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Salisbury Bancorp Inc (SAL) SEC Filing 10-K Annual report for the fiscal year ending Monday, December 31, 2012

Salisbury Bancorp Inc

CIK: 1060219 Ticker: SAL

Exhibit 99.1

Friday, January 25, 2013

 

Company Press Release

 

Source: Salisbury Bancorp, Inc.

 

Salisbury Contact: Richard J. Cantele, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer

860-435-9801 or rcantele@salisburybank.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

SALISBURY BANCORP, INC. REPORTS RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2012; BALANCE SHEET REPOSITIONING IMPACTS EARNINGS; DECLARES 28 CENT DIVIDEND

 

Lakeville, Connecticut, January 25, 2013 /GlobeNewswire…..Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (“Salisbury”), NASDAQ Capital Market: “SAL”, the holding company for Salisbury Bank and Trust Company (the “Bank”), announced results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2012.

Selected fiscal year 2012 highlights

Net income available to common shareholders was $3,859,000, or $2.28 per common share, for 2012, compared with $3,588,000, or $2.12 per common share, for 2011.

·Earnings per common share increased $0.16, or 7.5%, to $2.28.

·Tax equivalent net interest income decreased $19,000, or 0.1%.

·Provision for loan losses was $1,070,000, versus $1,440,000 for 2011. Net loan charge-offs were $786,000 and $1,284,000, respectively, for 2012 and 2011.

·Non-interest income increased $1,658,000, or 29.3%.

·Non-interest expense increased $1,915,000, or 10.9%. Non-interest expense included certain non-recurring items:

oFederal Home Loan Bank advance prepayment fee of $450,000
oLitigation settlement of $400,000
oPension curtailment of $342,000
·Preferred stock dividends were $241,000, versus $524,000 for 2011.

Fourth quarter 2012 dividend

The Board of Directors of Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. declared a $0.28 per common share quarterly cash dividend at their January 25, 2013 meeting. The dividend will be paid on February 22, 2013 to shareholders of record as of February 8, 2013.

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Selected fourth quarter 2012 highlights

Net income available to common shareholders was $531,000, or $0.31 per common share, for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 (fourth quarter 2012), compared with $1,094,000, or $0.65 per common share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 (third quarter 2012), and $1,184,000, or $0.70 per common share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011 (fourth quarter 2011). Fourth quarter 2012 results included a $450,000 non-recurring expense to the FHLBB that will be recovered in 2013 through reduced interest expense

  • Earnings per common share decreased $0.34, or 52.3%, to $0.31 versus third quarter 2012, and $0.39, or 55.7%, versus fourth quarter 2011.
  • Tax equivalent net interest income decreased $142,000, or 2.9%, versus third quarter 2012, and decreased $288,000, or 5.8%, versus fourth quarter 2011.
  • Provision for loan losses was $380,000, versus $330,000 for third quarter 2012 and $580,000 for fourth quarter 2011. Net loan charge-offs were $199,000, versus $359,000 for third quarter 2012 and $531,000 for fourth quarter 2011.
  • Non-interest income decreased $10,000, or 0.53%, versus third quarter 2012 and increased $186,000, or 11.0%, versus fourth quarter 2011.
  • Non-interest expense increased $641,000, or 13.7%, versus third quarter 2012 and increased $1,085,000, or 25.5%, versus fourth quarter 2011. Non-interest expense for fourth quarter 2012 includes a $450,000 Federal Home Loan Bank advance prepayment fee.
  • Preferred stock dividends paid were $46,000, versus $48,000 third quarter 2012 and $39,000 fourth quarter 2011.
  • Non-performing assets increased $0.2 million, or 2.37%, to $10.1 million, or 1.68% of total assets, versus third quarter 2012 and decreased $0.7 million, or 6.62%, versus fourth quarter 2011. Loans receivable 30 days or more past due increased $1.8 million to $13.6 million, or 3.47% of gross loans, versus third quarter 2012 and increased $3.9 million versus fourth quarter 2011.

Richard J. Cantele, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our fourth quarter earnings were significantly impacted by the following three non-recurring items:

·Loan charge-off of $193,000 to facilitate the liquidation of a $993,000 non-performing loan relationship

·OREO loss of $99,000 to liquidate $778,000 of OREO

·Prepayment fee of $450,000 to prepay $10 million FHLBB advance, which we will recoup in 2013 through interest expense savings

“Excluding these three items, adjusted earnings per share would have been $0.60. These actions better position Salisbury for 2013. Other significant accomplishments for the quarter included:

·Record commercial loan originations of $20 million
·Residential mortgage loan originations of $27 million
·Sales of $13 million of fixed rate mortgage loans, down from $18 million sold last quarter
·Increase in gross loans receivable of $11.6 million, or 3%
·Trust and Wealth Advisory fourth quarter year-over-year revenue growth of 13%”

Net Interest Income

Tax equivalent net interest income for fourth quarter 2012 decreased $142,000, or 2.9%, versus third quarter 2012, and $288,000, or 5.8%, versus fourth quarter 2011. Average total interest bearing deposits decreased $9.4 million versus third quarter 2012 and decreased $7.9 million, or 1.96%, versus fourth quarter 2011. Average earning assets decreased $5.2 million versus third quarter 2012 and decreased $5.5 million, or 0.95%, versus fourth quarter 2011. The net interest margin decreased 7 basis points versus third quarter 2012 and decreased 17 basis points versus fourth quarter 2011 to 3.32% for fourth quarter 2012.

Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income for fourth quarter 2012 decreased $10,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $186,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. Trust and Wealth Advisory revenues increased $89,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $86,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. The year-over-year revenue increase resulted from growth in managed assets and increased estate fees. Service charges and fees were unchanged versus third quarter 2012 and increased $27,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. Income from sales and servicing of mortgage loans decreased $89,000 versus third quarter 2012 due to lower volume, offset in-part by a decrease in the MSR impairment reserve. Income from sales and servicing of mortgage loans increased $78,000 versus fourth quarter 2011 due primarily to higher prices in 2012. Mortgage loan sales totaled $13.4 million for fourth quarter 2012, $18.3 million for third quarter 2012 and $14.8 million for fourth quarter 2011. Fourth quarter 2012, third quarter 2012 and fourth quarter 2011 included mortgage servicing valuation impairment benefits of $73,000, $12,000 and $68,000, respectively.

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Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for fourth quarter 2012 increased $641,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $1,085,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. Net compensation increased $140,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $206,000 versus fourth quarter 2011 due to changes in staffing levels, merit increases and increased employee benefits costs. Premises and equipment costs increased $6,000 versus third quarter 2012 and $12,000 versus fourth quarter 2011 due primarily to increased facilities repairs and equipment replacement costs. Data processing increased $10,000 versus third quarter 2012 and decreased $3,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. Professional fees decreased $2,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $85,000 versus fourth quarter 2011 due to increased spending on audit, legal and trust client investment management services. Collections and OREO increased $41,000 versus third quarter 2012 and $271,000 versus fourth quarter 2011 due to increases in delinquent property taxes, OREO losses and legal collection fees. FDIC insurance increased $7,000 versus third quarter 2012 and $68,000 versus fourth quarter 2011. Fourth quarter 2011 included a benefit from a change in the assessment method. The fourth quarter 2012 FHLBB advance prepayment fee of $450,000 resulted from the early prepayment of a $10 million advance due 12/16/2013 with a 4.88% coupon. Other operating expenses decreased $10,000 versus third quarter 2012 and increased $5,000 versus fourth quarter 2011.

The effective income tax rates for fourth quarter 2012, third quarter 2012 and fourth quarter 2011 were 4.32%, 20.63% and 22.01%, respectively.

Loans

Net loans receivable increased $11.4 million during fourth quarter 2012 to $388.8 million at December 31, 2012, compared with $377.4 million at September 30, 2012, and increased $18.0 million for full year 2012, compared with $370.8 million at December 31, 2011.

Asset Quality

Non-performing assets increased $0.2 million during fourth quarter 2012 to $10.1 million, or 1.68% of assets at December 31, 2012, from $9.9 million, or 1.62% of assets at September 30, 2012, and decreased $0.7 million in 2012 from $10.8 million, or 1.78% of assets at December 31, 2011.

Fourth quarter 2012 non-performing assets activity included: $2.3 million of loans placed on non-accrual status; $227,000 of loan charge-offs; $1.0 million of loan repayments; $99,000 of OREO losses; and, $679,000 in proceeds from OREO sales.

At December 31, 2012, 18.2% of non-accrual loans were current with respect to loan payments, compared with 6.1% at September 30, 2012 and 9.9% at December 31, 2011.

Non-performing assets include OREO of $244,000 at December 31, 2012, compared with $641,000 at September 30, 2012, and $2.7 million (representing one property) at December 31, 2011. During fourth quarter 2012 Salisbury acquired title to a residential property that is presently under contract for sale.

Total impaired and potential problem loans decreased $0.8 million, or 2.8%, during fourth quarter 2012 to $27.4 million, or 7.0% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2012, from $28.1 million, or 7.4% of gross loans receivable at September 30, 2012, and increased $0.7 million for year-to-date 2012 from $26.7 million, or 7.2% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2011.

Loans past due 30 days or more increased $1.8 million during fourth quarter 2012 to $13.6 million, or 3.47% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2012, from $11.8 million, or 3.10% of gross loans receivable at September 30, 2012, and increased $4.0 million in 2012 from $9.7 million, or 2.59% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2011.

The provision for loan losses for fourth quarter 2012 was $380,000 versus $330,000 for third quarter 2012 and $580,000 for fourth quarter 2011. Net loan charge-offs were $199,000, $359,000 and $531,000, for the respective periods. Loan charge-offs for fourth quarter 2012 related to the aforementioned residential property and other non-performing loans. Reserve coverage, as measured by the ratio of the allowance for loan losses to gross loans, remained relatively unchanged at 1.11%, versus 1.10% for third quarter 2012 and 1.09% for fourth quarter 2011.

Salisbury has cooperative relationships with the vast majority of its non-performing loan customers. Substantially all non-performing loans are collateralized with real estate and the repayment of such loans is largely dependent on the return of such loans to performing status or the liquidation of the underlying real estate collateral.

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Capital

Book value and tangible book value per common share increased $0.96 and $0.99, respectively, during fourth quarter, to $33.14 and $26.85, respectively. Tangible book value excludes goodwill and core deposit intangibles.

Shareholders’ equity increased $1.6 million in fourth quarter 2012 to $72.0 million at December 31, 2012. Contributing to the increase in shareholders’ equity for fourth quarter 2012 was net income of $0.5 million and other comprehensive income of $1.6 million, less common and preferred stock dividends of $0.5 million. Effective December 31, 2012 Salisbury curtailed its defined benefit pension plan, resulting in a decrease in its pension liability recognized in other comprehensive income, net of tax, of $1.6 million.

Both Salisbury and the Bank’s regulatory capital ratios remain in compliance with regulatory “well capitalized” requirements. At December 31, 2012 the Bank’s Tier 1 leverage and total risk-based capital ratios were 8.15% and 13.77%, respectively, compared with regulatory “well capitalized” minimums of 5.00% and 10.00%, respectively. Salisbury’s Tier 1 leverage and total risk-based capital ratios were 9.87% and 16.63%, respectively.

In August 2011, Salisbury received $16 million of capital from the U.S. Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund (the “SBLF”) program and repaid the $8.8 million of capital received in 2009 from the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program. The SBLF program was established to encourage lending to small businesses by providing Tier 1 capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. To date Salisbury has used this capital to increase its portfolio of qualified small business loans by $27.5 million and to augment its regulatory capital ratios.

Background

Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. is the parent company of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company; a Connecticut chartered commercial bank serving the communities of northwestern Connecticut and proximate communities in New York and Massachusetts, since 1848, through full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, South Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts and Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank offers a full complement of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and wealth advisory services.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this news release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the beliefs and expectations of management as well as the assumptions and estimates made by management using information currently available to management. Since these statements reflect the views of management concerning future events, these statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including among others: changes in market interest rates and general and regional economic conditions; changes in government regulations; changes in accounting principles; and the quality or composition of the loan and investment portfolios and other factors that may be described in Salisbury’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and its annual report on Form 10-K, each filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s internet website (www.sec.gov) and to which reference is hereby made. Therefore, actual future results may differ materially from results discussed in the forward-looking statements.

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Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (unaudited)

(in thousands, except share data)   December 31, 2012  

December 31,
2011

ASSETS        
Cash and due from banks $ 9,545 $ 4,829 
Interest bearing demand deposits with other banks   34,029   32,057 
Total cash and cash equivalents   43,574   36,886 
Securities        
Available-for-sale at fair value   126,287   155,794 
Held-to-maturity at amortized cost (fair value: $- and $52)   -   50 
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston stock at cost   5,747   6,032 
Loans held-for-sale   1,879   948 
Loans receivable, net (allowance for loan losses: $4,360 and $4,076)   388,758   370,766 
Other real estate owned   244   2,744 
Bank premises and equipment, net   11,520   12,023 
Goodwill   9,829   9,829 
Intangible assets (net of accumulated amortization: $1,745 and $1,523)   798   1,020 
Accrued interest receivable   1,818   2,126 
Cash surrender value of life insurance policies   7,295   7,037 
Deferred taxes   -   829 
Other assets   3,064   3,200 
Total Assets $ 600,813 $ 609,284 
LIABILITIES and SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY        
Deposits        
Demand (non-interest bearing) $ 98,850 $ 82,202 
Demand (interest bearing)   65,991   66,332 
Money market   128,501   124,566 
Savings and other   103,985   94,503 
Certificates of deposit   93,888   103,703 
Total deposits   491,215   471,306 
Repurchase agreements   1,784   12,148 
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston advances   31,980   54,615 
Accrued interest and other liabilities   3,837   4,353 
Total Liabilities   528,816   542,422 
Shareholders' Equity        
Preferred stock - $.01 per share par value        
Authorized: 25,000; Issued: 16,000 (Series B);        
Liquidation preference: $1,000 per share   16,000   16,000 
Common stock - $.10 per share par value        
Authorized: 3,000,000;        
Issued: 1,689,691 and 1,688,731   169   169  
Paid-in capital   13,158   13,134 
Retained earnings   40,233   38,264 
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net   2,437   (705)
Total Shareholders' Equity   71,997   66,862 
Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity $ 600,813 $ 609,284 

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Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (unaudited)

Periods ended December 31,   Three months ended   Twelve months ended
(in thousands, except per share amounts)   2012   2011   2012   2011
Interest and dividend income                
Interest and fees on loans $ 4,376 $ 4,675 $ 18,054  $ 18,666
Interest on debt securities                
Taxable   515   769   2,454    3,041
Tax exempt   491   549   2,030    2,210
Other interest and dividends   44   36   120    127
Total interest and dividend income   5,426   6,029   22,658    24,044
Interest expense                
Deposits   543   716   2,414    3,165
Repurchase agreements   2   16   23    63
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston advances   447   559   1,845    2,331
Total interest expense   992   1,291   4,282    5,559
Net interest income   4,434   4,738   18,376    18,485
Provision for loan losses   380   580   1,070    1,440
Net interest and dividend income after provision for loan losses   4,054   4,158   17,306    17,045
Non-interest income                
Trust and wealth advisory   772   686   2,945    2,548
Service charges and fees   561   534   2,189    2,090
Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net   394   318   1,596    687
Mortgage servicing, net   76   74   (21)   65
Gains on securities, net   -   -   279    11
Other   74   79   326    255
Total non-interest income   1,877   1,691   7,314    5,656
Non-interest expense                
Salaries   1,880   1,768   7,149    6,970
Employee benefits   668   574   2,912    2,493
Premises and equipment   609   597   2,408    2,330
Data processing   379   382   1,569    1,410
Professional fees   297   212   1,212    1,099
Collections and OREO   342   71   709    590
Litigation settlement   -   -   400    -
FDIC insurance   123   55   486    596
Marketing and community support   89   98   356    343
Amortization of intangibles   56   56   222    222
FHLBB advance prepayment fee   450   -   450    -
Other   441   436   1,681    1,586
Total non-interest expense   5,334   4,249   19,554    17,639
Income before income taxes   597   1,600   5,066    5,062
Income tax provision   26   352   989    950
Net income $ 571 $ 1,248 $ 4,077  $ 4,112
Net income available to common shareholders $ 531 $ 1,184 $ 3,859  $ 3,588
                 
Basic and diluted earnings per common share $ 0.31 $ 0.70 $ 2.28  $ 2.12
Common dividends per share   0.28   0.28    1.12    1.12

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Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA (unaudited)

At or for the three month periods ended                      
(in thousands, except per share amounts and ratios)   Q4 2012       Q3 2012     Q2 2012      Q1 2012     Q4 2011     
Total assets $   600,813     $   611,037   $   600,857    $   598,950  $   609,284     
Loans receivable, net   388,758       377,377     377,212      371,709    370,766     
Total securities   132,034       131,412     141,409      151,666    161,876     
Deposits   491,215       490,206     477,910      472,686    471,306     
FHLBB advances   31,980       42,392     42,801      43,207    54,615     
Shareholders’ equity   71,997       70,374     69,126      68,067    66,862     
Wealth assets under management   388,113       388,807     372,506      377,259    360,700     
Non-performing loans   9,860       9,229     8,409      7,606    8,076     
Non-performing assets   10,104       9,870     8,409      7,606    10,820     
Accruing loans past due 30-89 days   5,629       3,152     2,459      4,180    2,460     
Net interest and dividend income   4,434       4,572     4,687      4,683    4,738     
Net interest and dividend income, tax equivalent   4,705       4,847     4,983      4,962    4,993     
Provision for loan losses   380       330     180      180    580     
Non-interest income   1,877       1,887     1,890      1,659    1,691     
Non-interest expense   5,334       4,693     5,026      4,500    4,249     
Income before income taxes   597       1,436     1,370      1,661    1,600     
Income tax provision   26       296     254      412    352     
Net income   571       1,140     1,116      1,250    1,248     
Net income available to common shareholders   531       1,094     1,069      1,167    1,184     
                          
Per share data                      
Basic and diluted earnings per common share $ 0.31     $ 0.65   $ 0.63    $ 0.69  $ 0.70     
Dividends per common share   0.28       0.28     0.28      0.28    0.28     
Book value per common share   33.14       32.18     31.44      30.83    30.12     
Tangible book value per common share - Non-GAAP¹   26.85       25.86     25.09      24.44    23.69     
                       
Weighted average equivalent common shares outstanding, diluted   1,690       1,690      1,689      1,689    1,689     
Common shares outstanding at end of period   1,690       1,690      1,690      1,689    1,689     
                       
Profitability ratios                      
Net interest margin (tax equivalent) 3.32% 3.39%   3.58%   3.54%   3.49%  
Efficiency ratio¹   71.45       66.05      66.39      66.86     62.83     
Non-interest income to operating revenue   29.74       29.21      25.73      26.02     26.30     
Effective income tax rate   4.32       20.63      18.54      24.82     22.01     
Return on average assets   0.35       0.71      0.72      0.78     0.77     
Return on average common shareholders’ equity   3.85       8.05      8.10      9.05     9.20     
                       
Credit quality ratios                      
Net charge-offs to average loans receivable, gross   0.21%   0.38%   0.15%   0.10%   0.57%  
Non-performing loans to loans receivable, gross   2.51       2.43      2.21       2.03      2.16     
Accruing loans past due 30-89 days to loans receivable, gross   1.44       0.83      0.65       1.12      0.66     
Allowance for loan losses to loans receivable, gross   1.11       1.10      1.11       1.11      1.09     
Allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans   44.22       45.28      50.04       54.77      50.47     
Non-performing assets to total assets   1.68       1.62      1.40       1.27      1.78     
                       
Capital ratios                      
Common shareholders' equity to assets   9.32%   8.90%   8.84%   8.69%   8.35%  
Tangible common shareholders' equity to assets - Non-GAAP¹   7.69       7.28      7.18      7.02      6.69     
Tier 1 leverage capital   9.87       9.78      9.92      9.69      9.45     
Total risk-based capital   16.63       17.00      16.65      16.34      15.97     

 ¹Refer to schedule labeled “Supplemental Information – Non-GAAP Financial Measures”.

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Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION – Non-GAAP Financial Measures (unaudited)

At or for the quarters ended                    
(in thousands, except per share amounts and ratios)   Q4 2012    Q3 2012     Q2 2012   Q1 2012     Q4 2011  
Shareholders' Equity $ 71,997   $ 70,374    $ 69,126  $ 68,067    $ 66,862   
Less: Preferred Stock   (16,000)    (16,000)     (16,000)   (16,000)     (16,000)  
Common Shareholders' Equity   55,997     54,374      53,126    52,067      50,862   
Less: Goodwill   (9,829)    (9,829)     (9,829)   (9,829)     (9,829)  
Less: Intangible assets   (798)    (853)     (909)   (964)     (1,020)  
Tangible Common Shareholders' Equity $ 45,370   $ 43,692    $ 42,388  $ 41,274    $ 40,013   
Total Assets $ 600,813   $ 611,037    600,857  $ 598,950    $ 609,284   
Less: Goodwill   (9,829)    (9,829)     (9,829)   (9,829)     (9,829)  
Less: Intangible assets   (798)    (853)     (909)   (964)     (1,020)  
Tangible Total Assets $ 590,186   $ 600,355    $ 590,119  $ 588,157    $ 598,435   
Common Shares outstanding   1,690     1,690      1,690    1,689      1,689   
                       
Book value per Common Share – GAAP $ 33.14   $ 32.18    $ 31.44  $ 30.83    $ 30.12   
Tangible book value per Common Share - Non-GAAP   26.85     25.86      25.09    24.44      23.69   
                     
Common Equity to Assets – GAAP   9.32%   8.90%   8.84%   8.69%   8.35%
Tangible Common Equity to Assets – Non-GAAP   7.69      7.28      7.18   7.02      6.69   
                     
Non-interest expense $ 5,334    $ 4,693    $ 5,026 $ 4,500    $ 4,249    
Less: Amortization of core deposit intangibles   (56)     (56)     (56)   (56)     (56)   
Less: Foreclosed property expense   (125)     (39)     7    (24)     7    
Less: Nonrecurring expenses                    
Pension plan curtailment   -       -       (341)    -       -    
FHLBB prepayment fee   (450)     -       -     -       -    
Litigation settlement   -       (150)     (250)    -       -    
Operating Expenses $ 4,703    $ 4,448    $ 4,386   $ 4,420    $ 4,200   
Net interest and dividend income, tax equivalent $ 4,705    $ 4,847    $ 4,983   $ 4,962    $ 4,993   
Non-interest income   1,877      1,887      1,890     1,659      1,691   
Less: Gains on securities, net   -      -      (267)    (12)     -    
Operating Revenue $ 6,582    $ 6,734    $ 6,606    $ 6,609    $ 6,684   
Efficiency Ratio   71.45%   66.05%   66.39%   66.86%   62.83%

 

 

-8-


The following information was filed by Salisbury Bancorp Inc (SAL) on Friday, January 25, 2013 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.

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012

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

Commission file number 0-24751

 

SALISBURY BANCORP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Connecticut  06-1514263 

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) 

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.) 

 

5 Bissell Street, Lakeville, CT  06039

(Address of principal executive offices) 

 

(Zip code) 

 

Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (860) 435-9801

 

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

Common Stock, par value $.10 per share  NASDAQ Capital Market 
(Title of each class)  (Name of each exchange on which registered) 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. ☐ Yes [X] 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 [X]  No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). [X] Yes ☐  No

 

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

 

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

Large accelerated filer ☐ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company  [X]

 

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

 

The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2012 was $41,650,883 based on the closing sales price of $24.65 of such stock. The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 1, 2013, was 1,709,291.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 15, 2013, which will be filed within 120 days of fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, are incorporated by reference into Part III (Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) of this Form 10-K.

 
 

FORM 10-K

SALISBURY BANCORP, INC.

For the Year Ended December 31, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Description Page
PART I    
Item 1. BUSINESS 3
Item 1A. RISK FACTORS 13
Item 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS 16
Item 2. PROPERTIES 16
Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS 17
Item 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES 17
PART II    
Item 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES 17
Item 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA 18
Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS 19
Item 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISKS 35
Item 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA 37
Item 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE 76
Item 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES 76
Item 9B. OTHER INFORMATION 76
PART III    
Item 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 76
Item 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION 77
Item 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS 77
Item 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE 77
Item 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES 77
PART IV    
Item 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES 77

 
 

PART I

Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K may contain and incorporates by reference statements relating to future results of Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary ("Salisbury") that are considered “forward-looking” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements relate to, among other things, expectations concerning loan demand, growth and performance, simulated changes in interest rates and the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses.  Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in political and economic conditions, interest rate fluctuations, competitive product and pricing pressures within Salisbury’s markets, equity and fixed income market fluctuations, personal and corporate customers’ bankruptcies, inflation, acquisitions and integrations of acquired businesses, technological changes, changes in law and regulations, changes in fiscal, monetary, regulatory and tax policies, monetary fluctuations, success in gaining  regulatory approvals when required as well as other risks and uncertainties reported from time to time in Salisbury’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Such developments could have an adverse impact on Salisbury’s financial position and results of operations. Reader’s are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Report.

 

Item 1. BUSINESS

Salisbury Bancorp, Inc.

Salisbury Bancorp, Inc., a Connecticut corporation, formed in 1998, is the bank holding company for Salisbury Bank and Trust Company (the "Bank"), a Connecticut-chartered and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the "FDIC") insured commercial bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut. Salisbury common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “SAL”. Salisbury's principal business consists of the business of the Bank. The Bank, formed in 1848, provides commercial banking, consumer financing, retail banking and trust and wealth advisory services through eight banking offices, eight ATMs and its internet website (www.salisburybank.com).

 

Abbreviations Used Herein

ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009   FRB Federal Reserve Board
Bank Salisbury Bank and Trust Company   GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America
BHCA Bank Holding Company Act   GLBA Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
BOLI Bank Owned Life Insurance   IOLTA Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts
CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau   LIBOR London Interbank Offered Rate
CPP Capital Purchase Program   OREO Other Real Estate Owned
CRA Community Reinvestment Act of 1977   OTTI Other Than Temporarily Impaired
CTDOB State of Connecticut Depart of Banking   PIC Passive Investment Company
Dodd- Frank Act Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act   Salisbury Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiary
FACT Act Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act   SBLF Small Business Lending Fund
FASB Financial Accounting Standards Board   SEC Securities and Exchange Commission
EESA Economic Emergency Stabilization Act   SOX Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation   TARP Troubled Asset Relief Program
FHLBB Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston   Treasury United States Department of the Treasury
FRA Federal Reserve Act      

 

Lending Activities

General

The Bank originates commercial loans, commercial real estate loans, residential and commercial construction loans, residential real estate loans collateralized by one-to-four family residences, home equity lines of credit and fixed rate loans and other consumer loans predominately in Connecticut’s Litchfield County, Massachusetts’ Berkshire County and New York’s Dutchess County in towns proximate to the Bank’s eight full service offices.

 

Real estate secured the majority of the Bank’s loans as of December 31, 2012, including some loans classified as commercial loans. Interest rates charged on loans are affected principally by the Bank’s current asset/liability strategy, the demand for such loans, the cost and supply of money available for lending purposes and the rates offered by competitors. These factors are, in turn, affected by general economic and credit conditions, monetary policies of the federal government, including the FRB, federal and state tax policies and budgetary matters.

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Residential Real Estate Loans

A principal lending activity of the Bank is to originate prime loans secured by first mortgages on one-to-four family residences. The Bank typically originates residential real estate loans through commissioned mortgage representatives. The Bank originates both fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages.

 

The Bank currently sells the majority of the fixed rate residential mortgage loans it originates to the FHLBB under the Mortgage Partnership Finance program. The Bank typically retains loan servicing. The Bank retains some fixed rate residential mortgage loans and those loans originated under its first time home owner program to borrowers with low to moderate income.

 

The retention of adjustable rate residential mortgage loans in the portfolio and the sale of longer term, fixed rate residential mortgage loans helps reduce the Bank’s exposure to interest rate risk. However, adjustable rate mortgages generally pose credit risks different from the credit risks inherent in fixed rate loans primarily because as interest rates rise, the underlying debt service payments of the borrowers rise, thereby increasing the potential for default. Management believes that these risks, which have not had a material adverse effect on the Bank to date, generally are less onerous than the interest rate risks associated with holding long-term fixed rate loans in the loan portfolio.

 

Commercial Real Estate Loans

The Bank makes commercial real estate loans for the purpose of allowing borrowers to acquire, develop, construct, improve or refinance commercial real estate where the property is the primary collateral securing the loan, and the income generated from the property is the primary repayment source. Office buildings, light industrial, retail facilities or multi-family income properties, normally collateralize commercial real estate loans. Among the reasons for management’s continued emphasis on commercial real estate lending is the desire to invest in assets with yields, which are generally higher than yields on one-to-four family residential mortgage loans, and are more sensitive to changes in interest rates. These loans typically have terms of up to twenty five years and interest rates, which adjust over periods of three to ten years, based on one of various rate indices.

 

Commercial real estate lending generally poses a greater credit risk than residential mortgage lending to owner-occupants. The repayment of commercial real estate loans depends on the business and financial condition of the borrower. Economic events and changes in government regulations, which the Bank and its borrowers do not control, could have an adverse impact on the cash flows generated by properties securing commercial real estate loans and on the market value of such properties.

 

Construction Loans

The Bank originates both residential and commercial construction loans. Typically, loans are made to owner-borrowers who will occupy the properties as either their primary or secondary residence and to licensed and experienced developers for the construction of single-family homes.

 

The proceeds of commercial construction loans are disbursed in stages. Bank officers, appraisers and/or independent engineers inspect each project’s progress before additional funds are disbursed to verify that borrowers have completed project phases.

 

Residential construction loans to owner-borrowers generally convert to a fully amortizing long-term mortgage loan upon completion of construction. Construction loans generally have terms of six months to two years.

 

Construction lending, particularly commercial construction lending, poses greater credit risk than mortgage lending to owner occupants. The repayment of commercial construction loans depends on the business and financial condition of the borrower and on the economic viability of the project financed. Economic events and changes in government regulations, which the Bank and its borrowers do not control, could have an adverse impact on the value of properties securing construction loans and on the borrower’s ability to complete projects financed and, if not the borrower’s residence, sell them for amounts anticipated at the time the projects commenced.

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Commercial Loans

Commercial loans are generally made on a secured basis and are primarily collateralized by equipment, inventory, accounts receivable and/or leases. Commercial loans primarily provide working capital, equipment financing, financing for leasehold improvements and financing for expansion. The Bank offers both term and revolving commercial loans. Term loans have either fixed or adjustable rates of interest and, generally, terms of between two and seven years. Term loans generally amortize during their life, although some loans require a balloon payment at maturity if the amortization exceeds seven years. Revolving commercial lines of credit typically are renewable annually and have a floating rate of interest, which is normally indexed to the Wall Street Journal’s prime rate of interest and occasionally indexed to the LIBOR.

 

Commercial lending generally poses a higher degree of credit risk than real estate lending. Repayment of both secured and unsecured commercial loans depends substantially on the success of the borrower’s underlying business, financial condition and cash flows. Unsecured loans generally involve a higher degree of risk of loss than do secured loans because, without collateral, repayment is primarily dependent upon the success of the borrower’s business.

 

Secured commercial loans are generally collateralized by equipment, inventory, accounts receivable and leases. Compared to real estate, such collateral is more difficult to monitor, its value is more difficult to validate, it may depreciate more rapidly and it may not be as readily saleable if repossessed.

 

Consumer Loans

The Bank originates various types of consumer loans, including home equity loans and lines of credit, auto and personal installment loans. Home equity loans and lines of credit are secured by one-to-four family owner-occupied properties, typically by second mortgages. Home equity loans have fixed interest rates, while home equity lines of credit normally adjust based on the Wall Street Journal’s prime rate of interest. Consumer loans are originated through the branch network with the exception of Home Equity Lines Of Credit, which are originated by licensed Mortgage Lending Originator staff.

 

Credit Risk Management and Asset Quality

One of the Bank’s key objectives is to maintain a high level of asset quality. The Bank utilizes the following general practices to manage credit risk: limiting the amount of credit that individual lenders may extend; establishing a process for credit approval accountability; careful initial underwriting and analysis of borrower, transaction, market and collateral risks; ongoing servicing of individual loans and lending relationships; continuous monitoring of the portfolio, market dynamics and the economy; and periodically reevaluating the Bank’s strategy and overall exposure as economic, market and other relevant conditions change.

 

Credit Administration is responsible for determining loan loss reserve adequacy, preparing monthly and quarterly reports regarding the credit quality of the loan portfolio; which are submitted to the Loan Committee to ensure compliance with the credit policy. In addition, Credit Administration is responsible for managing non-performing and classified assets as well as oversight of all collection activity. On a quarterly basis, the Loan Committee reviews commercial and commercial real estate loans that are risk rated as “Special Mention” or worse, focusing on the current status and strategies to improve the credit.

 

The Bank’s loan review activities are performed by an independent third party firm that evaluates the creditworthiness of borrowers and the appropriateness of the Bank’s risk rating classifications. The firm’s findings are reported to Credit Administration and the Loan Committee.

 

Trust and Wealth Advisory Services

The Bank provides a range of fiduciary and trust services including general investment management, wealth advisory services to individuals, families and institutions, and estate administration and settlement services.

 

Securities

Salisbury’s securities portfolio is structured to diversify the earnings, assets and risk structure of Salisbury, provide liquidity consistent with both projected and potential needs, collateralize certain types of deposits, assist with maintaining a satisfactory net interest margin and comply with regulatory capital and liquidity requirements. Securities types include U.S. Government and Agency securities, mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations and bank qualified tax exempt municipal bonds.

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Sources of Funds

The Bank uses deposits, proceeds from loan and security maturities, repayments and sales, and borrowings to fund lending, investing and general operations. Deposits represent the Bank’s primary source of funds.

 

Deposits

The Bank offers a variety of deposit accounts with a range of interest rates and other terms, which are designed to meet customer financial needs. Retail and commercial deposits are received through the Bank’s banking offices. Additional depositor related services provided to customers include ATM, telephone, Internet Banking and Internet Bill Pay services.

 

The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage of $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category. On December 31, 2012, section 343 of the Dodd-Frank Act that provided unlimited deposit insurance coverage for noninterest-bearing transaction accounts and IOLTAs expired.

 

Deposit flows are significantly influenced by economic conditions, the general level of interest rates and the relative attractiveness of competing deposit and investment alternatives. Deposit pricing strategy is monitored weekly by the Pricing Committee, composed of members of Executive Management. When determining deposit pricing, the Bank considers strategic objectives, competitive market rates, deposit flows, funding commitments and investment alternatives, FHLBB advance rates and rates on other sources of funds.

 

National, regional and local economic and credit conditions, changes in competitor money market, savings and time deposit rates, prevailing market interest rates and competing investment alternatives all have a significant impact on the level of the Bank’s deposits. Deposit generation is a key focus for the Bank as a source of liquidity and to fund continuing asset growth. Competition for deposits has been and is expected to remain strong.

 

Borrowings

The Bank is a member of the FHLBB that provides credit facilities for regulated, federally insured depository institutions and certain other home financing institutions. Members of the FHLBB are required to own capital stock in the FHLBB and are authorized to apply for advances on the security of their FHLBB stock and certain home mortgages and other assets (principally securities, which are obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States Government or its agencies) provided certain creditworthiness standards have been met. Under its current credit policies, the FHLBB limits advances based on a member’s assets, total borrowings and net worth. Long-term and short-term FHLBB advances are utilized as a source of funding to meet liquidity and planning needs when the cost of these funds are favorable as compared to deposits or alternate funding sources.

 

Additional funding sources are available through securities sold under agreements to repurchase and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

 

Subsidiaries

Salisbury has one wholly-owned subsidiary, Salisbury Bank and Trust Company. The Bank has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, SBT Mortgage Service Corporation and S.B.T Realty, Inc. SBT Mortgage Service Corporation is a passive investment company ("PIC") that holds loans collateralized by real estate originated or purchased by the Bank. Income of the PIC and its dividends to Salisbury are exempt from the Connecticut Corporate Business Tax. S.B.T Realty, Inc. was formed to hold New York State real estate and is presently inactive.

 

Employees

At December 31, 2012, the Bank had 123 full-time employees and 24 part-time employees. None of the employees were represented by a collective bargaining group. The Bank maintains a comprehensive employee benefit program providing, among other benefits, group medical and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, a pension plan and an employee 401(k) investment plan. Management considers relations with its employees to be good.

 

Market Area

Salisbury and the Bank are headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut, which is located in the northwestern quadrant of Connecticut’s Litchfield County. The Bank has a total of eight banking offices, four of which are located in Connecticut's Litchfield County; two of which are located in Massachusetts’ Berkshire County; and two of which are located in New York’s Dutchess County. The Bank’s primary deposit gathering and lending area consists of the communities and surrounding towns that are served by its branch network in Litchfield, Berkshire and Dutchess counties. The Bank also has deposit, lending and trust relationships outside of these areas.

 

Competition

The Bank faces strong competition in attracting and retaining deposits and in making loans. The primary factors in competing for deposits are interest rates, personalized services, the quality and range of financial services, convenience of office locations, automated services and office hours. Its most direct competition for deposits and loans has come from commercial banks, savings banks and credit unions located in its market area. Competition for deposits also comes from non-banking companies such as brokerage houses that offer a range of deposit and deposit-like products. Although the Bank expects this continuing competition to have an effect upon the cost of funds, it does not anticipate any substantial adverse effect on maintaining the current deposit base. The Bank is competitive within its market area in the various deposit products it offers to depositors. Due to this fact, management believes the Bank has the ability to maintain its deposit base. The Bank does not rely upon any individual, group or entity for a significant portion of its deposits.

 

The Bank's competition for real estate loans comes primarily from mortgage banking companies, savings banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, and other institutional lenders. The primary factors in competing for loans are interest rates, loan origination fees, the quality and range of lending services and personalized service. Factors that affect competition include, among others, the general availability of funds and credit, general and local economic conditions, current interest rate levels and volatility in the mortgage markets.

 

The banking industry is also experiencing rapid changes in technology. In addition to improving customer services, effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to reduce costs. Technological advances are likely to increase competition by enabling more companies to provide cost effective products and services.

6
 

Regulation and Supervision

General

Salisbury is required to file reports and otherwise comply with the rules and regulations of the FRB, the CTDOB, the SEC and NASDAQ.

 

The Bank is subject to extensive regulation by the CTDOB, as its chartering agency, and by the FDIC, as its deposit insurer. The Bank is required to file reports with, and is periodically examined by, the FDIC and the CTDOB concerning its activities and financial condition. It must obtain regulatory approvals prior to entering into certain transactions, such as mergers.

 

The following discussion of the laws, regulations and policies material to the operations of Salisbury and the Bank is a summary and is qualified in its entirety by reference to such laws, regulations and policies. Such statutes, regulations and policies are continually under review by Congress and the State Legislature and federal and state regulatory agencies. Any change in such laws, regulations, or policies could have a material adverse impact on Salisbury or the Bank.

 

Bank Holding Company Regulation

SEC and NASDAQ

Salisbury is subject to the rules and regulations of the SEC and is required to comply with the disclosure and regulatory requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as administered by the SEC. Salisbury’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the trading symbol “SAL” and, accordingly, Salisbury is also subject to the rules of NASDAQ for listed companies.

 

Federal Reserve Board Regulation

Salisbury is a registered bank holding company under the BHCA and is subject to comprehensive regulation and regular examinations by the FRB. The FRB also has extensive enforcement authority over bank holding companies, including, among other things, the ability to assess civil money penalties, to issue cease and desist or removal orders and to require that a holding company divest subsidiaries (including its bank subsidiaries). In general, enforcement actions may be initiated for violations of law and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices.

 

Under FRB policy, a bank holding company must serve as a source of financial and managerial strength for its subsidiary bank. Under this policy, Salisbury is expected to commit resources to support the Bank. The FRB may require a holding company to contribute additional capital to an undercapitalized subsidiary bank. Any capital loans by a bank holding company to its subsidiary bank are subordinate in right of payment to deposits and certain other indebtedness of such subsidiary bank.

 

Bank holding companies must obtain FRB approval before: (i) acquiring, directly or indirectly, ownership or control of another bank or bank holding company; (ii) acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of another bank or bank holding company; or (iii) merging or consolidating with another bank holding company.

 

The BHCA also prohibits a bank holding company, with certain exceptions, from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any company, which is not a bank or bank holding company, or from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks, or providing services for its subsidiaries. The principal exceptions to these prohibitions involve certain non-bank activities, which, by statute or by FRB regulation or order, have been identified as activities closely related to the business of banking or managing or controlling banks. The list of activities permitted by the FRB includes, among other things: (i) operating a savings institution, mortgage company, finance company, credit card company or factoring company; (ii) performing certain data processing operations; (iii) providing certain investment and financial advice; (iv) underwriting and acting as an insurance agent for certain types of credit-related insurance; (v) leasing property on a full-payout, non-operating basis; (vi) selling money orders; (vii) real estate and personal property appraising; (viii) providing tax planning and preparation services; (ix) financing and investing in certain community development activities; and (x) subject to certain limitations, providing securities brokerage services for customers.

 

Connecticut Bank Holding Company Regulation

Salisbury is also subject to Connecticut banking law applicable to Connecticut bank holding companies. Under Connecticut banking law, no person may acquire beneficial ownership of more than 10% of any class of voting securities of a Connecticut-chartered bank, or any bank holding company of such a bank, without prior notification of, and lack of disapproval by, the CTDOB. The CTDOB will disapprove the acquisition if the bank or holding company to be acquired has been in existence for less than five years, unless the CTDOB waives this five-year restriction, or if the acquisition would result in the acquirer controlling 30% or more of the total amount of deposits in insured depository institutions in Connecticut. Similar restrictions apply to any person who holds in excess of 10% of any such class and desires to increase its holdings to 25% or more of such class.

 

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Dividends

Salisbury’s dividends to shareholders are substantially dependent upon Salisbury’s receipt of dividends from the Bank. The FRB has issued a policy statement on the payment of cash dividends by bank holding companies, which expresses the FRB’s view that a bank holding company should be a “source of strength” to its bank subsidiary and should pay cash dividends only to the extent that the holding company’s net income for the past year is sufficient to cover both the cash dividends and a rate of earnings retention that is consistent with the holding company’s capital needs, asset quality and overall financial condition. The FRB also indicated that it would be inappropriate for a company experiencing serious financial problems to borrow funds to pay dividends. Furthermore, the FRB may prohibit a bank holding company from paying any dividends if the holding company’s bank subsidiary is classified as “undercapitalized” or if the dividend would violate applicable law or would be an unsafe or unsound banking practice.

 

Financial Modernization

GLBA permits greater affiliation among banks, securities firms, insurance companies, and other companies under a type of financial services company known as a “financial holding company”. A financial holding company essentially is a bank holding company with significantly expanded powers. Financial holding companies are authorized by statute to engage in a number of financial activities previously impermissible for bank holding companies, including securities underwriting, dealing and market making; sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies; insurance underwriting and agency; and merchant banking activities. The act also permits the FRB and the Treasury to authorize additional activities for financial holding companies if they are “financial in nature” or “incidental” to financial activities. A bank holding company may become a financial holding company if each of its subsidiary banks is “well capitalized” and “well managed” as defined in the FRB’s Regulation Y, and has at least a “satisfactory” Community Reinvestment Act rating. A financial holding company must provide notice to the FRB within 30 days after commencing activities previously determined by statute or by the FRB and the Treasury. Salisbury is a registered financial holding company.

 

Under GLBA, all financial institutions are required to establish policies and procedures with respect to the ability of the Bank to share nonpublic customer data with nonaffiliated parties and to protect customer data from unauthorized access. In addition, the FACT Act includes many provisions concerning national credit reporting standards, and, under certain circumstances, permits consumers, including customers of Salisbury, to opt out of information sharing among affiliated companies for marketing purposes. The FACT Act also requires banks and other financial institutions to notify their customers if they report negative information about them to a credit bureau or if they are granted credit on terms less favorable than those generally available. The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission are granted extensive rulemaking authority under the FACT Act, and Salisbury and the Bank are subject to those provisions. The Bank has developed policies and procedures for itself and its affiliate, Salisbury, and believes it is in compliance with all privacy, information sharing, and notification provisions of GLBA and the FACT Act.

 

Connecticut Banking Laws and Supervision

The Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank under Connecticut law and as such is subject to regulation and examination by the CTDOB. The CTDOB regulates commercial banks, among other financial institutions, for compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of Connecticut, as well as the appropriate rules and regulations of federal agencies. The approval of the CTDOB is required for, among other things, the establishment of branch offices and business combination transactions. The CTDOB conducts periodic examinations of Connecticut-chartered banks. The FDIC also regulates many of the areas regulated by the CTDOB, and federal law may limit some of the authority provided to Connecticut-chartered banks by Connecticut law.

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Lending Activities

Connecticut banking laws grant commercial banks broad lending authority. With certain limited exceptions, total secured and unsecured loans made to any one obligor generally may not exceed 15% of the Bank’s equity capital and reserves for loan and lease losses. However, if the loan is fully secured, such limitations generally may be increased by an additional 10%.

 

Dividends

The Bank may pay cash dividends out of its net profits. For purposes of this restriction, “net profits” represents the remainder of all earnings from current operations. Further, the total amount of all dividends declared by the Bank in any year may not exceed the sum of its net profits for the year in question combined with its retained net profits from the preceding two years, unless the CTDOB approves the larger dividend. Federal law also prevents the Bank from paying dividends or making other capital distributions that would cause it to become “undercapitalized”. The FDIC may also limit a bank’s ability to pay dividends based upon safety and soundness considerations.

 

Powers

Connecticut law permits Connecticut banks to sell insurance and fixed and variable-rate annuities if licensed to do so by the Connecticut Insurance Department. With the prior approval of the CTDOB, Connecticut banks are also authorized to engage in a broad range of activities related to the business of banking, or that are financial in nature or that are permitted under the BHCA, other federal statutes, or the regulations promulgated pursuant to these statutes. Connecticut banks generally are also authorized to engage in any activity permitted for a federal bank or upon filing prior written notice of its intention to engage in such activity with the CTDOB, unless the CTDOB disapproves the activity.

 

Assessments

Connecticut banks are required to pay assessments to the CTDOB based upon a bank’s asset size to fund the CTDOB’s operations. The assessments are generally made annually.

 

Enforcement

Under Connecticut law, the CTDOB has extensive enforcement authority over Connecticut banks and, under certain circumstances, affiliated parties, insiders, and agents. The CTDOB’s enforcement authority includes cease and desist orders, fines, receivership, conservatorship, removal of officers and directors, emergency closures, dissolution and liquidation.

 

New York and Massachusetts Banking Laws and Supervision

Adequately capitalized bank holding companies are permitted to acquire banks in any state subject to specified concentration limits and other conditions. Additionally, legislation authorizes the interstate merger of banks. Among other things, banks may establish new branches on an interstate basis provided that such action is specifically authorized by the law of the host state. The Bank conducts activities and operates branch offices in New York and Massachusetts as well as Connecticut. The Bank, with respect to offices in New York and Massachusetts, may conduct any activity that is authorized under Connecticut law that is permissible for either New York or Massachusetts state banks or for an out-of-state national bank, at its New York and Massachusetts branch offices, respectively. The New York State Superintendent of Banks may exercise regulatory authority with respect to the Bank’s New York branch offices. The Bank is subject to certain rules related to community reinvestment, consumer protection, fair lending, establishment of intra-state branches and the conduct of banking activities with respect to its branches located in New York State. The Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks may exercise similar authority, and the Bank is subject to similar rules under Massachusetts Banking Law with respect to the Bank’s Massachusetts branch offices.

9
 

Federal Regulations

Capital Requirements

Under FDIC regulations, federally insured state-chartered banks, such as the Bank, that are not members of the Federal Reserve System (“state non-member banks”) are required to comply with minimum leverage capital requirements. If the FDIC determines that an institution is not anticipating or experiencing significant growth and is, in general, a strong banking organization, with a composite rating of 1 under the Uniform Financial Institutions Ranking System established by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, the minimum capital leverage requirement is a ratio of Tier 1 capital to total assets of 3%. For all other institutions, the minimum leverage capital ratio is not less than 4%. Tier 1 capital is the sum of common Shareholders’ equity, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock (including any related surplus) and minority investments in certain subsidiaries, less intangible assets (except for certain servicing rights and credit card relationships) and certain other specified items.

 

The FDIC regulations require state non-member banks to maintain certain levels of regulatory capital in relation to regulatory risk-weighted assets. The ratio of regulatory capital to regulatory risk-weighted assets is referred to as a bank’s “risk-based capital ratio”. Risk-based capital ratios are determined by allocating assets and specified off-balance sheet items (including recourse obligations, direct credit substitutes and residual interests) to four risk-weighted categories ranging from 0% to 100%, and in some instances 200% or assets subject to dollar-for-dollar capital requirements, with higher levels of capital being required for the categories perceived as representing greater risk.

 

To be considered “well capitalized”, banks are generally expected to maintain a minimum ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8%, of which at least one-half must be Tier 1 capital. Total capital consists of Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 or supplementary capital items, which include allowances for loan losses in an amount of up to 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, cumulative preferred stock and certain other capital instruments, and a portion of the net unrealized gain on equity securities. The includable amount of Tier 2 capital cannot exceed the amount of the institution’s Tier 1 capital. Banks that engage in specified levels of trading activities are subject to adjustments in their risk based capital calculation to ensure the maintenance of sufficient capital to support market risk.

 

As a bank holding company, Salisbury is subject to FRB capital adequacy guidelines for bank holding companies similar to those of the FDIC for state-chartered banks.

 

In December 2010, the Basel Committee, a group of bank regulatory supervisors from around the world, released its final framework for strengthening international capital and liquidity regulation, now officially identified by the Basel Committee as “Basel III.” Basel III, when fully implemented by the U.S. bank regulatory agencies and fully phased-in, will require bank holding companies and their bank subsidiaries to maintain substantially more capital, with a greater emphasis on common equity.

 

Given that the Basel III rules are subject to implementation and change and the scope and content of capital regulations that U.S. federal banking agencies may adopt under the Dodd-Frank Act is uncertain, we cannot be certain of the impact new capital regulations will have on our capital ratios.

 

Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action

Federal law requires, among other things, that federal bank regulatory authorities take “prompt corrective action” with respect to banks that do not meet minimum capital requirements. For these purposes, the law establishes five capital categories:

Well capitalized – at least 5% leverage capital, 6% Tier 1 risk based capital and 10% total risk based capital.
Adequately capitalized – at least 4% leverage capital, 4% Tier 1 risk based capital and 8% total risk based capital.
Undercapitalized – less than 4% leverage capital, 4% Tier 1 risk based capital and less than 8% total risk based capital. “Undercapitalized” banks must adhere to growth, capital distribution (including dividend) and other limitations and are required to submit a capital restoration plan. A bank’s compliance with such a plan is required to be guaranteed by any company that controls the undercapitalized institution in an amount equal to the lesser of 5% of the institution’s total assets when deemed undercapitalized or the amount necessary to achieve the status of adequately capitalized.
Significantly undercapitalized – less than 3% leverage capital, 3% Tier 1 risk based capital and less than 6% total risk-based capital. “Significantly undercapitalized” banks must comply with one or more of a number of additional restrictions, including but not limited to an order by the FDIC to sell sufficient voting stock to become adequately capitalized, requirements to reduce total assets, cease receipt of deposits from correspondent banks or dismiss directors or officers, and restrictions on interest rates paid on deposits, compensation of executive officers and capital distributions by the parent holding company.
Critically undercapitalized – less than 2% tangible capital. “Critically undercapitalized” institutions are subject to additional measures including, subject to a narrow exception, the appointment of a receiver or conservator within 270 days after it obtains such status.

 

As of December 31, 2012, the Bank was “well capitalized”.

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Transactions with Affiliates

Under federal law, transactions between depository institutions and their affiliates are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the FRA. In a holding company context, at a minimum, the parent holding company of a bank and any companies which are controlled by such parent holding company are affiliates of the bank. Generally, Sections 23A and 23B are intended to protect insured depository institutions from suffering losses arising from transactions with non-insured affiliates, by limiting the extent to which a bank or its subsidiaries may engage in covered transactions with any one affiliate and with all affiliates of the bank in the aggregate, and by requiring that such transactions be on terms that are consistent with safe and sound banking practices.

 

Further, Section 22(h) of the FRA and Regulation O restrict loans to directors, executive officers, and principal shareholders (“insiders”). Under Section 22(h), loans to insiders and their related interests may not exceed, together with all other outstanding loans to such persons and affiliated entities, the institution’s total capital and surplus. Loans to insiders above specified amounts must receive the prior approval of the board of directors. Further, under Section 22(h), loans to directors, executive officers and principal shareholders must be made on terms substantially the same as offered in comparable transactions to other persons, except that such insiders may receive preferential loans made under a benefit or compensation program that is widely available to the bank’s employees and does not give preference to the insider over the employees. Section 22(g) of the FRA imposes additional limitations on loans to executive officers.

 

Enforcement

The FDIC has extensive enforcement authority over insured banks, including the Bank. This enforcement authority includes, among other things, the ability to assess civil money penalties, issue cease and desist orders and remove directors and officers. In general, these enforcement actions may be initiated in response to violations of laws and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices.

 

Standards for Safety and Soundness

The FDIC, together with the other federal bank regulatory agencies, prescribe standards of safety and soundness by regulations or guidelines, relating generally to operations and management, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, stock valuation and compensation. The federal bank regulatory agencies have adopted a set of guidelines prescribing safety and soundness standards, which establish general standards relating to internal controls and information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, and compensation, fees and benefits. In general, the guidelines require, among other things, appropriate systems and practices to identify and manage the risks and exposures specified in the guidelines. The guidelines prohibit excessive compensation as an unsafe and unsound practice and describe compensation as excessive when the amounts paid are unreasonable or disproportionate to the services performed by an executive officer, employee, director or principal shareholder. In addition, the federal bank regulatory agencies adopted regulations that authorize, but do not require, the agencies to order an institution that has been given notice that it is not satisfying the safety and soundness guidelines to submit a compliance plan. The federal bank regulatory agencies have also adopted guidelines for asset quality and earning standards. As a state-chartered bank, the Bank is also subject to state statutes, regulations and guidelines relating to safety and soundness, in addition to the federal requirements.

 

Insurance of Deposit Accounts

The Bank’s deposit accounts are insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) of the FDIC up to applicable legal limits (generally, $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category and $250,000 for certain retirement plan accounts) and are subject to deposit insurance assessments. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.

 

The FDIC utilizes a risk-based assessment system that imposes insurance premiums based upon a risk matrix that takes into account a bank’s capital level and supervisory rating. The FDIC assigns an institution to one of the following capital categories based on the institution’s financial condition consisting of (1) well capitalized, (2) adequately capitalized or (3) undercapitalized, and one of three supervisory subcategories within each capital group. The supervisory subgroup to which an institution is assigned is based on a supervisory evaluation provided to the FDIC by the institution’s primary federal regulator and information which the FDIC determines to be relevant to the institution’s financial condition and the risk posed to the deposit insurance funds. An institution’s assessment rate depends on the capital category and supervisory category to which it is assigned.

 

FDIC insured institutions are required to pay assessments to the FDIC to fund the DIF. The Bank’s current annual assessment rate is approximately 8 basis points of total assets. Additionally, FDIC insured institutions are required to pay assessments to the FDIC to fund interest payments on bonds issued by The Financing Corporation, an agency of the federal government established to recapitalize the predecessor to the Savings Association Insurance Fund. The assessment rate is adjusted quarterly to reflect changes in the assessment bases of the fund based on quarterly Call Report and Thrift Financial Report submissions. From time to time, the FDIC may impose a supplemental special assessment in addition to other special assessments and regular premium rates to replenish the deposit insurance funds during periods of economic difficulty. The amount of an emergency special assessment imposed on a bank will be determined by the FDIC if such amount is necessary to provide sufficient assessment income to repay amounts borrowed from the Treasury; to provide sufficient assessment income to repay obligations issued to and other amounts borrowed from insured depository institutions; or for any other purpose the FDIC may deem necessary. The Bank’s last special assessment was in the second quarter of 2009.

 

The FDIC may terminate insurance of deposits, after notice and a hearing, if it finds that the institution is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC. The management of the Bank does not know of any practice, condition or violation that might lead to termination of deposit insurance.

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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”)

The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in July 2010, significantly changed the bank regulatory landscape and has impacted lending, deposit, investment, trading and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. The Dodd-Frank Act revised the statutory authorities governing the FDIC’s management of the DIF. The Dodd-Frank Act granted the FDIC new DIF management tools: maintaining a positive Fund balance even during a banking crisis and maintaining moderate, steady assessment rates throughout economic and credit cycles.

 

Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act: (1) raised the minimum designated reserve ratio (DRR), which the FDIC must set each year, to 1.35 percent (from the former minimum of 1.15 percent) and removed the upper limit on the DRR (which was formerly capped at 1.5 percent) and therefore on the size of the DIF; (2) required that the DIF reserve ratio reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020 (rather than 1.15 percent by the end of 2016, as formerly required); (3) required that, in setting assessments, the FDIC offset the effect of requiring that the reserve ratio reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020 rather than 1.15 percent by the end of 2016 on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10,000,000,000; (4) eliminated the requirement that the FDIC provide dividends from the Fund when the reserve ratio is between 1.35 percent and 1.5 percent; and (5) continued the FDIC’s authority to declare dividends when the reserve ratio at the end of a calendar year is at least 1.5 percent, but granted the FDIC sole discretion in determining whether to suspend or limit the declaration or payment of dividends.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act also required that the FDIC amend its regulations to redefine the assessment base used for calculating deposit insurance assessments. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the assessment base must, with some possible exceptions, equal average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity.

 

The FDIC amended 12 CFR 327 to implement revisions to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act made by the Dodd-Frank Act by modifying the definition of an institution’s deposit insurance assessment base; to change the assessment rate adjustments; to revise the deposit insurance assessment rate schedules in light of the new assessment base and altered adjustments; to implement the Dodd-Frank Act’s dividend provisions; to revise the large insured depository institution assessment system to better differentiate for risk and better take into account losses from large institution failures that the FDIC may incur; and to make technical and other changes to the FDIC's assessment rules. The FDIC Board of Directors adopted the final rule, which redefined the deposit insurance assessment base as required by the Dodd-Frank Act; made changes to assessment rates; implemented the Dodd-Frank Act’s DIF dividend provisions; and revised the risk-based assessment system for all large insured depository institutions, generally, those institutions with at least $10 billion in total assets. Nearly all of the 7,600-plus institutions with assets less than $10 billion, including the Bank, have benefited from a reduction in their assessments as a result of this final rule.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act requires publicly traded companies to give shareholders a non-binding vote of executive compensation at, for smaller reporting companies such as Salisbury, the first annual meeting taking place after January 21, 2013 and at least every three (3) years thereafter. The legislation also authorizes the SEC to prohibit broker discretion on any voting on election of directors, executive compensation matters, and any other significant matter.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act also adopts various mortgage lending and predatory lending provisions and requires loan originators to retain 5% of any loan sold and securitized, unless it is a “qualified residential mortgage”, which includes standard 30 and 15-year fixed rate loans.

 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Dodd-Frank Act created a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, jurisdiction for all existing consumer protection laws and regulations has been transferred to the CFPB. In addition, the CFPB is granted authority to promulgate new consumer protection regulations for banks and nonbank financial firms offering consumer financial services or products to ensure that consumers are protected from “unfair, deceptive, or abusive” acts or practices. The CFPB has begun conducting studies of existing consumer protection regulations to gauge their effectiveness and to solicit comment on potential new regulations.

 

Federal Reserve System

All depository institutions must hold a percentage of certain types of deposits as reserves. Reserve requirements currently are assessed on the depository institution's net transaction accounts (primarily checking accounts). Depository institutions must also regularly submit deposit reports of their deposits and other reservable liabilities.

 

For net transaction accounts in 2012, the first $11.5 million (which may be adjusted by the FRB) will be exempt from reserve requirements. A 3 percent reserve ratio will be assessed on net transaction accounts over $11.5 million up to and including $71.0 million (which may be adjusted by the FRB). A 10 percent reserve ratio will be assessed on net transaction accounts in excess of $71.0 million (which may be adjusted by the FRB). The Bank is in compliance with these requirements.

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Federal Home Loan Bank System

The Bank is a member of the Boston region of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which consists of 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The FHLBB provides a central credit facility primarily for member institutions. Member institutions are required to acquire and hold shares of capital stock in the FHLBB calculated periodically based primarily on its level of borrowings from the FHLBB. The Bank was in compliance with this requirement. At December 31, 2012, the Bank had FHLBB stock of $5.7 million and FHLBB advances of $32.0 million.

 

No market exists for shares of the FHLBB and therefore, they are carried at par value. FHLBB stock may be redeemed at par value five years following termination of FHLBB membership, subject to limitations which may be imposed by the FHLBB or its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Board, to maintain capital adequacy of the FHLBB. While the Bank currently has no intentions to terminate its FHLBB membership, the ability to redeem its investment in FHLBB stock would be subject to the conditions imposed by the FHLBB.

 

In 2008, the FHLBB announced to its members it was focusing on preserving capital in response to ongoing market volatility including the extension of a moratorium on excess stock repurchases and in 2009 announced the suspension of its quarterly dividends. On February 22, 2011, the FHLBB announced the resumption of modest quarterly cash dividends to its members through 2011 and on June 27, 2011 the FHLBB announced the discontinuation of its excess stock pool effective June 28, 2011, and designated December 28, 2011, as the required stock purchase date. Based on the capital adequacy and the liquidity position of the FHLBB, management believes there is no impairment related to the carrying amount of the Bank’s FHLBB stock as of December 31, 2012. Further deterioration of the FHLBB’s capital levels may require the Bank to deem its restricted investment in FHLBB stock to be OTTI. If evidence of impairment exists in the future, the FHLBB stock would reflect fair value using either observable or unobservable inputs. The Bank will continue to monitor its investment in FHLBB stock.

 

Troubled Asset Relief Program and Capital Purchase Program

TARP was established as part of EESA in October 2008. The TARP gave the Treasury authority to deploy up to $700 billion into the financial system with the objective of improving liquidity in the capital markets. On October 24, 2008, the Treasury announced plans to direct $250 billion of the $700 billion authorized into preferred stock investments in banks (the “CPP”). The general terms of this preferred stock program for a participant bank that is a public company were as follows: pay 5% dividends on the Treasury’s preferred stock for the first five years and 9% dividends thereafter; cannot increase common dividends for three years while the Treasury is an investor; the Treasury receives warrants entitling the Treasury to buy participating banks’ common stock equal to 15% of the Treasury’s total investment in the participating bank; and participating bank executives must agree to certain compensation restrictions, and restrictions on the amount of executive compensation which is tax deductible and other detailed terms and conditions. In addition to the executive compensation restrictions announced by the Treasury, participants in the CPP are also subject to the more stringent executive compensation limits enacted as part of the ARRA, which was signed into law on February 17, 2009. Among other things, the ARRA more strictly limits the payment of incentive compensation and any severance or golden parachute payments to certain highly compensated employees of CPP participants, expands the scope of employees who are subject to a claw-back of bonus and incentive compensation that is based on results that are later found to be materially inaccurate, adds additional corporate governance requirements, and requires the Treasury to perform a retroactive review of compensation to the five highest compensated employees of all CPP participants.

 

On March 13, 2009, Salisbury sold to the Secretary of the Treasury (i) 8,816 shares of its Series A Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, having a liquidation preference of $1,000 per share (the Series A Preferred Stock) and (ii) a ten-year warrant to purchase up to 57,671 shares of its common stock, par value $0.10 per share, at an exercise price of $22.93 per share (the “Warrant”), for an aggregate purchase price of $8,816,000 in cash. All of the proceeds from the sale of its Series A Preferred Stock were treated as Tier 1 Capital for regulatory purposes.

 

On August 25, 2011, Salisbury repurchased from the Secretary of the Treasury for $8,816,000 all of its 8,816 shares of Series A Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock and on November 2, 2011, Salisbury repurchased from the Secretary of the Treasury for $205,000 the Warrant to purchase up to 57,671 shares of Salisbury’s Common Stock at a purchase price of $22.93 per share.

 

Small Business Lending Fund

Treasury’s SBLF program is a $30 billion fund established under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to encourage lending to small businesses by providing Tier 1 capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion.

 

Salisbury elected to participate in Treasury’s SBLF program and on August 25, 2011, Salisbury sold to the Secretary of the Treasury $16,000,000 of its Series B Preferred Stock under the SBLF program, and simultaneously repurchased all of its Series A Preferred Stock sold to the Treasury in 2009 under the Capital Purchase Program, a part of TARP. All of the proceeds from the sale of its Series B Preferred Stock are treated as Tier 1 Capital for regulatory purposes.

 

The Series B Preferred Stock pays noncumulative dividends. The dividend rate on the Series B Preferred Stock for the initial ten quarterly dividend periods, commencing with the period ended September 30, 2011 and ending with the period ended December 31, 2013, is determined each quarter based on the increase in the Bank’s Qualified Small Business Lending over a baseline amount. The dividend rate for the quarterly period ended December 31, 2012 was 1.00%. For the eleventh quarterly dividend payment through four and one-half years after its issuance, the dividend rate on the Series B Preferred Stock will be fixed at the rate in effect at the end of the ninth quarterly dividend period and after four and one-half years from its issuance the dividend rate will be fixed at 9 percent per annum. The Series B Preferred Stock is non-voting, other than voting rights on matters that could adversely affect the Series B Preferred Stock. The Series B Preferred Stock is redeemable at any time at one hundred percent of the issue price plus any accrued and unpaid dividends.

 

Other Regulations

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

The stated goals of SOX are to increase corporate responsibility, to provide for enhanced penalties for accounting and auditing improprieties at publicly traded companies and to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures pursuant to the securities laws.

 

SOX includes very specific disclosure requirements and corporate governance rules, requires the SEC and securities exchanges to adopt extensive additional disclosure, corporate governance and other related rules, and mandates further studies of certain issues by the SEC and the Comptroller General. SOX represents significant federal involvement in matters traditionally left to state regulatory systems, such as the regulation of the accounting profession, and to state corporate law, such as the relationship between a board of directors and management and between a board of directors and its committees.

 

SOX addresses, among other matters, audit committees; certification of financial statements and internal controls by the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer; the forfeiture of bonuses or other incentive-based compensation and profits from the sale of an issuer’s securities by directors and senior officers in the twelve-month period following initial publication of any financial statements that later require restatement; a prohibition on insider trading during pension plan black-out periods; disclosure of off-balance sheet transactions; a prohibition on certain loans to directors and officers; expedited filing requirements for Forms 4; disclosure of a code of ethics and filing a Form 8-K for significant changes or waivers of such code; “real time” filing of periodic reports; the formation of a public company accounting oversight board; auditor independence; and various increased criminal penalties for violations of securities laws. The SEC has enacted rules to implement various provisions of SOX.

 

USA PATRIOT Act

Under the USA PATRIOT Act, all financial institutions are required to take certain measures to identify their customers, prevent money laundering, monitor customer transactions and report suspicious activity to U.S. law enforcement agencies. Financial institutions also are required to respond to requests for information from federal banking regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies. Information sharing among financial institutions for the above purposes is encouraged by an exemption granted to complying financial institutions from the privacy provisions of GLBA and other privacy laws. Financial institutions that hold correspondent accounts for foreign banks or provide private banking services to foreign individuals are required to take measures to avoid dealing with certain foreign individuals or entities, including foreign banks with profiles that raise money laundering concerns, and are prohibited from dealing with foreign “shell banks” and persons from jurisdictions of particular concern. The primary federal banking regulators and the Secretary of the Treasury have adopted regulations to implement several of these provisions. All financial institutions also are required to establish internal anti-money laundering programs. The effectiveness of a financial institution in combating money laundering activities is a factor to be considered in any application submitted by the financial institution under the Bank Merger Act or the BHCA. Salisbury has in place a Bank Secrecy Act and USA PATRIOT Act compliance program, and engages in very few transactions of any kind with foreign financial institutions or foreign persons.

 

Community Reinvestment Act and Fair Lending Laws

Salisbury has a responsibility under the CRA to help meet the credit needs of our communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community, consistent with the CRA. In connection with its examination, the FDIC assesses the Bank’s record of compliance with the CRA. In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination in lending practices on the basis of characteristics specified in those statutes. The Bank’s failure to comply with the provisions of the CRA could, at a minimum, result in regulatory restrictions on our activities. The Bank’s failure to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act could result in enforcement actions against the Bank by the FDIC as well as other federal regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice. The Bank’s most recent FDIC CRA rating was “satisfactory”.

 

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act, Regulation E and Related Laws

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (the “EFTA”) provides a basic framework for establishing the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of consumers who use electronic funds transfer (“EFT”) systems. The EFTA is implemented by the Federal Reserve's Regulation E, which governs transfers initiated through ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, payroll cards, automated clearinghouse (“ACH”) transactions, telephone bill-payment plans, or remote banking services. Regulation E requires consumers to opt in (affirmatively consent) to participation in the Bank's overdraft service program for ATM and one-time debit card transactions before overdraft fees may be assessed on the consumer’s account. Notice of the opt-in right must be provided to all new customers who are consumers, and the customer's affirmative consent must be obtained, before charges may be assessed on the consumer's account for paying such overdrafts.

 

Regulation E also provides bank customers with an ongoing right to revoke consent to participation in an overdraft service program for ATM and one-time debit card transactions and prohibits banks from conditioning the payment of overdrafts for checks, ACH transactions, or other types of transactions that overdraw the consumer's account on the consumer's opting into an overdraft service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. For customers who do not affirmatively consent to overdraft service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions, a bank must provide those customers with the same account terms, conditions, and features that it provides to consumers who do affirmatively consent, except for the overdraft service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions.

 

The FDIC issued FIL-81-2010 to provide “guidance” (“Overdraft Guidance”) on automated overdraft service programs to ensure that a bank mitigates the risks associated with offering automated overdraft payment programs and complies with all consumer protection laws and regulations.

 

Impact of Inflation and Changing Prices

The Consolidated Financial Statements and their Notes presented within this document have been prepared in accordance with GAAP, which require the measurement of financial position and operating results in terms of historical dollar amounts without considering changes in the relative purchasing power of money over time due to inflation. The impact of inflation is reflected in the increased cost of Salisbury’s operations. Unlike the assets and liabilities of industrial companies, nearly all of the assets and liabilities of Salisbury are monetary in nature. As a result, interest rates have a greater impact on Salisbury’s performance than do the effects of general levels of inflation. Interest rates do not necessarily move in the same direction or to the same extent as the prices of goods and services.

 

Availability of Securities and Exchange Commission Filings

Salisbury makes available free of charge on its website (www.salisburybank.com) a link to its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as practicable after such reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Such reports filed with the SEC are also available on its website (www.sec.gov). The public may also read and copy any materials filed with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. Information about accessing company filings can be obtained by calling 1-800-SEC-0330. Information on Salisbury’s website is not incorporated by reference into this report. Investors are encouraged to access these reports and the other information about Salisbury’s business and operations on its website. Copies of these filings may also be obtained from Salisbury free of charge upon request.

 

Guide 3 Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies

The following information required by Securities Act Guide 3 “Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies” is located on the pages noted below.

    Page
I. Distribution of Assets, Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity; Interest Rates and Interest Differentials 20-21
II. Investment Portfolio 27, 49-50
III. Loan Portfolio  28-32, 51-55
IV. Summary of Loan Loss Experience  23-24, 54-55
V. Deposits  33, 58
VI. Return on Equity and Assets 18
VII. Short-Term Borrowings 33, 58

 

Item 1A. RISK FACTORS

Salisbury is the registered bank holding company for the Bank, its wholly-owned subsidiary. Salisbury's activity is currently limited to the holding of the Bank's outstanding capital stock, and the Bank is Salisbury's primary investment.

 

An investment in Salisbury common stock entails certain risks. Salisbury considers the most significant factors affecting risk in Salisbury common stock as those that are set forth below. These are not the only risks of an investment in Salisbury common stock, and none of the factors set forth below relates to the personal circumstances of individual investors. Investors should read this entire Form 10-K, as well as other documents and exhibits that are incorporated by reference in the 10-K and that have been filed with the SEC, in order to better understand these risks and to evaluate investment in Salisbury common stock.

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Changes in interest rates and spreads could have a negative impact on earnings.

Salisbury’s earnings and financial condition are dependent to a large degree upon net interest income, which is the difference between interest earned from loans and investments and interest paid on deposits and borrowings. The narrowing of interest rate spreads, meaning the difference between interest rates earned on loans and investments and the interest rates paid on deposits and borrowings, could adversely affect Salisbury’s earnings and financial condition. Salisbury cannot predict with certainty or control changes in interest rates. Regional and local economic conditions and the policies of regulatory authorities, including monetary policies of the FRB, affect interest income and interest expense. Salisbury has ongoing policies and procedures designed to manage the risks associated with changes in market interest rates.

 

However, changes in interest rates still may have an adverse effect on Salisbury’s profitability. For example, high interest rates could also affect the volume of loans that Salisbury originates, because higher rates could cause customers to apply for fewer mortgages, or cause depositors to shift funds from accounts that have a comparatively lower rate, to accounts with a higher rate or experience customer attrition due to competitor pricing. If the cost of interest-bearing deposits increases at a rate greater than the yields on interest-earning assets increase, net interest income will be negatively affected. Changes in the asset and liability mix may also affect net interest income. Similarly, lower interest rates cause higher yielding assets to prepay and floating or adjustable rate assets to reset to lower rates. If Salisbury is not able to reduce its funding costs sufficiently, due to either competitive factors or the maturity schedule of existing liabilities, then Salisbury’s net interest margin will decline.

 

Weakness in the markets for residential or commercial real estate, including the secondary residential mortgage loan markets, could reduce Salisbury’s net income and profitability.

Declines in home prices, increases in delinquency and default rates, and constrained secondary credit markets affect the mortgage industry generally. Salisbury’s financial results may be adversely affected by changes in real estate values. Decreases in real estate values could adversely affect the value of property used as collateral for loans and investments. If poor economic conditions result in decreased demand for real estate loans, Salisbury’s net income and profits may decrease.

 

Weakness in the secondary market for residential lending could have an adverse impact upon Salisbury’s profitability. The effects of ongoing mortgage market challenges, combined with the ongoing correction in residential real estate market prices and reduced levels of home sales, could result in further price reductions in single family home values, adversely affecting the value of collateral securing mortgage loans held, mortgage loan originations and gains on sale of mortgage loans. Declines in real estate values and home sales volumes, and financial stress on borrowers as a result of job losses, or other factors, could have further adverse effects on borrowers that result in higher delinquencies and greater charge-offs in future periods beyond that which is provided for in Salisbury’s allowance for loan losses, which would adversely affect Salisbury’s financial condition or results of operations.

 

Salisbury’s allowance for loan losses may be insufficient.

Salisbury’s business is subject to periodic fluctuations based on national and local economic conditions. These fluctuations are not predictable, cannot be controlled and may have a material adverse impact on Salisbury’s operations and financial condition. For example, declines in housing activity including declines in building permits, housing sales and home prices may make it more difficult for Salisbury’s borrowers to sell their homes or refinance their debt. Slow sales could strain the resources of real estate developers and builders. The ongoing economic uncertainty has affected employment levels and could impact the ability of Salisbury’s borrowers to service their debt. Bank regulatory agencies also periodically review Salisbury’s allowance for loan losses and may require an increase in the provision for credit losses or the recognition of further loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. In addition, if charge-offs in future periods exceed the allowance for loan losses Salisbury will need additional provisions to increase the allowance for loan losses. Any increases in the allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in net income and, possibly, capital, and may have a material adverse effect on Salisbury's financial condition and results of operations. Salisbury may suffer higher loan losses as a result of these factors and the resulting impact on its borrowers.

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Credit market conditions may impact Salisbury’s investments.

Significant credit market anomalies may impact the valuation and liquidity of Salisbury’s investment securities. The problems of numerous financial institutions have reduced market liquidity, increased normal bid-asked spreads and increased the uncertainty of market participants. Such illiquidity could reduce the market value of Salisbury’s investments, even those with no apparent credit exposure. The valuation of Salisbury’s investments requires judgment and as market conditions change investment values may also change.

 

If all or a significant portion of the unrealized losses in Salisbury’s portfolio of investment securities were determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired, Salisbury would recognize a material charge to its earnings and its capital ratios would be adversely impacted.

As of December 31, 2012, Salisbury had $2.9 million of after-tax unrealized gains associated with its portfolio of securities available-for-sale, compared with $1.4 million of after-tax unrealized gains at December 31, 2011. Fair values of securities are supplied by third-party sources.

 

Management must assess whether unrealized losses are other-than-temporary and relies on data supplied by third-party sources to do so. The determination of whether a decline in fair value is other-than-temporary considers numerous factors, many of which involve significant judgment.

 

To the extent that any portion of the unrealized losses in Salisbury’s portfolio of investment securities is determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired, Salisbury will recognize a charge to its earnings in the quarter during which such determination is made and its earnings and capital ratios will be adversely impacted. Salisbury did not recognize any other-than-temporary impairment losses in 2012. However, in 2009, Salisbury recognized $744,000 in after-tax charges to earnings as a result of other-than-temporary impairment determinations.

 

If the goodwill that Salisbury has recorded in connection with its acquisitions becomes impaired, it could have a negative impact on Salisbury’s profitability.

Applicable accounting standards require that the purchase method of accounting be used for all business combinations. Under purchase accounting, if the purchase price of an acquired company exceeds the fair value of the acquired company’s net assets, the excess is carried on the acquirer’s balance sheet as goodwill. At December 31, 2012, Salisbury had $9.8 million of goodwill on its balance sheet. Salisbury must evaluate goodwill for impairment at least annually. Write-downs of the amount of any impairment, if necessary, are to be charged to the results of operations in the period in which the impairment occurs. There can be no assurance that future evaluations of goodwill will not result in findings of impairment and related write-downs, which may have a material adverse effect on Salisbury’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

Salisbury’s ability to pay dividends substantially depends upon its receipt of dividends from the Bank.

Cash dividends from the Bank and Salisbury’s liquid assets are the principal sources of funds for paying cash dividends on Salisbury’s common stock and preferred stock. Unless Salisbury receives dividends from the Bank or chooses to use its liquid assets, it may not be able to pay dividends. The Bank’s ability to pay dividends to Salisbury is subject to its ability to earn net income and to meet certain regulatory requirements.

 

Strong competition within Salisbury’s market areas may limit growth and profitability.

Competition in the banking and financial services industry is intense. Salisbury competes with commercial banks, savings institutions, mortgage brokerage firms, credit unions, finance companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, and brokerage and investment banking firms operating locally and elsewhere. As Salisbury grows, it may expand into contiguous market areas where it may not be as well-known as other institutions that have been operating in those areas for some time. In addition, larger banking institutions may become increasingly active in its market areas and may have substantially greater resources and lending limits than it has and may offer certain services that it does not or cannot efficiently provide. Salisbury’s profitability depends upon its continued ability to successfully compete in its market areas. The greater resources and deposit and loan products offered by some competitors may limit its ability to grow profitably.

 

Salisbury is subject to extensive government regulation and supervision.

Salisbury and the Bank are subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, not Shareholders. These regulations affect Salisbury’s lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, and dividend policy and growth, among other things. State and federal legislatures and regulatory agencies continually review banking laws, regulations and policies for possible changes. Changes to statutes, regulations or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations or policies, could affect Salisbury in substantial and unpredictable ways. Such changes could subject Salisbury to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products it may offer and/or increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things. Failure to comply with laws, regulations or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties and/or reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on Salisbury’s business, financial condition and results of operations. While Salisbury has policies and procedures designed to prevent any such violations, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur. See the section captioned “Supervision and Regulation” in Item 1 of this report for further information.

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Salisbury’s stock price can be volatile.

Salisbury’s stock price can fluctuate widely in response to a variety of factors including:

Actual or anticipated variations in quarterly operating results
Recommendations by securities analysts
New technology used, or services offered, by competitors
Significant acquisitions or business combinations, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments by or involving Salisbury or Salisbury’s competitors
Failure to integrate acquisitions or realize anticipated benefits from acquisitions
Operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to Salisbury
News reports relating to trends, concerns and other issues in the financial services industry
Changes in government regulations
Geopolitical conditions such as acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts
Extended recessionary environment

General market fluctuations, industry factors and general economic and political conditions and events, such as economic slowdowns or recessions, interest rate changes, credit loss trends or currency fluctuations could also cause Salisbury’s stock price to decrease regardless of Salisbury’s operating results.

 

Salisbury may not be able to attract and retain skilled personnel.

Salisbury’s success depends, in large part, on its ability to attract and retain key people. Competition for people with specialized knowledge and skills can be intense and Salisbury may not be able to hire people or to retain them. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of Salisbury’s key personnel could have a material adverse impact on the business because of their skills, knowledge of the market, years of industry experience and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.

 

Salisbury continually encounters technological change.

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 can increase efficiency and enable financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. However, some new technologies needed to compete effectively result in incremental operating costs. Salisbury’s future success depends, in part, upon its ability to address the needs of its customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in operations. Many of Salisbury’s competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. Salisbury may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to its customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on Salisbury’s business and, in turn, its financial condition and results of operations.

 

Salisbury’s controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented.

Management regularly reviews and updates Salisbury’s internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of the controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on Salisbury’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Customer information may be misappropriated and used fraudulently.

Risk of theft of customer information resulting from security breaches by third parties exposes banks to reputation risk and potential monetary loss. Like other financial institutions, Salisbury has exposure to fraudulent misuse of its customer’s personal information resulting from its general business operations through loss or theft of the information and through misappropriation of information by third parties in connection with customer use of financial instruments, such as debit cards.

 

In addition, Salisbury relies upon a variety of computing platforms and networks over the internet for the purposes of data processing, communications and information exchange. Despite the safeguards instituted by Salisbury, any systems are susceptible to a breach of security. In addition, Salisbury relies on the services of a variety of third party vendors to meet Salisbury’s data processing and communication needs. The occurrence of any failures, interruptions or security breaches of Salisbury’s information systems or that of its vendors could damage Salisbury’s reputation, result in a loss of customer business or expose Salisbury to civil litigation and possible financial loss. Such costs and/or losses could materially offset Salisbury’s earnings.

 

Changes in accounting standards can materially impact Salisbury’s financial statements.

Salisbury’s accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how Salisbury records and reports its financial condition and results of operations. From time to time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board or regulatory authorities change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of Salisbury’s financial statements. These changes can be hard to predict and can materially impact how it records and reports its financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, it could be required to apply a new or revised standard retroactively, resulting in Salisbury restating prior period financial statements.

 

Changes and interpretations of tax laws and regulations may adversely impact Salisbury’s financial statements.

Local, state or federal tax authorities may interpret tax laws and regulations differently than Salisbury and challenge tax positions that Salisbury has taken on its tax returns. This may result in the disallowance of deductions or differences in the timing of deductions and result in the payment of additional taxes, interest or penalties that could materially affect Salisbury’s performance.

 

Unprecedented disruption and significantly increased risk in the financial markets may impact Salisbury.

The banking industry has experienced unprecedented turmoil over recent years as some of the world’s major financial institutions collapsed, were seized or were forced into mergers as the credit markets tightened and the economy headed into a recession and has eroded confidence in the world’s financial system. Measures taken by the Government in an effort to stabilize the economy may have unintended consequences and there can be no assurance that Salisbury will not be impacted by current market uncertainty in a way it cannot currently predict or mitigate.

 

Item 1B. UNRESOLVED SEC STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

Item 2. PROPERTIES

Salisbury does not own or lease any properties. The properties described below are owned or leased by the Bank.

 

The Bank conducts its business at its main office, located at 5 Bissell Street, Lakeville, Connecticut, and through seven full service branch offices located in Canaan, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, Sheffield and South Egremont, Massachusetts, and Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank’s trust and wealth advisory services division is located in a separate building adjacent to the main office of the Bank in Lakeville, Connecticut. The Bank owns its main office and five of its branch offices and leases two branch offices.

 

For additional information, see Note 6, “Bank Premises and Equipment,” and Note 17, “Commitments and Contingent Liabilities” To the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

The following table includes all property owned or leased by the Bank, but does not include Other Real Estate Owned.

Offices Location Owned/Leased Lease expiration
Main Office 5 Bissell Street, Lakeville, CT Owned -
Trust and Wealth Advisory Services Division 19 Bissell Street, Lakeville, CT Owned -
Salisbury Office 18 Main Street, Salisbury, CT Owned -
Sharon Office 29 Low Road, Sharon, CT Owned -
Canaan Operations 94 Main Street, Canaan, CT Owned -
Canaan Office 100 Main Street, Canaan, CT Owned -
Millerton Office 87 Main Street, Millerton, NY Owned -
South Egremont Office 51 Main Street, South Egremont, MA Leased 9/10/14
Sheffield Office 640 North Main Street, Sheffield, MA Owned -
Dover Plains Office 5 Dover Village Plaza, Dover Plains, NY Leased 3/26/17

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Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The Bank is involved in various claims and legal proceedings arising out of the ordinary course of business.

 

As previously disclosed, the Bank, individually and in its capacity as a former Co-Trustee of the Erling C. Christophersen Revocable Trust (the “Trust”), was named as a defendant in litigation filed in the Connecticut Complex Litigation Docket in Stamford, captioned John Christophersen v. Erling Christophersen, et al., X08-CV-08-5009597S (the “First Action”). The Bank also was a counterclaim-defendant in related mortgage foreclosure litigation in the Connecticut Complex Litigation Docket in Stamford, captioned Salisbury Bank and Trust Company v. Erling C. Christophersen, et al., X08-CV-10-6005847-S (the “Foreclosure Action,” together with the First Action, the “Actions”). The other parties to the Actions were John R. Christophersen; Erling C. Christophersen, individually and as Co-Trustee of the Trust; Bonnie Christophersen and Elena Dreiske, individually and as Co-Trustees of the Mildred B. Blount Testamentary Trust; People’s United Bank; Law Offices of Gary Oberst, P.C.; Rhoda Rudnick; and Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.

 

The Actions involved a dispute over title to certain real property located in Westport, Connecticut that was conveyed by Erling Christophersen, as grantor, to the Trust on or about August 8, 2007. Subsequent to this conveyance, the Bank loaned $3,386,609 to the Trust, which was secured by a commercial mortgage in favor of the Bank on the Westport property. This mortgage is the subject of the Foreclosure Action brought by the Bank.

 

As previously disclosed, John Christophersen initially claimed an interest in the Westport real property transferred to the Trust and sought to quiet title to the property and to recover money damages from the defendants for the alleged wrongful divestiture of his claimed interest in the property.

 

On June 25, 2012, the Bank and John R. Christophersen entered into a Settlement Agreement which resolved all differences between John R. Christophersen and the Bank, and resulted in the withdrawal (with prejudice) of the claims made by John R. Christophersen. All claims against the Bank have been withdrawn and the Bank is no longer a defendant or counterclaim defendant in any litigation involving the Actions. As an additional consequence of the Settlement Agreement, Bonnie Christophersen, Elena Dreiske and People’s United Bank are no longer parties to any of the litigation referenced above.

 

On July 27, 2012, Erling Christophersen filed a Motion to Restore the First Action, and on October 15, 2012 filed a Motion to Stay the Foreclosure Action pending resolution of the Motion to Restore. The Bank opposed both motions. On February 1, 2013, the Court issued orders denying both motions. On February 14, 2013, Erling Christophersen filed a Notice of Appeal of the orders denying his Motion to Restore the First Action, and Motion to Stay the Foreclosure Action. The Bank intends to oppose both appeals.

 

There are no other material pending legal proceedings, other than ordinary routine litigation incident to the registrant’s business, to which Salisbury is a party or of which any of its property is subject.

 

Item 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable. 

PART II

Item 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market Information

For the information required by this item see “Note 22 - Selected Quarterly Consolidated Financial Data (Unaudited)” of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Holders

There were approximately 1,592 holders of record of the common stock of Salisbury as of March 1, 2013. This number includes brokerage firms and other financial institutions that hold stock in their name, but which is actually beneficially owned by third parties.

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

For the information required by this item see “Note 14 – Directors Stock Retainer Plan and Long Term Incentive Plan” of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

 

Dividends

For a discussion of Salisbury's dividend policy and restrictions on dividends see "Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" under the caption "Dividends”.

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Item 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table contains certain information concerning the financial position and results of operations of Salisbury at the dates and for the periods indicated. This information should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes.

 

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

(in thousands, except ratios and per share amounts)

 

Years ended December 31, 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Statement of Income          
Interest and dividend income $         22,658  $      24,044   $      24,656   $      25,866   $      26,557  
Interest expense 4,282  5,559   7,497   9,032   10,825  
Net interest and dividend income 18,376  18,485   17,159   16,834   15,732  
Provision for loan losses 1,070  1,440   1,000   985   1,279  
Trust and wealth advisory 2,945  2,548   2,102   1,978   2,264  
Service charges and fees 2,189  2,090   2,006   1,725   1,930  
Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net 1,596  687   816   488   344  
Mortgage servicing, net (21) 65   97   80   (124) 
Gains on securities, net 279  11   16   473   600  
Other-than-temporary impairment losses, net -  -   -   (1,128)  (2,955) 
Other 326  255   270   459   182  
Non-interest income 7,314  5,656   5,307   4,075   2,241  
Non-interest expense 19,554  17,639   17,113   17,506   16,009  
Income before income taxes 5,066  5,062   4,353   2,418   685  
Income tax provision (benefit) 989  950   693   (49)  (421) 
Net income 4,077  4,112   3,660   2,467   1,106  
Net income available to common shareholders 3,861  3,588   3,198   2,102   1,106  
Financial Condition            
Total assets $        600,813  $      609,284   $      575,470   $      562,347   $      495,754  
Loans receivable, net 388,758  370,766   352,449   327,257   297,367  
Allowance for loan losses 4,360  4,076   3,920   3,473   2,724  
Securities 132,034  161,876   153,510   151,125   155,916  
Deposits 491,215  471,306   430,289   418,203   344,925  
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston advances 31,980  54,615   72,812   76,364   87,914  
Repurchase agreements 1,784  12,148   13,190   11,415   11,203  
Shareholders' equity 71,997  66,862   55,016   52,355   38,939  
Non-performing assets 10,104  10,820   10,751   7,720   5,380  
Per Common Share Data          
Earnings, diluted and basic $             2.28  $          2.12   $          1.90   $          1.25     $          0.66  
Cash dividends paid 1.12     1.12      1.12     1.12     1.12    
Tangible book value 26.85   23.69    20.81   19.12   16.58  
Statistical Data          
Net interest margin (taxable equivalent) 3.45% 3.51% 3.37% 3.51% 3.74%
Efficiency ratio (taxable equivalent) 69.38   68.16    71.51   74.38    71.56   
Effective tax rate 19.49   18.80    15.92    (2.03)   (61.45)  
Return on average assets 0.64   0.61    0.56    0.39    0.23   
Return on average common shareholders' equity 7.22   7.26    6.93    5.18    2.59   
Dividend payout ratio 49.02   52.70    59.09    89.60    169.70   
Allowance for loan losses to loans receivable, gross 1.11   1.09    1.10    1.05    0.91   
Non-performing assets to total assets 1.68   1.78    1.87    1.37    1.09   
Tier 1 leverage capital 9.87   9.45    8.39    8.39    7.74   
Total risk-based capital 16.63   15.97    13.91    12.86    11.59   
Weighted average common shares outstanding, diluted 1,690   1,689    1,687    1,686    1,686   
Common shares outstanding at end of period 1,690   1,689    1,688    1,687    1,686   

 

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Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

BUSINESS

Salisbury, a Connecticut corporation, formed in 1998, is the bank holding company for the Bank, a Connecticut-chartered and FDIC insured commercial bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut. Salisbury's principal business consists of the business of the Bank. The Bank, formed in 1848, is engaged in customary banking activities, including general deposit taking and lending activities to both retail and commercial markets, and trust and wealth advisory services. The Bank conducts its banking business from eight full-service offices in the towns of Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, South Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts, and, Dover Plains and Millerton, New York, and its trust and wealth advisory services from offices in Lakeville, Connecticut.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Salisbury’s consolidated financial statements follow GAAP as applied to the banking industry in which it operates. Application of these principles requires management to make estimates, assumptions and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements. These estimates, assumptions and judgments are based on information available as of the date of the financial statements; accordingly, as this information changes, the financial statements could reflect different estimates, assumptions and judgments and as such have a greater possibility of producing results that could be materially different than originally reported. Estimates, assumptions and judgments are necessary when assets and liabilities are required to be recorded at fair value, when a decline in the value of an asset not carried at fair value warrants an impairment write-down or valuation reserve to be established, or when an asset or liability needs to be recorded contingent upon a future event.

 

Salisbury’s significant accounting policies are presented in Note 1 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and, along with this Management’s Discussion and Analysis, provide information on how significant assets are valued in the financial statements and how those values are determined. Management believes that the following accounting estimates are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating Salisbury’s reported financial results, and they require management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, resulting from the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain.

 

The allowance for loan losses represents management’s estimate of credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Determining the amount of the allowance for loan losses is considered a critical accounting estimate because it requires significant judgment and the use of estimates related to the amount and timing of expected future cash flows on impaired loans, estimated losses on pools of homogeneous loans based on historical loss experience, and consideration of current economic trends and conditions, all of which may be susceptible to significant change. The loan portfolio also represents the largest asset type on the balance sheet. Note 1 describes the methodology used to determine the allowance for loan losses. A discussion of the factors driving changes in the amount of the allowance for loan losses are included in the “Provision and Allowance for Loan Losses” section of Management’s Discussion and Analysis.

 

Management evaluates goodwill and identifiable intangible assets for impairment annually using valuation techniques that involve estimates for discount rates, projected future cash flows and time period calculations, all of which are susceptible to change based on changes in economic conditions and other factors. Future events or changes in the estimates, which are used to determine the carrying value of goodwill and identifiable intangible assets or which otherwise adversely affects their value or estimated lives could have a material adverse impact on the results of operations.

19
 

Management evaluates securities for other-than-temporary impairment giving consideration to the extent to which the fair value has been less than cost, estimates of future cash flows, delinquencies and default severity, and the intent and ability of Salisbury to retain its investment in the issuer for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value. The consideration of the above factors is subjective and involves estimates and assumptions about matters that are inherently uncertain. Should actual factors and conditions differ materially from those used by management, the actual realization of gains or losses on investment securities could differ materially from the amounts recorded in the financial statements.

 

The determination of the obligation and expense for pension and other postretirement benefits is dependent on certain assumptions used in calculating such amounts. Key assumptions used in the actuarial valuations include the discount rate, expected long-term rate of return on plan assets and rates of increase in compensation and health care costs. Actual results could differ from the assumptions and market driven rates may fluctuate. Significant differences in actual experience or significant changes in the assumptions may materially affect the future pension and other postretirement obligations and expense.

OVERVIEW

Net income available to common shareholders for 2012 was $3,861,000, or $2.28 per common share, compared with $3,588,000, or $2.12 per common share, for 2011. Selected 2012 highlights are as follows:

  • Earnings per common share increased $0.16, or 7.5%, to $2.28.
  • Tax equivalent net interest income decreased $19,000, or 0.1%.
  • Provision for loan losses was $1,070,000, versus $1,440,000 for 2011. Net loan charge-offs were $786,000 and $1,284,000, respectively, for 2012 and 2011.
  • Non-interest income increased $1,658,000, or 29.3%.
  • Non-interest expense increased $1,915,000, or 10.9%, and included the following non-recurring items: FHLBB advance prepayment fee of $450,000; litigation settlement of $400,000; and, pension curtailment of $342,000.
  • Preferred stock dividends were $240,000, versus $524,000 for 2011.
  • Tier 1 capital ratio increased to 9.87% at December 31, 2012, versus 9.45% at December 31, 2011.

The following discussion and analysis of Salisbury's consolidated results of operations should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and footnotes.

20
 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011

Net Interest and Dividend Income

Net interest and dividend income (presented on a tax-equivalent basis) decreased $19,000 in 2012 over 2011. The net interest margin decreased 6 basis points to 3.45% from 3.51%, due to a 30 basis point decline in the average yield on interest-earning assets and a 26 basis points decline in the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities. The net interest margin is affected by changes in the mix of interest-earning assets and funding liabilities, asset and liability growth, and the effects of changes in market interest rates on the pricing and re-pricing of assets and liabilities. The following table sets forth the components of Salisbury's net interest income and yields on average interest-earning assets and interest-bearing funds. Income and yields on tax-exempt securities are presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis.

Years ended December 31, Average Balance Income / Expense Average Yield / Rate
(dollars in thousands)       2012       2011       2010   2012   2011   2010 2012 2011 2010
Loans (a) $381,886 $367,342 $342,555 $18,153 $18,666 $18,483 4.75% 5.08% 5.40%
Securities (c)(d) 134,817 144,021 155,658 5,506 6,258 7,035 4.08    4.35    4.52   
FHLBB stock 5,801 6,032 6,032 30 24 - 0.51    0.40    -   
Short term funds (b) 41,854 39,185 34,822 90 127 172 0.21    0.32    0.49   
Total earning assets 564,358 556,580 539,067 23,779 25,075 25,690 4.21    4.51    4.77   
Other assets 40,444 35,360 33,567            
Total assets $604,802 $591,940 $572,634            
Interest-bearing demand deposits $65,953 $64,625 $56,727 353 437 628 0.54    0.68    1.11   
Money market accounts 128,619 108,983 72,975 420 530 379 0.33    0.49    0.52   
Savings and other 99,528 96,317 90,597 281 379 528 0.28    0.39    0.58   
Certificates of deposit 98,974 111,042 136,980 1,360 1,819 2,829 1.37    1.64    2.07   
Total interest-bearing deposits 393,074 380,967 357,279 2,414 3,165 4,364 0.61    0.83    1.22   
Repurchase agreements 5,879 12,510 12,611 23 63 90 0.39    0.50    0.71   
FHLBB advances 43,605 57,126 74,896 1,845 2,331 3,043 4.16    4.08    4.06   
Total interest-bearing liabilities 442,558 450,603 444,786 4,282 5,559 7,497 0.97    1.23    1.69   
Demand deposits 84,385 77,577 69,028            
Other liabilities 8,391 3,569 3,876            
Shareholders’ equity 69,468 60,191 54,944            
Total liabilities & shareholders’ equity $604,802 $591,940 $572,634            
Net interest income       $19,497 $19,516 $18,193      
Spread on interest-bearing funds             3.25    3.27    3.08   
Net interest margin (e)             3.45    3.51    3.37   
(a)Includes non-accrual loans.
(b)Includes interest-bearing deposits in other banks and federal funds sold.
(c)Average balances of securities are based on historical cost.
(d)Includes tax exempt income of $1,121,000, $1,031,000 and $1,034,000, respectively for 2012, 2011 and 2010 on tax-exempt securities whose income and yields are calculated on a tax-equivalent basis.
(e)Net interest income divided by average interest-earning assets.

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The following table sets forth the changes in net interest income (presented on a tax-equivalent basis) due to volume and rate.

Years ended December 31, (in thousands) 2012 versus 2011  2011 versus 2010
Change in interest due to  Volume    Rate    Net    Volume    Rate    Net 
Loans $715   $(1,228)  $(513)  $1,298   $(1,115)  $183 
Securities  (388)   (364)   (752)   (516)   (261)   (777)
FHLBB stock  (1)   7    6    —      24    24 
Short term funds  7    (44)   (37)   18    (63)   (45)
Interest-earning assets  333    (1,629)   (1,296)   800    (1,415)   (615)
Deposits  (83)   (668)   (751)   (201)   (998)   (1,199)
Repurchase agreements  (30)   (10)   (40)   (1)   (26)   (27)
FHLBB advances  (562)   76    (486)   (724)   12    (712)
Interest-bearing liabilities  (675)   (602)   (1,277)   (926)   (1,012)   (1,938)
Net change in net interest income $1,008   $(1,027) $(19)  $1,726   $(403)  $1,323 

Net interest and dividend income represents the difference between interest and dividends earned on loans and securities and interest incurred on deposits and borrowings. The level of net interest income is a function of volume, rates and mix of both earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities. Net interest income can be affected by changes in interest rate levels, changes in the volume of assets and liabilities that are subject to re-pricing within different future time periods, and in the level of non-performing assets.

 

Interest and Dividend Income

Tax equivalent interest and dividend income decreased $1.3 million, or 5.2%, to $23.8 million in 2012. Loan income decreased $513,000, or 2.7%, primarily due to a 33 basis point decline in average yield, due to lower market interest rates and their effect on new loan rates, loan re-pricing and loan re-financing activity in 2012. This decline in rate was partially offset by a $14.5 million, or 3.9%, increase in average loans.

 

Tax equivalent interest and dividend income from securities decreased $752,000, or 12.0%, in 2012, as a result of a $9.2 million decrease in average securities, and a 27 basis points decline in average yield, due to lower market interest rates and their effect on new bond yields, bond re-pricing and bond calls in 2012. Interest from short term funds decreased $37,000 in 2012 as a result of an 11 basis points decline in average yield, offset in part by a $2.7 million increase in average short term funds.

 

Interest Expense

Interest expense decreased $1.3 million, or 23.0%, to $4.3 million in 2012 as a result of decreases in deposit rates and maturities of FHLBB advances, offset in part by higher average interest bearing deposits.

 

Interest on interest bearing deposit accounts decreased $751,000, or 23.7%, in 2012, as a result a 22 basis point decline in average rate, to 0.61%, offset in part by a $12.1 million, or 3.2%, increase in average interest bearing deposits. The decline in average rate was due to the decline in interest rates and changes in product mix, as the proportion represented by time deposits decreased to 25.2% from 29.2%, while non-maturity deposits increased to 74.8% from 70.6%. Interest on retail repurchase agreements decreased $40,000, or 63.5%, as a result of an 11 basis point decline in average rate, to 0.39%, while the average balance decreased $6,631,000.

 

Interest expense on FHLBB advances decreased $486,000, or 20.8%, due to a $13.5 million, or 23.7%, decrease in average advances as a result of scheduled maturities and the early prepayment of a $10 million advance due 12/16/2013 with a 4.88% coupon. The average borrowing rate increased slightly to 4.16%.

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Provision and Allowance for Loan Losses

The provision for loan losses was $1,070,000 for 2012, compared with $1,440,000 for 2011. Net loan charge-offs were $786,000 and $1,284,000, for the respective years. The lower provision for loan losses resulted from lower net charge-offs of non-performing loans. The following table sets forth changes in the allowance for loan losses and other statistical data:

Years ended December 31, (dollars in thousands)  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008
Balance, beginning of period  $4,076   $3,920   $3,473   $2,724   $2,475 
Provision (benefit) or loan losses   1,070    1,440    1,000    985    1,279 
Real estate mortgages   (573)   (985)   (437)   (106)   (429)
Commercial & industrial   (222)   (180)   (95)   (82)   (495)
Consumer   (91)   (201)   (50)   (78)   (151)
Charge-offs   (886)   (1,366)   (582)   (266)   (1,075)
Real estate mortgages   36    26    —      —      3 
Commercial & industrial   38    29    —      4    15 
Consumer   26    27    29    26    27 
Recoveries   100    82    29    30    45 
Net (charge-offs) recoveries   (786)   (1,284)   (553)   (236)   (1,030)
Balance, end of period  $4,360   $4,076   $3,920   $3,473   $2,724 
Loans receivable, gross  $392,086   $373,838   $355,547   $330,144   $299,698 
Non-performing loans   9,860    8,076    10,141    7,445    5,175 
Accruing loans past due 30-89 days   5,629    2,460    1,917    4,098    4,277 
Ratio of allowance for loan losses:                         
to loans receivable, gross   1.11%   1.09%   1.10%   1.05%   0.91%
to non-performing loans   44.22    50.47    38.65    46.65    52.63 
Ratio of non-performing loans                         
to loans receivable, gross   2.51    2.16    2.84    2.25    1.73 
Ratio of accruing loans past due 30-89 days                         
to loans receivable, gross   1.44    0.66    0.54    1.24    1.43 

Reserve coverage at December 31, 2012, as measured by the ratio of allowance for loan losses to gross loans of 1.11%, was substantially unchanged as compared with 1.09% at December 31, 2011. Non-performing loans (non-accrual loans and accruing loans past-due 90 days or more) increased $1.8 million to $9.9 million, or 2.51% of gross loans receivable, at December 31, 2012, up from 2.16% at December 31, 2011, while accruing loans past due 30-89 days increased $3.2 million to $5.6 million, or 1.44% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2012. See “Financial Condition – Loan Credit Quality” below for further discussion and analysis.

 

The credit quality segments of loans receivable and the allowance for loan losses are as follows:

(in thousands) December 31, 2012 December 31, 2011 December 31, 2010
Loans Allowance Loans Allowance Loans Allowance
Performing loans $364,594 $ 2,567 $346,302 $ 2,436 $332,240 $ 2,500
Potential problem loans 8,345 246 7,289 234 5,744 169
Collectively evaluated 372,939 2,813 353,591 2,670 337,984 2,669
Performing loans 121 52 819 35 - -
Potential problem loans 2,464 131 6,750 255 2,188 330
Impaired loans 16,562 924 12,678 874 15,375 785
Individually evaluated 19,147 1,107 20,247 1,164 17,563 1,115
Unallocated allowance - 440 - 242 - 136
Totals $392,086 $ 4,360 $373,838 $ 4,076 $355,547 $ 3,920

The following table sets forth the allocation of the allowance for loan losses among the broad categories of the loan portfolio and the percentage of loans in each category to total loans. Although the allowance has been allocated among loan categories for purposes of the table, it is important to recognize that the allowance is applicable to the entire portfolio. Furthermore, charge-offs in the future may not necessarily occur in these amounts or proportions.

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Years ended December 31, 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
(dollars in thousands)(a) Allowance Loans Allowance Loans Allowance Loans Allowance Loans Allowance Loans
Residential $ 1,477 52.87% $ 1,097 52.47% $ 1,115 50.56% $      488 50.91% $      689 50.53%
Commercial 1,059 23.45    1,139 23.81    1,152 22.83    1,428 20.65    1,274 19.21   
Construction, land &                    
land development 300 2.71    409 4.75    400 7.39    233 8.61    281 12.88   
Home equity credit 457 9.03    382 9.26    361 9.61    397 10.18    73 8.54   
Real estate secured 3,293 88.06    3,027 90.30    3,028 90.39    2,546 90.35    2,317 91.16   
Commercial & industrial 499 9.94    704 7.85    592 8.29    630 7.97    272 6.99   
Consumer 92 1.09    79 1.20    164 1.32    117 1.38    97 1.85   
Municipal 36 0.91    24 0.65    - -    - -    - -   
General unallocated 440 -    242 -    136 -    180 -      38 -   
Total allowance $ 4,360 100.00    $ 4,076 100.00    $ 3,920 100.00    $   3,473 100.00    $   2,724 100.00   

(a) Percent of loans in each category to total loans.

The allowance for loan losses represents management’s estimate of the probable credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio as of the reporting date. The allowance is increased by provisions charged to earnings and by recoveries of amounts previously charged off, and is reduced by loan charge-offs. Loan charge-offs are recognized when management determines a loan or portion of a loan to be uncollectible. The allowance for loan losses is computed by segregating the portfolio into three components: (1) loans collectively evaluated for impairment: general loss allocation factors for non-impaired loans are segmented into pools of loans based on similar risk characteristics such as loan product, collateral type and loan-to-value, loan risk rating, historical loss experience, delinquency factors and other similar economic indicators, (2) loans individually evaluated for impairment: individual loss allocations for loans deemed to be impaired based on discounted cash flows or collateral value, and (3) unallocated: general loss allocations for other environmental factors.

 

Impaired loans and certain potential problem loans, where warranted, are individually evaluated for impairment. Impairment is measured for each individual loan, or for a borrower’s aggregate loan exposure, using either the fair value of the collateral if the loan is collateral dependent or the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s effective interest rate. An allowance is established when the collateral value or discounted cash flows of the loan is lower than the carrying value of that loan.

 

The component of the allowance for loan losses for loans collectively evaluated for impairment is estimated by stratifying loans into segments and credit risk ratings and applying management’s general loss allocation factors. The general loss allocation factors are based on expected loss experience adjusted for historical loss experience and other qualitative factors, including levels/trends in delinquencies; trends in volume and terms of loans; effects of changes in risk selection and underwriting standards and other changes in lending policies, procedures and practices; experience/ability/depth of lending management and staff; and national and local economic trends and conditions. The qualitative factors are determined based on the various risk characteristics of each loan segment. There were no significant changes in Salisbury’s policies or methodology pertaining to the general component of the allowance for loan losses during 2012.

 

The unallocated component of the allowance is maintained to cover uncertainties that could affect management’s estimate of probable losses. It reflects the margin of imprecision inherent in the underlying assumptions used in the methodologies for estimating allocated and general reserves in the portfolio.

 

Determining the adequacy of the allowance at any given period is difficult, particularly during deteriorating or uncertain economic periods, and management must make estimates using assumptions and information that are often subjective and changing rapidly. The review of the loan portfolio is a continuing event in light of a changing economy and the dynamics of the banking and regulatory environment. Should the economic climate deteriorate, borrowers could experience difficulty and the level of non-performing loans, charge-offs and delinquencies could rise and require increased provisions. In management's judgment, Salisbury remains adequately reserved both against total loans and non-performing loans at December 31, 2012.

 

Management’s loan risk rating assignments, loss percentages and specific reserves are subjected annually to an independent credit review by an external firm. In addition, the Bank is examined annually on a rotational process by one of its two primary regulatory agencies, the FDIC and CTDOB. As an integral part of their examination process, the FDIC and CTDOB review the Bank's credit risk ratings and allowance for loan losses.

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Non-Interest Income

The following table details the principal categories of non-interest income.

Years ended December 31, (dollars in thousands)   2012   2011     2010 2012 vs. 2011 2011 vs. 2010
Trust and wealth advisory $ 2,945  $ 2,548 $ 2,102 $   397  15.6%  $   446  21.2% 
Service charges and fees 2,189  2,090 2,006 99  4.7    84  4.2   
Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net 1,596  687 816 909  132.3    (129) (15.8)  
Mortgage servicing, net (21) 65 97 (86) (132.3)   (32) (33.0)  
Gains on securities, net 279  11 16 268  2,436.4    (5) (31.3)  
Bank-owned life insurance 258  183 169 75  41.0    14  8.3   
Other 68  72 101 (4) (5.6)    (29) (28.7)  
Total non-interest income $ 7,314  $ 5,656 $ 5,307 $ 1,658  29.3%  $   349  6.6% 

Non-interest income increased $1.7 million, or 29.3%, in 2012 versus 2011. Trust and Wealth Advisory revenues increased $397,000 due to growth in managed assets, higher asset valuations and increased estate fee income. Service charges and fees increased $99,000. Gains on sales of mortgage loans increased $909,000 due to significantly higher loan volume and higher pricing. Mortgage loans sales totaled $60.2 million in 2012 versus $30.9 million in 2011. Income from mortgage loan servicing of mortgage loans decreased $86,000 due primarily to increased mortgage servicing rights amortization expense and lower credit enhancement fees, both attributable to increased loan refinancing activity, offset in part by higher servicing fees. Loans serviced under the FHLBB MPF program totaled $145.9 million and $114.8 million at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Gains on securities in 2012 resulted from the sale of a treasury bond. BOLI cash surrender value increased $75,000.

 

Non-Interest Expense

The following table details the principal categories of non-interest expense.

Years ended December 31, (dollars in thousands)     2012     2011      2010 2012 vs. 2011 2011 vs. 2010
Salaries $ 7,149 $ 6,970 $ 6,816 $ 179  2.6% $ 154  2.3%
Employee benefits 2,912 2,493 2,253 419  16.8   240  10.7   
Premises and equipment 2,408 2,330 2,099 78  3.3   231  11.0   
Data processing 1,569 1,410 1,452 159  11.3   (42) (2.9)  
Professional fees 1,212 1,099 1,364 113  10.3   (265) (19.4)  
Collections and OREO 709 590 191 119  20.2   399  208.9   
Litigation settlement 400 - - 400  100.0   -  -   
FDIC insurance 486 596 735 (110) (18.5)  (139) (18.9)  
Marketing and community contributions 356 343 319 13  3.8   24  7.5   
Printing and stationery 230 215 276 15  7.0   (61) (22.1)  
Amortization of intangible assets 222 222 222 -   -  -   
FHLBB advance prepayment fee 450 - - 450  100.0   -  -   
Other 1,451 1,371 1,386 80  5.8   (15) (1.1)  
Non-interest expense $ 19,554 $17,639 $ 17,113 $1,915  10.9% $ 526  3.1%

Non-interest expense increased $1.9 million, or 10.9%, in 2012 versus 2011. Salaries increased $179,000 due to changes in staffing levels and mix, and merit increases. Employee benefits increased $419,000 due to increased pension plan expense, up $406,000, that included a curtailment charge of $342,000 for lump sum benefit payments, and higher payroll taxes, while benefit costs remained relatively unchanged. Premises and equipment increased $78,000 due primarily to higher equipment and software maintenance and depreciation, offset in part by lower facilities maintenance and utilities, and the inclusion in 2011 of an expense related to the disposal of assets related to the reorganization of several Bank departments to gain efficiencies. Data processing increased $159,000 mostly due to increased ATM/debit card network processing fees, of $123,000 due to increased transactions volume and to vendor rebates in 2011. Professional fees increased $113,000 primarily due to increased audit and compliance and trust client related investment management services. Collections and OREO expenses increased $119,000 due to increased borrower real estate tax delinquencies, collection related legal fees and OREO carrying costs, offset in part by lower OREO write-downs, which were $123,000 and $231,000, respectively, for 2012 and 2011. The 2012 litigation settlement of $400,000 has enabled Salisbury to proceed with a foreclosure action against a non-performing loan. FDIC insurance decreased $110,000 as a result of the change in the assessment method in mid-2011. The 2012 FHLBB advance prepayment fee of $450,000 resulted from the early prepayment of a $10 million advance due 12/16/2013 with a 4.88% coupon. All other operating expenses increased $108,000.

 

Income Taxes

The effective income tax rates for 2012 and 2011 were 19.49% and 18.80%, respectively. Fluctuations in the effective tax rate result from changes in the mix of taxable and tax exempt income. Salisbury’s effective tax rate was less than the 34% federal statutory rate due to tax-exempt income, primarily from municipal bonds and bank-owned life insurance. For further information on income taxes, see Note 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Salisbury did not incur Connecticut income tax in 2012 or 2011, other than minimum state income tax, as a result of its utilization of Connecticut tax legislation that permits banks to shelter certain mortgage income from the Connecticut corporation business tax through the use of a special purpose entity called a PIC. In 2004 Salisbury availed of this legislation by forming a PIC, SBT Mortgage Service Corporation. Salisbury's income tax provision reflects the full impact of the Connecticut legislation. Salisbury does not expect to pay other than minimum state income tax in the foreseeable future unless there is a change in Connecticut tax law.

25
 

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010

Net Interest and Dividend Income

Net interest and dividend income (presented on a tax-equivalent basis) increased $1.3 million in 2011 over 2010. The net interest margin increased 14 basis points to 3.51% from 3.37%, due to a 46 basis points decline in the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities, offset in part by a 26 basis point decline in the average yield on interest-earning assets. The net interest margin is affected by changes in the mix of interest-earning assets and funding liabilities, asset and liability growth, and the effects of changes in market interest rates on the pricing and re-pricing of assets and liabilities. The table above under “Net Interest and Dividend Income” sets forth the components of Salisbury's net interest income and yields on average interest-earning assets and interest-bearing funds. Income and yields on tax-exempt securities are presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis.

 

Interest and Dividend Income

Tax equivalent interest and dividend income decreased $615,000, or 2.4%, to $25.1 million in 2011. Loan income increased $183,000, or 1.0%, primarily due to a $24.8 million, or 7.2%, increase in average loans, the benefit from which was substantially offset by a 32 basis point decline in average yield, due to lower market interest rates and their effect on new loan rates, loan re-pricing and loan re-financing activity in 2011. Tax equivalent interest and dividend income from securities decreased $753,000, or 10.7%, in 2011, as a result of a $11.6 million decrease in average securities, and a 16 basis points decline in average yield, due to lower market interest rates and their effect on new bond yields, bond re-pricing and bond calls in 2011. Interest from short term funds decreased $45,000 in 2011 as a result of a 17 basis points decline in average yield, offset in part by a $4.3 million increase in average short term funds.

 

Interest Expense

Interest expense decreased $1.9 million, or 25.9%, to $5.6 million in 2011 as a result of decreases in deposit rates and maturities of FHLBB advances, offset in part by higher average interest bearing deposits. Interest on interest bearing deposit accounts decreased $1,200,000, or 27.5%, in 2011, as a result a 39 basis point decline in average rate, to 0.83%, offset in part by a $23.7 million, or 6.6%, increase in average interest bearing deposits. The decline in average rate was due to the decline in interest rates and changes in product mix, as the proportion represented by time deposits decreased to 29.15% from 38.34%, while non-maturity deposits increased to 70.85% from 61.66%. Interest on retail repurchase agreements decreased $27,000, or 30.0%, as a result of a 21 basis point decline in average rate, to 0.50%, while the average balance was substantially unchanged. Interest expense on FHLBB advances decreased $712,000, or 23.4%, due to a $17.8 million, or 23.7%, decrease in average advances as a result of scheduled maturities, while the average borrowing rate was substantially unchanged.

 

Provision and Allowance for Loan Losses

The provision for loan losses was $1,440,000 for 2011, compared with $1 million for 2010. Net loan charge-offs were $1,284,000 and $553,000, for the respective years. The increased provision for loan losses was necessitated by the increased net charge-offs of non-performing loans. Reserve coverage at December 31, 2011, as measured by the ratio of allowance for loan losses to gross loans of 1.09%, was substantially unchanged as compared with 1.10% at December 31, 2010. Non-performing loans (non-accrual loans and accruing loans past-due 90 days or more) decreased $2.0 million to $8.1 million, or 2.16% of gross loans receivable, at December 31, 2011, down from 2.84% at December 31, 2010, while accruing loans past due 30-89 days increased $0.6 million to $2.5 million, or 0.66% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2011.

 

Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income increased $349,000, or 6.56%, in 2011 versus 2010. Trust and Wealth Advisory revenues increased $446,000 due to growth in managed assets, higher asset valuations and increased estate fee income. Service charges and fees increased $84,000. Income from sales of mortgage loans decreased $129,000 due to lower volume of residential mortgage loan sales. Mortgage loans sales totaled $30.9 million in 2011 versus $42.7 million in 2010. Income from mortgage loan servicing of mortgage loans decreased $32,000 due primarily to higher mortgage rights amortization expense and lower credit enhancement fees, offset in part by higher servicing fees and a mortgage servicing valuation impairment benefit. Loans serviced for others totaled $114.8 million and $98.2 million at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Gains on securities represent the accretion of discounts on called securities. BOLI cash surrender value increased $14,000. Other income in 2010 included a $28,000 gain from the sale of real estate.

26
 

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense in 2011 increased $526,000, or 3.1%, versus 2010. Salaries increased $154,000 due to changes in staffing levels and mix. Employee benefits increased $240,000 due to higher health and dental benefits expense, caused by year-over-year premium increases and higher staff utilization, and higher 401K Plan expense due to the implementation of a Safe Harbor Plan. The increases were offset in part by lower pension plan expense. Premises and equipment increased $231,000 due primarily to several facilities renovations, equipment replacement and the disposal of assets related to the reorganization of several Bank departments to gain efficiencies. Data processing decreased $42,000 mostly due to lower ATM processing fees in 2011 resulting from vendor rebates. Professional fees decreased $265,000 due to reduced spending on audit, consulting, legal and investment management services. Expenses related to collections and OREO increased $399,000. 2011 included $163,000 of OREO write-downs, OREO carrying costs, and collection related legal and appraisal services. FDIC insurance decreased $139,000 as the Bank benefited from the change in the assessment method. All other operating expenses decreased $52,000.

 

Income Taxes

The effective income tax rates for 2011 and 2010 were 18.77% and 15.92%, respectively. Fluctuations in the effective tax rate result from changes in the mix of taxable and tax exempt income. Salisbury’s effective tax rate was less than the 34% federal statutory rate due to tax-exempt income, primarily from municipal bonds and bank-owned life insurance. Salisbury did not incur Connecticut income tax in 2011 or 2010, other than minimum state income tax, as a result of its utilization of a PIC.

 

FINANCIAL CONDITION

Overview

During 2012, Salisbury’s assets decreased by $8.5 million to $600.8 million at December 31, 2012, as a result of FHLBB advance repayments, which caused a decline in those advances of $22.6 million, or 41.4%, to $32.0 million. Net loans receivable grew $18.0 million, or 4.85%, to $388.8 million. Deposits and repurchase agreements grew by $9.5 million, or 2.0%, to $493.0 million at December 31, 2012. At December 31, 2012, Salisbury’s tangible book value per common share was $26.85 and Tier 1 leverage and total risk-based capital ratios were 9.87% and 16.63%, respectively. Both Salisbury and the Bank are categorized as "well capitalized".

 

Securities and Short Term Funds

During 2012, securities decreased $29.8 million to $132.0 million, while short-term funds (interest-bearing deposits with other banks) remained elevated at $34.0 million, up $2.0 million, as Salisbury maintained a large liquidity position in response to historically low interest rates and a higher level of volatile deposits. The carrying values of securities are as follows:

Years ended December 31, (dollars in thousands) 2012 2011 2010
Available-for-Sale      
U.S. Treasury bills $        2,733 $          5,528 $        5,196
U.S. Government agency notes 7,726 14,924 41,878
Municipal bonds 47,365 50,796 46,099
Mortgage backed securities 48,729 58,300 19,736
Collateralized mortgage obligations 16,704 21,320 28,428
SBA pools 2,863 3,706 4,901
Other 167 1,220 1,184
Held-to-Maturity      
Mortgage backed security - 50 56
Non-Marketable      
FHLBB stock 5,747 6,032 6,032
Total Securities $     132,034 $     161,876 $   153,510

Salisbury evaluates securities for OTTI where the fair value of a security is less than its amortized cost basis at the balance sheet date. As part of this process, Salisbury considers its intent to sell each debt security and whether it is more likely than not that it will be required to sell the security before its anticipated recovery. If either of these conditions is met, Salisbury recognizes an OTTI charge to earnings equal to the entire difference between the security’s amortized cost basis and its fair value at the balance sheet date. For securities that meet neither of these conditions, an analysis is performed to determine if any of these securities are at risk for OTTI.

 

Salisbury does not intend to sell any of its securities and it is not more likely than not that Salisbury will be required to sell any of its securities before recovery of their cost basis, which may be maturity. Therefore, management does not consider any of its securities, other than four non-agency CMO securities reflecting OTTI, to be OTTI at December 31, 2012.

 

In 2009 Salisbury determined that five non-agency CMO securities reflected OTTI and recognized losses for deterioration in credit quality of $1,128,000. Salisbury judged the four remaining securities not to have additional OTTI and all other CMO securities not to be OTTI as of December 31, 2012. It is possible that future loss assumptions could change necessitating Salisbury to recognize future OTTI for further deterioration in credit quality. Salisbury does not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that Salisbury will be required to sell these securities before recovery of their cost basis. The carrying value of such securities judged to be OTTI are as follows:

Available-for-Sale (dollars in thousands)      Par value Carrying value    Fair value
 Non-agency CMO      
December 31, 2012 $         4,446 $         3,748 $       3,817
December 31, 2011 5,158 4,385 4,144
December 31, 2010 5,846 4,768 4,378

Accumulated other comprehensive gain at December 31, 2012 included net unrealized holding gains, net of tax, of $2.9 million, a gain of $1.6 million over December 31, 2011.

27
 

Loans

During 2012, net loans receivable increased $18.0 million, or 4.85%, to $388.8 million at December 31, 2012, compared with loan growth of $18.3 million, or 5.2% in 2011.

 

Salisbury’s retail lending department originates residential mortgage, home equity loans and lines of credit, and consumer loans for the portfolio. During 2012, Salisbury originated $44.1 million of residential mortgage loans and $6.8 million of home equity loans for the portfolio, compared with $43.7 million and $5.6 million, respectively, in 2011. During 2012, total residential mortgage and home equity loans receivable grew by $8.2 million to $239.0 million at December 31, 2012, and represent 61% of loans receivable, substantially unchanged from 2011. During 2012, Salisbury’s residential mortgage lending department also originated and sold $60.2 million of residential mortgage loans, compared with $40.9 million during 2011. All loans were sold through the FHLBB Mortgage Partnership Finance Program with servicing retained by Salisbury. Consumer loans, amounting to $4.2 million at December 31, 2012, and representing 1.1% of loans receivable, remained substantially unchanged from 2011.

 

Salisbury’s commercial lending department specializes in lending to small and mid-size companies, businesses and municipalities, and provides short-term and long-term financing, construction loans, commercial mortgages, equipment, working capital, property improvement loans and municipal financing. The department also works with both the SBA and USDA Government Guaranteed Lending Programs; however, such loans represent a very small percent of the commercial loan portfolio. Salisbury originated $46.4 million of commercial loans during 2012. During 2012, total commercial real estate, commercial and industrial and municipal loans increased $13.9 million to $134.7 million at December 31, 2012, and represent 34% of loans receivable, up slightly from 32% at December 31, 2011.

 

The principal categories of loans receivable and loans held-for-sale are as follows:

Years ended December 31, (in thousands) 2012 2011        2010       2009         2008¹
Residential 1-4 family $   198,552 $   187,676 $   173,932 $  165,249 $      148,749
Residential 5+ multifamily 3,889 3,187 2,889 2,643 2,691
Construction of residential 1-4 family 2,379 5,305 8,948 2,817 6,926
Home equity credit 34,162 34,621 34,164 33,569 25,608
Residential real estate 238,982 230,789 219,933 204,278 183,974
Commercial 87,382 81,958 75,495 68,085 57,810
Construction of commercial 5,823 7,069 7,312 8,706 -
Commercial real estate 93,205 89,027 82,807 76,791 57,810
Farm land 4,320 4,925 5,690 5,577 5,297
Vacant land 9,926 12,828 12,979 11,656 -
Construction, land development and vacant land - - - - 26,106
Real estate secured 346,433 337,569 321,409 298,302 273,187
Commercial and industrial 38,094 29,358 25,123 24,014 19,597
Municipal 3,378 2,415 4,338 2,284 1,363
Consumer 4,181 4,496 4,677 5,544 5,551
Loans receivable, gross 392,086 373,838 355,547 330,144 299,698
Deferred loan origination costs, net 1,032 1,004 822 586 393
 Allowance for loan losses (4,360)  (4,076)  (3,920)   (3,473)  (2,724) 
Loans receivable, net $     388,758 $     370,766 $     352,449 $     327,257 $     297,367
Loans held-for-sale          
Residential 1-4 family $         1,879 $            948 $         1,184 $            665 $         2,314

¹ Loans for construction of commercial real estate and vacant land are included in loans for construction, land development and vacant land.

 

The composition of loans receivable by forecasted maturity distribution is as follows:

December 31, 2012 (in thousands) Within 1 year Within 1-5 years After 5 years Total
Residential $         36,600 $         94,060 $         74,160 $         204,820
Home equity credit 8,019 17,337 8,806 34,162
Commercial 13,870 40,105 33,407 87,382
Commercial construction 846 3,259 1,718 5,823
Land 1,777 7,275 5,194 14,246
Real estate secured 61,112 162,036 123,285 346,433
Commercial and industrial 8,755 15,870 13,469 38,094
Municipal 1,449 1,050 879 3,378
Consumer  1,497 2,069 615 4,181
  Loans receivable, gross $         72,813 $       181,025 $       138,248 $         392,086

The composition of loans receivable due after one year with fixed and variable or adjustable interest rates is as follows:

 

December 31, 2012 (in thousands) Fixed interest rates Adjustable interest rates
Residential $         65,728 $         102,492
Home equity credit 442 25,701
Commercial 12,036 61,476
Commercial construction 740 4,237
Land 4,141 8,328
Real estate secured 83,087 202,234
Commercial and industrial 8,181 21,158
Municipal 1,572 357
Consumer 2,216 468
Loans receivable, gross $        95,056 $        224,217

28
 

Loan Credit Quality

The persistent weakness in the local and regional economies continues to impact the credit quality of Salisbury’s loans receivable. During 2012 total impaired and potential problem loans remained elevated and increased slightly, by $0.6 million to $27.3 million, or 7.0% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2012, from $26.7 million, or 7.1% of gross loans receivable at December 31, 2011.

 

The credit quality segments of loans receivable and their credit risk ratings are as follows:

Years ended December 31, (in thousands) 2012 2011
Pass $         327,928 $         314,551
Special mention 36,785 32,570
Performing loans 364,713 347,121
Substandard 10,810 14,039
Doubtful - -
Potential problem loans 10,810 14,039
Pass    
Troubled debt restructured loans, accruing 1,318 1,379
Special mention    
Troubled debt restructured loans, accruing 1,568 1,413
Substandard    
Troubled debt restructured loans, accruing 3,818 1,810
Troubled debt restructured loans, non-accrual 2,181 1,753
All other non-accrual loans 7,579 6,323
Doubtful    
Troubled debt restructured loans, non-accrual 99 -
Impaired loans 16,562 12,678
Loans receivable, gross $       392,086 $      373,838

 

Changes in impaired and potential problem loans are as follows:

Years ended December 31, (in thousands) 2012 2011
Impaired loans Potential problem loans Total Impaired loans Potential problem loans Total
Non-accrual Accruing Non-accrual Accruing
Loans placed on non-accrual status $ 5,201    $  (103)   $ (1,415)   $ 3,683 $  3,339    $ (264)   $ (2,182)   $   893 
Loan risk rating downgrades to substandard -  -  1,680 1,680 -  -  11,255  11,255 
Loan risk rating upgrades from substandard -  (1,259) (1,259) -  -  (2,372) (2,372)
Loan repayments (1,623) (706) (405) (2,734) (975) (18) (594) (1,587)
Loan charge-offs (783) -  -  (783) (1,276) (30) -  (1,306)
Loans classified as troubled debt restructuring 35  2,910  (1,830) 1,115  -  (417) -  (417)
Real estate acquired in settlement of loans (1,047) -  (1,047) (3,057) -  -  (3,057)
Increase (decrease) in loans $ 1,783  $ 2,101  $ (3,229) $  655  $(1,969) $ (729) $ 6,107  $ 3,409 

Credit risk remained elevated during 2012, as reflected in the slight increase in total impaired and potential problem loans, up $0.7 million in 2012. Loans placed on non-accrual status, due to deteriorated payment and financial performance, increased to $5.2 million in 2012 from $3.3 million in 2011. Upgrades in loan risk ratings from substandard declined, falling to $1.3 million in 2012 from $2.4 million in 2011. Real estate acquired in settlement of loans also declined, to $1.0 million in 2012 from $3.1 million in 2011. Downgrades in loan risk ratings to substandard declined, falling to $1.7 million in 2012 from $11.3 million in 2011. Loan repayments increased to $2.7 million in 2012 from $1.6 million in 2011. Loan charge-offs, primarily due to collateral deficiencies, remained elevated, though it declined to $783,000 in 2012 from $1.3 million in 2011.

 

Salisbury has cooperative relationships with the vast majority of its non-performing loan customers. Substantially all non-performing loans are collateralized with real estate and the repayment of such loans is largely dependent on the return of such loans to performing status or the liquidation of the underlying real estate collateral. Salisbury pursues the resolution of all non-performing loans through collections, restructures, voluntary liquidation of collateral by the borrower and, where necessary, legal action. When attempts to work with a customer to return a loan to performing status, including restructuring the loan, are unsuccessful, Salisbury will initiate appropriate legal action seeking to acquire property by deed in lieu of foreclosure or through foreclosure, or to liquidate business assets.

29
 

Credit Quality Segments

Salisbury categorizes loans receivable into the following credit quality segments.

Impaired loans consist of all non-accrual loans and troubled debt restructured loans, and represent loans for which it is probable that Salisbury will not be able to collect all principal and interest amounts due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreements.
Non-accrual loans, a sub-set of impaired loans, are loans for which the accrual of interest has been discontinued because, in the opinion of management, full collection of principal or interest is unlikely.
Non-performing loans consist of non-accrual loans, and accruing loans past due 90 days and over that are well collateralized, in the process of collection and where full collection of principal and interest is assured. Non-performing assets consist of non-performing loans plus real estate acquired in settlement of loans.
Troubled debt restructured loans are loans for which concessions such as reduction of interest rates, other than normal market rate adjustments, or deferral of principal or interest payments, extension of maturity dates, or reduction of principal balance or accrued interest, have been granted due to a borrower’s financial condition. Loan restructuring is employed when management believes the granting of a concession will increase the probability of the full or partial collection of principal and interest.
Potential problem loans consist of performing loans that have been assigned a substandard credit risk rating and that are not classified as impaired.

 

Credit Risk Ratings

Salisbury assigns credit risk ratings to loans receivable in order to manage credit risk and to determine the allowance for loan losses. Credit risk ratings categorize loans by common financial and structural characteristics that measure the credit strength of a borrower. Salisbury’s rating model has eight risk rating grades, with each grade corresponding to a progressively greater risk of default. Grades 1 through 4 are pass ratings and 5 through 8 are ratings (special mention, substandard, doubtful and loss) defined by the bank’s regulatory agencies, the FDIC and CTDOB. Risk ratings are assigned to differentiate risk within the portfolio and are reviewed on an ongoing basis and revised, if needed, to reflect changes in the borrowers' current financial position and outlook, risk profiles and the related collateral and structural positions.

Loans risk rated as "special mention" possess credit deficiencies or potential weaknesses deserving management’s close attention that if left uncorrected may result in deterioration of the repayment prospects for the loans at some future date.
Loans risk rated as "substandard" are loans where the Bank’s position is clearly not protected adequately by borrower current net worth or payment capacity. These loans have well defined weaknesses based on objective evidence and include loans where future losses to the Bank may result if deficiencies are not corrected, and loans where the primary source of repayment such as income is diminished and the Bank must rely on sale of collateral or other secondary sources of collection.
Loans risk rated as "doubtful" have the same weaknesses as substandard loans with the added characteristic that the weakness makes collection or liquidation in full, given current facts, conditions, and values, to be highly improbable. The possibility of loss is high, but due to certain important and reasonably specific pending factors, which may work to strengthen the loan, its reclassification as an estimated loss is deferred until its exact status can be determined.
Loans risk rated as "loss" are considered uncollectible and of such little value, that continuance as Bank assets is unwarranted. This classification does not mean that the loan has absolutely no recovery or salvage value, but rather, it is not practical or desirable to defer writing off this basically worthless loan even though partial recovery may be made in the future.

Management actively reviews and tests its credit risk ratings against actual experience and engages an independent third-party to annually validate its assignment of credit risk ratings. In addition, the Bank’s loan portfolio and risk ratings are examined annually on a rotating basis by its two primary regulatory agencies