulatory investigations and any litigation that may arise from the failure or perceived failure of us to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.  If our reputation is negatively affected, by the actions of our employees or otherwise, our business and, therefore, our operating results may be materially adversely affected.  Further, negative public opinion can expose us to litigation and regulatory action as we seek to implement our growth strategy, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We operate in a highly competitive industry and market area and may face severe competitive disadvantages.

We face substantial competition in all areas of our operations from a variety of different competitors, many of which are larger and have more financial resources.  We compete with commercial banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage banking firms, other financial service businesses, including investment advisory and wealth management firms, mutual fund companies, and securities brokerage and investment banking firms, as well as super-regional, national and international financial institutions that operate offices in our primary market areas and elsewhere.  Local competitors continue to expand their presence in the western suburbs of Chicago, including the communities that surround Aurora, Illinois, and these competitors may be better positioned than us to compete for loans, acquisitions and personnel.  As customers’ preferences and expectations continue to evolve, technology has lowered barriers to entry and made it possible for banks to expand their geographic reach by providing services over the Internet and for non-banks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as business and consumer lending, automatic transfer and automatic payment systems.  There has also been significant advancement in the exchange of digital assets (“cryptocurrency”) that could materially impact the financial services industry in the future.  Because of this rapidly changing technology, our future success will depend in part on our ability to address our customers’ needs by using technology.  Customer loyalty can be easily influenced by a competitor’s new products, especially offerings that could provide cost savings or a higher return to the customer. Moreover, the financial services industry could become even more competitive as a result of legislative and regulatory changes, and many large scale competitors can leverage economies of scale to offer better pricing for products and services compared to what we can offer.

We compete with these institutions in attracting deposits and assets under management, processing payment transactions, and in making loans.  We may not be able to compete successfully with other financial institutions in our markets, particularly with larger financial institutions operating in our markets that have significantly greater resources than us and offer financial products and services that we are unable to offer, putting us at a disadvantage in competing with them for loans and deposits and wealth management clients, and we may have to pay higher interest rates to attract deposits, accept lower yields on loans to attract loans and pay higher wages for new employees,

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resulting in lower net interest margin and reduced profitability.  In addition, competitors that are not depository institutions are generally not subject to the extensive regulations that apply to us.  If we are unable to compete effectively with those banking or other financial services businesses, we could find it more difficult to attract new and retain existing clients and our net interest margin, net interest income and wealth management fees could decline, which would adversely affect our results of operations and could cause us to incur losses in the future.

In addition, our ability to successfully attract and retain wealth management clients is dependent on our ability to compete with competitors’ investment products, level of investment performance, client services and marketing and distribution capabilities.  If we are not successful in attracting new and retaining existing clients, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We depend on our executive officers and other key employees, and our ability to attract additional key personnel, to continue the implementation of our long-term business strategy, and we could be harmed by the unexpected loss of their services.

We believe that our continued growth and future success will depend in large part on the skills of our executive officers and other key employees and our ability to motivate and retain these individuals, as well as our ability to attract, motivate and retain highly qualified senior and middle management and other skilled employees.  Our business is primarily relationship-driven in that many of our key personnel have extensive customer or asset management relationships.  Loss of key personnel with such relationships may lead to the loss of business if the customers were to follow that employee to a competitor or if asset management expertise was not replaced in a timely manner.  Competition for employees is intense, and the process of locating key personnel with the combination of skills and attributes required to execute our business strategy may be lengthy.  In 2021, there has been a dramatic increase in workers leaving their positions throughout our industry and other industries that is being referred to as the “great resignation,” and the market to build, retain and replace talent has become even more highly competitive.  We may not be successful in retaining key personnel, and the unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business because of their skill, knowledge of our primary markets, years of industry experience and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.  If the services of any of our key personnel should become unavailable for any reason, we may not be able to identify and hire qualified persons on terms acceptable to the Company, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation and future prospects.    

If we are unable to offer our key management personnel long-term incentive compensation, including options, restricted stock, and restricted stock units, as part of their total compensation package, we may have difficulty retaining such personnel, which would adversely affect our operations and financial performance.

We have historically granted equity awards, including restricted stock units and stock options, to key management personnel as part of a competitive compensation package. Our ability to grant equity compensation awards as a part of our total compensation package has been vital to attracting, retaining and aligning stockholder interest with a talented management team in a highly competitive marketplace.

In the future, we may seek stockholder approval to adopt or amend equity compensation plans so that we may issue additional equity awards to management in order for the equity component of our compensation packages to remain competitive in the industry. Stockholder advisory groups have implemented guidelines and issued voting recommendations related to how much equity companies should be able to grant to employees. These advisors influence certain shareholder votes regarding approval of a company’s request for approval of new equity compensation plans. The factors used to formulate these guidelines and voting recommendations include the volatility of a company’s share price and are influenced by broader macro-economic conditions that can change year to year. The variables used by stockholder advisory groups to formulate equity plan recommendations may limit our ability to obtain approval to adopt or amend equity plans in the future. If we are limited in our ability to grant equity compensation awards, we would need to explore offering other compelling alternatives to supplement our compensation, including long-term cash compensation plans or significantly increased short-term cash compensation, in order to continue to attract and retain key management personnel. If we used these alternatives to long-term equity awards, our compensation costs could increase and our financial performance could be adversely affected. If we are unable to offer key management personnel long-term incentive compensation, including stock options, restricted stock or restricted stock units, as part of their total compensation package, we may have difficulty attracting and retaining such personnel, which would adversely affect our operations and financial performance.

We depend on outside third parties for the processing and handling of our records and data.

We rely on software developed by third party vendors to process various Company transactions.  In some cases, we have contracted with third parties to run their proprietary software on our behalf at a location under the control of the third party.  These systems include, but are not limited to, core data processing, payroll, loan origination, wealth management record keeping, and securities portfolio management.  While we perform a review of controls instituted by the vendor over these programs in accordance with industry standards and institute our own user controls, we must rely on the continued maintenance of the performance controls by these outside parties, including safeguards over the security of customer data.  In addition, we create backup copies of key processing output daily in the event of a failure on the part of any of these systems.  Nonetheless, we may incur a temporary disruption in our ability to conduct our business or process our transactions, or incur damage to our reputation if a third-party vendor fails to adequately maintain internal controls or

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institute necessary changes to systems.  A disruption or breach of security may ultimately have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our use of third party vendors and our other ongoing third party business relationships are subject to regulatory requirements and attention.

We regularly use third party vendors as part of our business.  We also have substantial ongoing business relationships with other third parties.  These types of third party relationships are subject to demanding regulatory requirements and attention by our federal bank regulators.  Recent regulation requires us to enhance our due diligence, risk assessment, ongoing monitoring and control over our third party vendors and other ongoing third party business relationships.  We expect that our regulators will hold us responsible for deficiencies in our oversight and control of our third party relationships and in the performance of the parties with which we have these relationships.  As a result, if our regulators conclude that we have not exercised adequate oversight and control over our third party vendors or other ongoing third party business relationships or that such third parties have not performed appropriately, we could be subject to enforcement actions, including civil money penalties or other administrative or judicial penalties or fines as well as requirements for customer remediation, any of which could have a material adverse effect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We are at risk of increased losses from fraud.

Criminals committing fraud increasingly are using more sophisticated techniques and in some cases are part of larger criminal rings, which allow them to be more effective. The fraudulent activity has taken many forms, ranging from check fraud, mechanical devices attached to ATMs, social engineering and phishing attacks to obtain personal information or impersonation of our clients through the use of falsified or stolen credentials.  Additionally, an individual or business entity may properly identify themselves, particularly when banking online, yet seek to establish a business relationship for the purpose of perpetrating fraud.  Further, in addition to fraud committed against us, we may suffer losses as a result of fraudulent activity committed against third parties.  Increased deployment of technologies, such as chip card technology, multi-factor authentication, and active customer alerts defray and reduce aspects of fraud; however, criminals are turning to other sources to steal personally identifiable information, such as unaffiliated healthcare providers and government entities, in order to impersonate the consumer to commit fraud.  Many of these data compromises are widely reported in the media.  Further, as a result of the increased sophistication of fraud activity, we have increased our spending on systems and controls to detect and prevent fraud. This will result in continued ongoing investments in the future.

Privacy and Technology-Related Risks

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, financial condition and results of operations.

Our information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security and cyber-attacks, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We rely heavily on internal and outsourced technologies, communications, and information systems to conduct our business.  Additionally, in the normal course of business, we collect, process and retain sensitive and confidential information regarding our customers. As our reliance on technology has increased, so have the potential risks of a technology-related operation interruption (such as disruptions in our customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan, or other systems) or the occurrence of a cyber-attack (such as unauthorized access to our systems).  These risks have increased for all financial institutions as new technologies have emerged, including the use of the Internet and the expansion of telecommunications technologies (including mobile devices) to conduct financial and other business transactions, and as the sophistication of organized criminals, perpetrators of fraud, hackers, terrorists and others have increased.

In addition to cyber-attacks or other security breaches involving the theft of sensitive and confidential information, hackers have engaged in attacks against large financial institutions, particularly denial of service attacks that are designed to disrupt key business services, such as customer-facing web sites.  We operate in an industry where otherwise effective preventive measures against security breaches become vulnerable as breach strategies change frequently and cyber-attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources.  It is possible that a cyber-incident, such as a security breach, may be undetected for a period of time.  However, applying guidance from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, we have identified security risks and employ risk mitigation controls.  Following a layered security approach, we have analyzed and will continue to analyze security related to device specific considerations, user access topics, transaction-processing and network integrity. We expect that we will spend additional time and will incur additional costs going forward to modify

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and enhance protective measures and that effort and spending will continue to be required to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. 

We also face risks related to cyber-attacks and other security breaches in connection with credit card and debit card transactions that typically involve the transmission of sensitive information regarding our customers through various third parties, including merchant-acquiring banks, payment processors, payment card networks and their processors.  Some of these parties have in the past been the target of security breaches and cyber-attacks. Because these third parties and related environments such as the point-of-sale are not under our direct control, future security breaches or cyber-attacks affecting any of these third parties could impact us and in some cases we may have exposure and suffer losses for breaches or attacks.  We offer our customers protection against fraud and attendant losses for unauthorized use of debit cards in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.  Offering such protection exposes us to potential losses which, in the event of a data breach at one or more retailers of considerable magnitude, may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operation.  Further cyber-attacks or other breaches in the future, whether affecting us or others, could intensify consumer concern and regulatory focus and result in reduced use of payment cards and increased costs, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.  To the extent we are involved in any future cyber-attacks or other breaches, our reputation could be affected which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Growth and Strategic Risks

We may not be able to implement our growth strategy or manage costs effectively, resulting in lower earnings or profitability.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to grow and to be profitable in future periods, or, if profitable, that our overall earnings will remain consistent or increase in the future.  Our strategy is focused on organic growth, supplemented by opportunistic acquisitions, such as our acquisition of West Suburban Bank and ABC Bank.  Our growth requires that we increase our loans and deposits while managing risks by following prudent loan underwriting standards without increasing interest rate risk or compressing our net interest margin, maintaining more than adequate capital and liquidity levels at all times, hiring and retaining qualified employees and successfully implementing strategic projects and initiatives.  Even if we are able to increase our interest income, our earnings may nonetheless be reduced by increased expenses, such as additional employee compensation or other general and administrative expenses and increased interest expense on any liabilities incurred or deposits solicited to fund increases in assets.  Additionally, if our competitors extend credit on terms we find to pose excessive risks, or at interest rates which we believe do not warrant the credit exposure, we may not be able to maintain our lending volume and could experience deteriorating financial performance.  Our inability to manage our growth successfully or to continue to expand into new markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our strategic growth plans contemplate additional organic growth and potential growth through additional mergers and acquisitions, which exposes us to additional risks.

Our strategic growth plans include organic growth and growth through additional mergers and acquisitions.  To the extent that we are unable to increase loans through organic loan growth, or to identify and consummate attractive acquisitions, we may be unable to successfully implement our growth strategy, which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and earnings.  

We routinely evaluate opportunities to acquire additional financial institutions or branches or to open new branches.  As a result, we regularly engage in discussions or negotiations that, if they were to result in a transaction, could have a material effect on our operating results and financial condition, including short- and long-term liquidity.  Our merger and acquisition activities could be material and could require us to use a substantial amount of common stock, cash, other liquid assets, and/or incur debt.  In addition, if goodwill recorded in connection with our prior or potential future acquisitions were determined to be impaired, then we would be required to recognize a charge against our earnings, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations during the period in which the impairment was recognized. Moreover, these types of expansions involve various risks, including:

Management of Growth.    We may be unable to successfully:

maintain loan quality in the context of significant loan growth;  
identify and expand into suitable markets;  
retain employees and customers of the Company or the businesses that we acquire or merge with;  
attract sufficient deposits and capital to fund anticipated loan growth;  
maintain adequate common equity and regulatory capital;  
avoid diversion or disruption of our management and existing operations as well as those of the acquired or merged institution;  
maintain adequate management personnel and systems to oversee such growth;  
maintain adequate internal audit, risk management, loan review and compliance functions; and  
implement additional policies, procedures and operating systems required to support such growth.

Operating Results.    There is no assurance that existing branches or future branches will maintain or achieve deposit levels, loan balances or other operating results necessary to avoid losses or produce profits.  Our growth may entail an increase in overhead expenses as we

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add new branches and staff.  There are considerable costs involved in opening branches, and new branches generally do not generate sufficient revenues to offset their costs until they have been in operation for at least a year or more.  Accordingly, any new branches we establish can be expected to negatively impact our earnings for some period of time until they reach certain economies of scale.  Our historical results may not be indicative of future results or results that may be achieved, particularly if we continue to expand. Failure to successfully address these and other issues related to our expansion could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including short-term and long-term liquidity, and could adversely affect our ability to successfully implement our business strategy.

Future acquisitions may be delayed, impeded, or prohibited due to regulatory issues.

Our future acquisitions, particularly those of financial institutions, are subject to approval by a variety of federal and state regulatory agencies. Regulatory approvals could be delayed, impeded, restrictively conditioned or denied due to existing or new regulatory issues we have, or may have, with regulatory agencies, including, without limitation, issues related to anti-money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act compliance, fair lending laws, fair housing laws, consumer protection laws, unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices regulations, Community Reinvestment Act issues, and other similar laws and regulations. We may fail to pursue, evaluate or complete strategic and competitively significant acquisition opportunities as a result of our inability, or perceived or anticipated inability, to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner, under reasonable conditions or at all. Difficulties associated with potential acquisitions that may result from these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.

Moreover, in July 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy which encouraged the federal banking agencies to review their current merger oversight practices. The Executive Order has received significant public support from members of Congress as well as a majority of the board members of the FDIC. In addition, the Director of the CFPB has publicly sought a greater role for the CFPB in the evaluation of proposed bank mergers. Any enhanced regulatory scrutiny of bank mergers and acquisitions and revision of the framework for merger application review may adversely affect the marketplace for such transactions, could result in our acquisitions in future periods being delayed, impeded or restricted in certain respects and result in new rules that possibly limit the size of financial institutions we may be able to acquire in the future and alter the terms for such transactions.

We may be exposed to difficulties in combining the operations of acquired or merged businesses, including West Suburban, into our own operations, which may prevent us from achieving the expected benefits from our merger and acquisition activities.

We may not be able to fully achieve the strategic objectives and operating efficiencies that we anticipate in our merger and acquisition activities, including with respect to our merger with West Suburban.  Inherent uncertainties exist in integrating the operations of an acquired or merged business. We may lose our customers or the customers of acquired or merged entities as a result of an acquisition. We may also lose key personnel from the acquired entity as a result of an acquisition. We may not discover all known and unknown factors when examining a company for acquisition or merger during the due diligence period. These factors could produce unintended and unexpected consequences for us. Undiscovered factors as a result of an acquisition or merger could bring civil, criminal, and financial liabilities against us, our management, and the management of those entities we acquire or merge with. In addition, if difficulties arise with respect to the integration process, the economic benefits expected to result from acquisitions and mergers might not occur. Failure to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire or merge with could have an adverse effect on our profitability, return on equity, return on assets, or our ability to implement our strategy, any of which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These factors could contribute to our not achieving the expected benefits from our mergers and acquisitions within desired time frames, if at all.

New lines of business, products, product enhancements or services may subject us to additional risks.

From time to time, we may implement new lines of business or offer new products, and product enhancements as well as new services within our existing lines of business.  There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances in which the markets are not fully developed.  In implementing, developing or marketing new lines of business, products, product enhancements or services, we may invest significant time and resources, although we may not assign the appropriate level of resources or expertise necessary to make these new lines of business, products, product enhancements or services successful or to realize their expected benefits.  Further, initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business, products, product enhancements or services may not be achieved, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible.  The introduction of such new products requires continued innovative efforts on the part of our management and may require significant time and resources as well as ongoing support and investment.  External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives and shifting market preferences, may also affect the ultimate implementation of a new line of business or offerings of new products, product enhancements or services.  Furthermore, any new line of business, product, product enhancement or service or system conversion could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls.  Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business or offerings of new products, product enhancements or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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Industry-Related Risks

The phase-out of LIBOR could negatively impact our net interest income and require significant operational work.

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) regulates the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), the reference rate previously used for many of our transactions, including our lending and borrowing and our purchase and sale of securities, as well as the derivatives that we use to manage risk related to such transactions.  The FCA announced in July 2017 that the sustainability of LIBOR could not be guaranteed.  Accordingly, although the FCA confirmed the extension of overnight and 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month LIBOR through June 30, 2023 in order to accord financial institutions greater time with which to manage the transition from LIBOR, the FCA is no longer persuading, or compelling, banks to submit to LIBOR. The federal banking agencies, including the OCC, previously determined that banks must cease entering into any new contract that uses LIBOR as a reference rate by no later than December 31, 2021. In addition, banks have been encouraged to identify contracts that extend beyond June 30, 2023 and implement plans to identify and address insufficient contingency provisions in those contracts. The discontinuance of LIBOR has resulted in significant uncertainty regarding the transition to suitable alternative reference rates and could adversely impact our business, operations, and financial results.

The Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, has endorsed replacing the U.S. dollar LIBOR with a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities (“SOFR”). SOFR is observed and backward looking, which stands in contrast with LIBOR under the current methodology, which is an estimated forward-looking rate and relies, to some degree, on the expert judgment of submitting panel members. Given that SOFR is a secured rate backed by government securities, it will be a rate that does not take into account bank credit risk (as is the case with LIBOR).

The discontinuation of LIBOR, changes in LIBOR, or changes in market perceptions of the acceptability of LIBOR as a benchmark could result in changes to our risk exposures (for example, if the anticipated discontinuation of LIBOR adversely affects the availability or cost of floating-rate funding and, therefore, our exposure to fluctuations in interest rates) or otherwise result in losses on a product or having to pay more or receive less on securities that we own or have issued. In addition, such uncertainty could result in pricing volatility and increased capital requirements, loss of market share in certain products, adverse tax or accounting impacts, and compliance, legal and operational costs and risks associated with client disclosures, discretionary actions taken or negotiation of fallback provisions, systems disruption, business continuity, and model disruption.  We have substantial exposure to LIBOR-based products, including loans, securities, derivatives and hedges, and we have transitioned away from the use of LIBOR to alternative rates for all new contracts as of December 31, 2021.  We continue to prepare for the transition of our existing LIBOR exposures prior to the final LIBOR cessation date of June 30, 2023. During the fourth quarter of 2019, we began the process of incorporating fallback language in legacy LIBOR-based commercial loans, and began indexing new retail adjustable rate mortgages to SOFR after July 31, 2021 and new commercial originations and renewals to alternative indexes, including SOFR in the fourth quarter of 2021. We continue to monitor market developments and regulatory updates, including recent announcements from the ICE Benchmark Administrator, as well as collaborate with regulators and industry groups on the transition of existing exposures.  

In addition, the implementation of LIBOR reform proposals may result in increased compliance costs and operational costs, including costs related to continued participation in LIBOR and the transition to a replacement reference rate or rates. We cannot reasonably estimate the expected cost.

Our estimate of fair values for our investments may not be realizable if we were to sell these securities today.

Our available-for-sale securities are carried at fair value.  The determination of fair value for securities categorized in Level 3 involves significant judgment due to the complexity of the factors contributing to the valuation, many of which are not readily observable in the market.  Recent market disruptions and the resulting fluctuations in fair value have made the valuation process even more difficult and subjective.  If the valuations are incorrect, it could harm our financial results and financial condition.

Monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition to being affected by general economic conditions, our earnings and growth are affected by the policies of the Federal Reserve.  An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and credit conditions.  Among the instruments used by the Federal Reserve to implement these objectives are open market purchases and sales of U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in banks’ reserve requirements against bank deposits.  These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits. The monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future.  The effects of such policies upon our business, financial condition and results of operations cannot be predicted.

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Our deposit insurance premiums could be substantially higher in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our future earnings.

The FDIC insures deposits at FDIC-insured depository institutions, such as the Bank, up to $250,000 per insured depositor category.  The amount of a particular institution’s deposit insurance assessment is based on that institution’s risk classification under an FDIC risk-based assessment system.  An institution’s risk classification is assigned based on its capital levels and the level of supervisory concern the institution poses to its regulators.  As a result of recent FDIC assessment charges, banks are now assessed deposit insurance premiums based on the bank’s average consolidated total assets less the sum of its average tangible equity, and the FDIC has modified certain risk-based adjustments, which increase or decrease a bank’s overall assessment rate.  In addition to ordinary assessments described above, the FDIC has the ability to impose special assessments in certain instances.  We are generally unable to control the amount of premiums that we are required to pay for FDIC insurance.  If there are additional bank or financial institution failures, we may be required to pay higher FDIC premiums than the recent levels.  Any future additional assessments, increases or required prepayments in FDIC insurance premiums could reduce our profitability, may limit our ability to pursue certain business opportunities or otherwise negatively impact our operations.

Legal, Accounting, Regulatory and Compliance Risks

We face a risk of noncompliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations and corresponding enforcement proceedings.

The federal Bank Secrecy Act, the PATRIOT Act, and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among our other duties, to institute and maintain effective anti-money laundering programs and to file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate.  The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, established by the U.S. Treasury Department to administer the Bank Secrecy Act, 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 Office of Foreign Assets Control. Federal and state bank regulators also focus on compliance with Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering 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 may be materially and adversely affected by the highly regulated environment in which we operate.

We are subject to extensive federal and state regulation, supervision and examination.  Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, FDIC funds, customers and the banking system as a whole, rather than our stockholders.  Compliance with banking regulations is costly and these regulations affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, mergers and acquisitions, dividend policy, and growth, among other things.

The Company and the Bank also undergo periodic examinations by their regulators, who have extensive discretion and authority to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of law.  Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations or policies could also result in heightened regulatory scrutiny and in sanctions by regulatory agencies (such as a memorandum of understanding, a written supervisory agreement or a cease and desist order), civil money penalties and/or reputation damage. Any of these consequences could restrict our ability to expand our business or could require us to raise additional capital or sell assets on terms that are not advantageous to us or our stockholders and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

A more detailed description of the primary federal banking laws and regulations that affect the Company and the Bank is included in this Form 10-K under the section captioned “Supervision and Regulation” in Item 1.  Since the 2008 financial crisis, federal and state banking laws and regulations, as well as interpretations and implementations of these laws and regulations, have undergone substantial review and change.  In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act drastically revised the laws and regulations under which we operate.  The burden of regulatory compliance has increased under the Dodd-Frank Act and has increased our costs of doing business and, as a result, may create an advantage for our competitors who may not be subject to similar legislative and regulatory requirements.  

We face risks related to the adoption of future legislation and potential changes in federal regulatory agency leadership, policies, and priorities.

With a new Congress taking office in 2021, Democrats retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and have gained control of the U.S. Senate, albeit with a majority found only in the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Harris. However slim the majorities, though, the net result was a unified Democratic control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, and consequently Democrats are able to set the agenda both legislatively, in the Administration, and in the regulatory agencies that have rulemaking and supervisory authority over the financial services industry generally and the Company and the Bank specifically. Congressional committees with jurisdiction

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over the banking sector have pursued oversight and legislative initiatives in a variety of areas, including addressing climate-related risks, promoting diversity and equality within the banking industry and addressing other Environmental, Social, and Governance matters, improving competition in the banking sector and enhancing oversight of bank mergers and acquisitions, establishing a regulatory framework for digital assets and markets, and oversight of the COVID-19 pandemic response and economic recovery. The prospects for the enactment of major banking reform legislation are unclear at this time.

Moreover, the turnover of the presidential administration resulted in certain changes in the leadership and senior staffs of the federal banking agencies, the CFPB, CFTC, SEC, and the Treasury Department, with certain significant leadership positions yet to be filled, including the Comptroller of the Currency, the Chair of the FDIC, and three vacancies among the Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, including the Vice Chair for Supervision. These changes have impacted the rulemaking, supervision, examination and enforcement priorities and policies of the agencies and likely will continue to do so over the next several years. The potential impact of any changes in agency personnel, policies and priorities on the financial services sector, including the Company and the Bank, cannot be predicted at this time.  Regulations and laws may be modified at any time, and new legislation may be enacted that will affect us.  Any future changes in federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the interpretation and implementation of such laws and regulations, could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways, including those listed above or other ways that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our accounting estimates and risk management processes and controls rely on analytical and forecasting techniques and models and assumptions, which may not accurately predict future events.

Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations.  Our management must exercise judgment in selecting and applying many of these accounting policies and methods so they comply with GAAP and reflect management’s judgment of the most appropriate manner in which to report our financial condition and results.  In some cases, management must select the accounting policy or method to apply from two or more alternatives, any of which may be reasonable under the circumstances, yet which may result in our reporting materially different results than would have been reported under a different alternative.  

Certain accounting policies are critical to presenting our financial condition and results of operations.  They require management to make difficult, subjective or complex judgments about matters that are uncertain.  Materially different amounts could be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions or estimates.  These critical accounting policies include the allowance for credit losses and fair value methodologies.  Because of the uncertainty of estimates involved in these matters, we may be required to significantly increase the ACL or sustain loan losses that are significantly higher than the reserve provided, reduce the carrying value of an asset measured at fair value, or significantly increase liabilities measured at fair value.  Any of these could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.  

Our internal controls, disclosure controls, processes and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures are 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, processes and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls, processes and procedures could necessitate changes in those controls, processes and procedures, which may increase our compliance costs, divert management attention from our business or subject us to regulatory actions and increased regulatory scrutiny.  Any of these could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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 CFPB and other federal and state agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations.  Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation.  A successful challenge to our performance under the fair lending laws and regulations could adversely impact our rating under the Community Reinvestment Act and result in a wide variety of sanctions, including the required payment of damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, imposition of restrictions on merger and acquisition activity and restrictions on expansion activity, which could negatively impact our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

We could be subject to changes in tax laws, regulations, and interpretations or challenges to our income tax provision.

We compute our income tax provision based on enacted tax rates in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Any change in enacted tax laws, rules or regulatory or judicial interpretations, or any change in the pronouncements relating to accounting for income taxes could adversely affect our effective tax rate, tax payments and results of operations. The taxing authorities in the jurisdictions in which we operate may challenge our tax positions, which could increase our effective tax rate and harm our financial position and results of operations. We are subject to audit and review by U.S. federal and state tax authorities. Any adverse outcome of such a review or audit could have a negative effect on our financial position and results of operations.

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In addition, deferred tax assets are reported as assets on our balance sheet and represent the decrease in taxes expected to be paid in the future because of net operating losses (“NOLs”) and tax credit carryforwards and because of future reversals of temporary differences in the bases of assets and liabilities as measured by enacted tax laws and their bases as reported in the financial statements.  As of December 31, 2021, we had net deferred tax assets of $6.1 million, which included a $2.3 million federal net operating loss carryforward.  Realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of sufficient future taxable income during the periods in which existing deferred tax assets are expected to become deductible for income tax purposes. Changes in enacted tax laws, such as adoption of a lower income tax rate in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate, could impact our ability to obtain the future tax benefits represented by our deferred tax assets.  Our deferred tax asset may be further reduced in the future if estimates of future income or our tax planning strategies do not support the amount of the deferred tax asset.  Charges to establish a valuation allowance with respect to our deferred tax asset could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the determination of our provision for income taxes and other liabilities requires significant judgment by management. Although we believe that our estimates are reasonable, the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and could have a material adverse effect on our financial results in the period or periods for which such determination is made.

We could become subject to claims and litigation pertaining to our fiduciary responsibility.

Some of the services we provide, such as wealth management services through River Street Advisors, LLC, require us to act as fiduciaries for our customers and others.  Customers make claims and on occasion take legal action pertaining to our performance of our fiduciary responsibilities.  Whether customer claims and legal action related to our performance of our fiduciary responsibilities are founded or unfounded, if such claims and legal action are not resolved in a manner favorable to us, they may result in significant financial liability and/or adversely affect the market perception of us and our products and services as well as impact customer demand for those products and services.  Any financial liability or reputational damage could have a material adverse effect on our business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

We are defendants in a variety of litigation and other actions.

Currently, there are certain other legal proceedings pending against the Company and our subsidiaries in the ordinary course of business.  While the outcome of any legal proceeding is inherently uncertain, based on information currently available, the Company’s management believes that any liabilities arising from pending legal matters would not have a material adverse effect on us or our consolidated financial statements.  However, if actual results differ from management’s expectations, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.

From time to time we are, or may become, involved in suits, legal proceedings, information-gatherings, investigations and proceedings by governmental and self-regulatory agencies that may lead to adverse consequences.

Many aspects of the banking business involve a substantial risk of legal liability.  From time to time, we are, or may become, the subject of information-gathering requests, reviews, investigations and proceedings, and other forms of regulatory inquiry, including by bank regulatory agencies, self-regulatory agencies, the SEC and law enforcement authorities.  The results of such proceedings could lead to significant civil or criminal penalties, including monetary penalties, damages, adverse judgements, settlements, fines, injunctions, restrictions on the way we conduct our business or reputational harm.

Capital and Liquidity Risks

Our business needs and future growth may require us to raise additional capital, but that capital may not be available or may be dilutive.  

We may need to raise additional capital, in the form of debt or equity securities, in the future to have sufficient capital resources to meet our commitments and fund our business needs and future growth, particularly if the quality of our assets or earnings were to deteriorate significantly.  In addition, the Company and the Bank are each required by federal regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support their operations.

Our ability to raise capital will depend on, among other things, conditions in the capital markets, which are outside of our control, and our financial performance.  Accordingly, we cannot provide assurance that such capital will be available on terms acceptable to us or at all.  Any occurrence that limits our access to capital, may adversely affect our capital costs and our ability to raise capital and, in turn, our liquidity.  Further, if we need to raise capital in the future we may have to do so when many other financial institutions are also seeking to raise capital and would then have to compete with those institutions for investors.  Any inability to raise capital on acceptable terms when needed could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and could be dilutive to both tangible book value and our share price.

In addition, an inability to raise capital when needed may subject us to increased regulatory supervision and the imposition of restrictions on our growth and business.  These restrictions could negatively affect our ability to operate or further expand our operations through

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loan growth, acquisitions or the establishment of additional branches.  These restrictions may also result in increases in operating expenses and reductions in revenues that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and share price.

We could experience an unexpected inability to obtain needed liquidity.

Liquidity measures the ability to meet current and future cash flow needs as they become due.  The liquidity of a financial institution reflects its ability to meet loan requests, to accommodate possible outflows in deposits, and to take advantage of interest rate market opportunities and is essential to a financial institution’s business.  The ability of a financial institution to meet its current financial obligations is a function of its balance sheet structure, its ability to liquidate assets and its access to alternative sources of funds.  We seek to ensure that our funding needs are met by maintaining an appropriate level of liquidity through asset and liability management.  In 2021, the Bank experienced ample liquidity due to customer deposits received related to federal stimulus programs responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as funds received as PPP loans were forgiven, and short-term borrowing facilities were not required to be significantly utilized. However, if funds were needed, we could seek to secure liquidity under the advance program provided under terms offered by the FHLBC.  If we are unable to obtain funds when needed, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to maintain a strong core deposit base or access other low-cost funding sources.

We rely on bank deposits to be a low cost and stable source of funding.  In addition, our future growth will largely depend on our ability to maintain and grow a strong deposit base. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain core deposits, to obtain third party financing on favorable terms, or to have access to interbank or other liquidity sources, we may not be able to grow our assets as quickly.  We compete with banks and other financial services companies for deposits.  If our competitors raise the rates they pay on deposits in response to interest rate changes initiated by the FRBC Open Market Committee or for other reasons of their choice, our funding costs may increase, either because we raise our rates to avoid losing deposits or because we lose deposits and must rely on more expensive sources of funding.  Higher funding costs could reduce our net interest margin and net interest income.  Any decline in available funding could adversely affect our ability to continue to implement our business strategy which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to an Investment in Our Common Stock

Our future ability to pay dividends is subject to restrictions.

We currently conduct substantially all of our operations through our subsidiaries, and a significant part of our income is attributable to dividends from the Bank.  We principally rely on the profitability of the Bank to conduct operations and satisfy obligations.  As is the case with all financial institutions, the profitability of the Bank is subject to the fluctuating cost and availability of money, changes in interest rates, and in economic conditions in general.  

Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such cash dividends as our board of directors may declare out of funds legally available for such payments.  Any declaration and payment of dividends on common stock will depend upon our earnings and financial condition, liquidity and capital requirements, the general economic and regulatory climate, our ability to service any equity or debt obligations senior to the common stock, and other factors deemed relevant by the board of directors.  Furthermore, consistent with our business plans, growth initiatives, capital availability, projected liquidity needs, and other factors, we have made, and will continue to make, capital management decisions and policies that could adversely impact the amount of dividends, if any, paid to our stockholders. Although we currently expect to continue to pay quarterly dividends, any future determination relating to our dividend policy will be made by our board of directors and will depend on a number of factors.  We are subject to certain restrictions on the payment of cash dividends as a result of banking laws, regulations and policies.  Finally, our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders depends on our receipt of dividends from the Bank, which is also subject to restrictions on dividends as a result of banking laws, regulations and policies. See Part II, Item 5. “Dividends.”

The trading volumes in our common stock may not provide adequate liquidity for investors.

Shares of our common stock are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market; however, the average daily trading volume in our common stock is less than that of 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 a sufficient number of willing buyers and sellers of the 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 current daily average trading volume of our common stock, significant sales of our common stock in a brief period of time, or the expectation of these sales, could cause a significant decline in the price of our common stock.

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The trading price of our common stock may be subject to continued significant fluctuations and volatility.

The market price of our common stock could be subject to significant fluctuations due to, among other things:

actual or anticipated quarterly fluctuations in our operating and financial results, particularly if such results vary from the expectations of management, securities analysts and investors, including with respect to further credit losses on loans or unfunded commitments we may incur;
announcements regarding significant transactions in which we may engage;
market assessments regarding such transactions;
changes or perceived changes in our operations or business prospects;
legislative or regulatory changes affecting our industry generally or our businesses and operations;
a weakening of general market and economic conditions, particularly with respect to economic conditions in Illinois;
the operating and share price performance of companies that investors consider to be comparable to us;
future offerings by us of debt, preferred stock or trust preferred securities, each of which would be senior to our common stock upon liquidation and for purposes of dividend distributions;
actions of our current stockholders, including future sales of common stock by existing stockholders and our directors and executive officers; and
other changes in U.S. or global financial markets, economies and market conditions, such as interest or foreign exchange rates, stock, commodity, credit or asset valuations or volatility.

As a result, the market price of our common stock may continue to be subject to similar market fluctuations that may or may not be related to our operating performance or prospects. Increased volatility could result in a decline in the market price of our common stock.

Shares of our common stock are subject to dilution, which could cause our common stock price to decline.

We are generally not restricted from issuing additional shares of our common stock up to the number of shares authorized in our Certificate of Incorporation.  We may issue additional shares of our common stock (or securities convertible into common stock) in the future for a number of reasons, including to finance our operations and business strategy (including mergers and acquisitions), to adjust our ratio of debt to equity, to address regulatory capital concerns, or to satisfy our obligations upon the exercise of outstanding stock awards.  We may issue equity securities in transactions that generate cash proceeds, transactions that free up regulatory capital but do not immediately generate or preserve substantial amounts of cash, and transactions that generate regulatory or balance sheet capital only and do not generate or preserve cash.  If we choose to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock or securities convertible into common stock for any reason, the issuance would have a dilutive effect on the holders of our common stock and could have a material negative effect on the market price of our common stock.

Certain banking laws and our governing documents may have an anti-takeover effect and may make it difficult and expensive to remove current management.

Certain 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 stockholders.  In addition, certain provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of the Company, even if such event was perceived by you to be beneficial to your interests.  These include, among others, (a) provisions that empower our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to issue preferred stock, the terms of which, including voting power, are set by the board of directors, (b) we have a classified board of directors with three-year staggered terms, which may delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board, and (c) the approval of certain business combinations require the affirmative vote of at least 75% of our outstanding shares of common stock.  The combination of these laws and provisions in our certificate of incorporation may inhibit certain business combinations, including a non-negotiated merger or other business combination, which, in turn, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. These provisions in our certificate of incorporation could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult and expensive for holders of our common stock to elect directors other than the candidates nominated by our board of directors or otherwise remove existing directors and management, even if current management is not performing adequately.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

We conduct our business primarily at 63 banking locations in various communities throughout the greater western and southern Chicago metropolitan area.  The principal business office of the Company is located at 37 South River Street, Aurora, Illinois. We own 57 of our properties and lease six of our locations.  Our six leased locations are under agreement from March 31, 2022 through June 30, 2030.  We believe that all of our properties and equipment are well maintained, in good operating condition and adequate for all of our present and anticipated needs.

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Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The Company and its subsidiaries have, from time to time, collection suits and other actions that arise in the ordinary course of business against its borrowers and are defendants in legal actions arising from normal business activities.  Management, after consultation with legal counsel, believes that the ultimate liabilities, if any, resulting from these actions will not have a material adverse effect on the financial position of the Bank or on the consolidated financial position of the Company.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

PART II

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

For information regarding securities authorized for issuance under the Company’s equity compensation plans, see Part III, Item 12.

Market for the Company’s Common Stock

Our common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “OSBC.”  As of December 31, 2021, we had 872 stockholders of record for our common stock.  The following table sets forth the high and low trading prices of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and information about declared dividends during each quarter for 2021 and 2020.

2021

2020

 

    

    High    

    

    Low    

    

Dividend 

    

    High    

    

    Low    

    

Dividend 

 

First quarter

$

14.16

$

9.75

$

0.01

$

13.33

$

6.09

$

0.01

Second quarter

 

14.45

 

12.29

 

0.05

 

9.18

 

5.96

 

0.01

Third quarter

 

13.30

 

11.16

 

0.05

 

8.97

 

6.95

 

0.01

Fourth quarter

 

14.23

 

11.95

 

0.05

 

10.78

 

7.38

 

0.01

Dividends

The Company’s stockholders are entitled to receive dividends when, as and if declared by the board of directors out of funds legally available therefor.  The Company’s ability to pay dividends to stockholders is largely dependent upon the dividends it receives from the Bank; however, certain regulatory restrictions and the terms of its debt and equity securities, limit the amount of cash dividends it may pay.  See “Supervision and Regulation—Regulation and Supervision of the Bank.”

Although we currently expect to continue to pay quarterly dividends, any future determination relating to our dividend policy will be made by our board of directors and will depend on a number of factors, including: (1) our historic and projected financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, (2) our capital levels and needs, (3) tax considerations, (4) any acquisitions or potential acquisitions that we may examine, (5) statutory and regulatory prohibitions and other limitations, (6) the terms of any credit agreements or other borrowing arrangements that restrict our ability to pay cash dividends, (7) general economic conditions and (8) other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. We are not obligated to pay dividends on our common stock and are subject to restrictions on paying dividends on our common stock.

As a Delaware corporation, we are subject to certain restrictions on dividends under the DGCL. Generally, a Delaware corporation may only pay dividends either out of surplus or out of the current or the immediately preceding year’s net profits. Surplus is defined as the excess, if any, at any given time, of the total assets of a corporation over its total liabilities and statutory capital. The value of a corporation’s assets can be measured in a number of ways and may not necessarily equal their book value.

In addition, we are subject to certain restrictions on the payment of cash dividends as a result of banking laws, regulations and policies. See “Supervision and Regulation—Regulation and Supervision of the Company.”

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Stock Repurchases

In September 2019, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 1,494,826 shares of our common stock (the “Repurchase Program”).  The Repurchase Program expired on September 19, 2020.  However, on October 20, 2020, the Company received notice of non-objection from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to extend the Repurchase Program through October 20, 2021.  During 2021, we repurchased 766,034 shares at a weighted average share price of $12.81 per share.  In total, we repurchased 1,485,307 shares of our common stock at a weighted average price of $10.31 per share under our stock repurchase program over the two year period.  We made no repurchases under the Repurchase Program in the fourth quarter of 2021.  The Repurchase Program expired on October 21, 2021, and no other repurchase program is in effect as of December 31, 2021.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

Form 10-K and Other Information

Transfer Agent/Stockholder Services

Inquiries related to stockholders’ records, stock transfers, changes of ownership, change of address and dividend payments should be sent to the transfer agent at the following address:

Old Second Bancorp, Inc.

c/o Shirley Cantrell,

Stockholder Relations Department

37 South River Street

Aurora, Illinois 60507

(630) 906-2303

scantrell@oldsecond.com

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Stockholder Return Performance Graph.  The following graph indicates, for the period commencing December 31, 2016, and ending December 31, 2021, a comparison of cumulative total returns for the Company, S&P 500 Index and the KBW NASDAQ Bank Index.  The information assumes that $100 was invested at the closing price at December 31, 2016, in the common stock of the Company and each index and that all dividends were reinvested.

Graphic