Banctrust Financial (BTFG) - Description of business

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Company Description

BancTrust Financial Group, Inc. is a multi-bank holding company headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. We operate 31 banking offices in the southern half of Alabama and northwest Florida and provide banking and related services in that market area through the following subsidiaries: BankTrust (the “Mobile Bank”), BankTrust of Alabama (the “Eufaula Bank”), BankTrust (Florida) (the “Florida Bank”) and BancTrust Company, Inc. (the “Trust Company”). We refer to BancTrust Financial Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries as “we,” “us,” and “our” and as “BancTrust” and the “Company” throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We were originally incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 1985 under the name Mobile National Corporation. In 1993, we changed our name to South Alabama Bancorporation, Inc. We operated under that name until May of 2002, when we changed our name to BancTrust Financial Group, Inc. Most of our current executive management team has been in place since 1989. At December 31, 2006, we had total consolidated assets of approximately $1.353 billion, total consolidated deposits of approximately $1.104 billion and total consolidated shareholders’ equity of approximately $138.5 million.

We formed our Company in 1986 by acquiring all of the stock of the Mobile Bank. In 1993, we acquired the First National Bank, Brewton, Alabama, by means of a merger with that bank’s holding company. In 1996, we acquired The Monroe County Bank in the same manner. In 1998, we acquired the assets of Peterman State Bank by merging that bank into The Monroe County Bank, and we acquired Commercial National Bank of Demopolis by merger and converted it to an Alabama charter under the name Commercial Bank of Demopolis. We formed the Trust Company in 1998 as a trust corporation under Alabama law. In 1999, we acquired Sweet Water State Bank by means of a merger with that bank’s holding company. In 2002, we acquired Wewahitchka State Bank by merger with its holding company. In 2003, we acquired the Florida Bank and the Eufaula Bank through a merger with their holding company, CommerceSouth, Inc.

In 2003, we began consolidating the Banks with the merger of BankTrust of Brewton (formerly First National Bank, Brewton) into the Mobile Bank. Continuing this consolidation strategy in 2004, we merged The Monroe County Bank and Commercial Bank of Demopolis into the Mobile Bank, leaving us with five subsidiary banks: the Mobile Bank, the Eufaula Bank, the Florida Bank, Sweet Water State Bank and BankTrust of Florida, formerly Wewahitchka State Bank (the “Wewahitchka Bank”). On October 15, 2004, we sold the Wewahitchka Bank, including approximately $50.3 million in total assets and approximately $43.4 million in total deposits, for $7.5 million; and on August 1, 2005, we sold Sweet Water State Bank, including approximately $56.0 million in total assets and approximately $50.8 million in total deposits, for $7.0 million, consisting of a $6.5 million purchase price and a $500,000 dividend. We anticipate merging the Eufaula Bank into the Mobile Bank in the second quarter of 2007, but we expect to maintain the Florida Bank as a separate banking subsidiary for the foreseeable future.

Our Banking Subsidiaries

Through our subsidiary banks (the “Banks”), the Mobile Bank, the Florida Bank and the Eufaula Bank, we offer a wide range of lending services, including real estate, consumer and commercial loans, to individuals, ses and other organizations that are located in or conduct a substantial portion of their business in our markets. We also offer a full array of retail and commercial deposit products and fee-based services to support our customers’ financial needs, including checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit. For our commercial customers we also offer cash management services such as lock-box, sweep account and repurchase agreements. Other traditional services offered include drive-in banking and night deposit facilities, 24-hour automated teller machines, internet banking, debit and credit card services and telephone banking.

We currently operate 31 bank branches, and we expect to open one additional branch location in 2007, in Fairhope, Alabama.

Our Non-banking Subsidiaries

In addition to our traditional banking services, we also offer our customers a full array of trust services through our subsidiary, the Trust Company. In addition to trust services, we offer our customers certain investment and insurance products through a subsidiary of the Mobile Bank, BancTrust Financial Services, Inc.

The following table sets forth information regarding our holding company and our wholly-owned subsidiaries as of December 31, 2006:

(Dollars in thousands)                         













Banking Offices

     16      10      5      2      31


     232      89      76      22      419

Loans (Net of unearned income)

   $ 534,467    $ 285,343    $ 184,925    $ n/a    $ 1,004,735


     93,514      8,497      15,536      951      118,498

Total Assets

     758,349      351,719      259,031      2,198      1,353,406


     642,797      260,920      206,913      n/a      1,104,129

Shareholders’ Equity

   $ 66,408    $ 56,100    $ 41,599    $ 1,818    $ 138,523
(1) Amounts include BancTrust and its subsidiaries. All material intercompany balances have been eliminated in consolidation. Further segment information is included in Note 20 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included herein.

Market Areas and Competition

We offer banking services in our subsidiary Banks’ market areas of Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Escambia, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe and Montgomery Counties in Alabama and in Bay, Okaloosa and Walton Counties in Florida. Trust services are offered throughout Alabama and Florida through our trust subsidiary, BancTrust Company, and investment and certain insurance products are offered to all of our markets through BancTrust Financial Services.

The following table sets forth our Banks’ total deposits and market share by county as of June 30, 2006:

(Dollars in thousands)                           

Alabama Counties


Number of



Our Market



Total Market



Market Share




   1    $ 16,672    $ 419,516    9    3.97 %


   3      31,900      3,194,862    12    1.00  


   2      99,856      410,254    1    24.34  


   3      122,971      565,569    1    21.74  


   2      65,413      418,098    3    15.65  


   7      262,754      5,451,443    5    4.82  


   2      109,612      320,296    1    34.22  


   2      86,143      5,064,055    8    1.70  

Florida Counties


Number of



Our Market



Total Market



Market Share




   2    $ 46,179    $ 2,423,246    12    1.91 %


   3      50,881      3,486,367    18    1.46  


   3      162,152      889,970    2    18.22  

The banking business is highly competitive, and we experience competition in our market from many other financial institutions. Competition among financial institutions is based upon interest rates offered on deposit accounts, interest rates charged on loans, other credit and service charges relating to loans, the quality and scope of the services rendered, the convenience of banking facilities and, in the case of loans to commercial borrowers, relative lending limits. We compete with commercial banks, credit unions, finance companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies, securities brokerage firms and money market mutual funds, as well as super-regional, national and international financial institutions that operate offices in our market areas. We compete with these institutions both in attracting deposits and in making loans. In addition, we have to attract our customer base from other existing financial institutions and new residents. Many of our competitors are larger financial institutions with substantially greater resources and lending limits such as Regions (which now includes AmSouth), Compass and Wachovia.

We believe our commitment to quality and personalized banking services is a factor, along with our delivery of services, product pricing, convenience and personal and local contacts with our customers, that allows us to compete effectively with these financial institutions.

Overall Business Strategy

Our business strategy is to deliver a full range of bank and banking related products in a responsive and personalized manner. Each subsidiary and its employees are expected to be actively involved in all aspects of the community in which it operates. The members of the boards of directors of each of our subsidiaries are from the local markets which the subsidiary serves. In addition, to further enhance our local knowledge, we maintain local advisory boards in certain of our markets. We are able to compete effectively with larger financial institutions by providing superior customer service with localized decision making capabilities. The holding company provides corporate oversight and efficiencies in certain “back office” areas such as loan review, marketing and business development, certain personnel matters, accounting, auditing, compliance and information technology.

Strategic Plan

In early 2004, our Board of Directors adopted a comprehensive Strategic Plan for our consolidated operations. This formal plan provides strategic goals and time-frames for the accomplishments of those goals and provides our executive leadership with guidelines for the operation of our business through the year 2008. Our Strategic Plan focuses on several different operational aspects of our business and includes the following:


Growth and market expansion;   •  

Consolidation of subsidiaries;   •  

Financial performance goals;   •  

Credit culture;   •  

Personnel development;   •  

Management succession;   •  

Technology infrastructure; and   •  

Marketing and product development. Lending Activities and Credit Administration

We originate loans primarily in the categories of commercial, commercial real estate, individual and commercial construction and consumer. We also make available to our customers fixed rate, longer-term real estate mortgage loans in the residential real estate mortgage area. We are able to offer, through third party arrangements, certain mortgage loan products that do not require the longer-term loans to be carried on our

books. These products allow us to gain the benefit of a larger variety of product offerings and have generated a significant amount of fee income for us for the last several years. These fees come from first and second home purchases, as well as from home owners who have elected to refinance their home loans. The loan portfolio mix varies throughout our market areas. Generally speaking, we make loans with relatively short maturities or, in the case of loans with longer maturities, we attempt to issue loans with floating rate arrangements whenever possible. The largest component of our loan portfolio is loans secured by real estate mortgages. We obtain a security interest in real estate, whenever possible, in addition to any other available collateral, in order to increase the likelihood of the ultimate repayment of the loan. These loans will generally fall into one of four categories: (1) commercial, financial and agricultural loans; (2) real estate construction loans; (3) real estate mortgage loans; and (4) installment or consumer loans.

Our loan portfolio at December 31, 2006 was comprised as follows:


(Dollars in thousands)                        
     December 31, 2006  
     Mobile Bank    Florida Bank     Eufaula Bank     Total  

Commercial, Financial and Agricultural

   $ 153,056    $ 20,025     $ 23,055     $ 196,136  

Real Estate—Construction

     140,887      161,851       39,254       341,992  

Real Estate—Mortgage

     198,137      99,942       113,794       411,873  


     42,173      3,638       9,046       54,857  

Total Loans

     534,253      285,456       185,149       1,004,858  

Less: deferred cost (unearned loan income), net

     214      (113 )     (224 )     (123 )

Loans, net of unearned income

   $ 534,467    $ 285,343     $ 184,925     $ 1,004,735  

Credit Risks and Lending Policies

Certain credit risks are inherent in making loans. These include prepayment risks, risks resulting from uncertainties in the future value of collateral, including real estate values, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers. We attempt to mitigate repayment risks by adhering to internal credit policies and procedures.

Our Board of Directors has established and annually reviews our lending policies and procedures. Each of our subsidiary banks have Loan Committees that make credit decisions based on our company-wide lending policies. These policies and procedures include officer and client lending limits, a multi-layered approval process for larger loans, documentation and examination procedures and follow-up procedures for any exceptions to credit policies. Loans above an established limit must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors or a Board appointed Loan Committee. There are regulatory restrictions on the dollar amount of loans available for each lending relationship. We adhere to the guidelines established by our regulators and regularly monitor our credit relationships for compliance.

Loan Review

We have a Loan Review Department that is part of the Internal Audit function of our company. Our Loan Review Department reports directly to our Audit Manager. Large credit relationships are reviewed on an on-going basis for continued financial, collateral and guarantor support. New credit offerings are reviewed for adequacy of underwriting and collateral valuation. The Loan Review Department makes periodic on-site visits to each of our subsidiary banks. Typically, during these on-site visits, the loan review officers review 30-35%, by amount, of the subsidiary Bank’s loan portfolio. All problem loans that are identified are included on an internal watch list. These loans are continually monitored for on-going repayment ability, collateral deterioration and adequacy of any allowance for loan losses.

Deposits and Other Sources of Funding

We consider core deposits to be the main source of funds used to support our assets. We offer a full range of deposit products designed to appeal to both individual and corporate customers, including checking accounts, commercial accounts, savings accounts and other time deposits of various types ranging from daily money market accounts to long-term certificates of deposit. Deposit rates are reviewed regularly by senior management. We believe that the rates we offer are competitive with those offered by other financial institutions in our area. In the fall of 2005 we completed the process of streamlining and standardizing our line of deposit products for each of our subsidiary banks. This new deposit product line allows our employees throughout the Company to offer the same products, regardless of location, and we believe the revised program has helped and will continue to help us attract and retain deposits. In addition, the advertising of our deposit products has become easier and more cost efficient.

Our primary emphasis is placed on attracting and retaining core deposits from customers who will purchase other products and services that we offer. We recognize that it is necessary from time to time to pursue non-core funding sources such as large certificates of deposit from outside of our market area and Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings, especially during periods when loan growth is significantly greater than deposit growth. We view these as secondary sources of funds. Our out-of-market, or brokered, certificates of deposit represented 2.12% of total deposits at December 31, 2006.

Other Banking Services

We offer a full range of other products and services that give our customers convenience and account access. Such products and services include internet and telephone banking, access to funds through ATM’s and debit cards, credit cards, safe deposit boxes, traveler’s checks, direct deposit and customer friendly telephone operators who direct the customer quickly to the appropriate area of the bank. We earn fees for most of these services, including debit and credit card transactions, sales of checks and wire transfers. We receive ATM transaction fees from transactions performed for our customers.


While loans are our primary use of funds, most of our remaining liquid funds, after cash reserves, are invested in short-term securities. We invest primarily in securities issued by U.S. government sponsored enterprises and state and political subdivisions and in mortgage-backed securities. We typically invest any surplus cash in the overnight federal funds market. Interest rate fluctuation, maturity, quality and concentration are all risks associated with the use of funds.


As of December 31, 2006, we had 419 full-time equivalent employees. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreement, and, in the opinion of Management, we enjoy satisfactory relations with our employees.

Supervision and Regulation

BancTrust and its subsidiaries are subject to extensive state and federal banking regulations that impose restrictions on and provide for general regulatory oversight of their operations. These laws generally are intended to protect depositors and not shareholders. The following discussion describes the material elements of the regulatory framework that applies to us.


Since we own all of the capital stock of the Banks, we are a bank holding company under the federal Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the Bank Holding Company Act). As a result, we are primarily

subject to the supervision, examination and reporting requirements of the Bank Holding Company Act and the regulations of the Federal Reserve Board.

Acquisitions of Banks.     The Bank Holding Company Act requires every bank holding company to obtain the Federal Reserve Board’s prior approval before:


acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank if, after the acquisition, the bank holding company will directly or indirectly own or control more than 5% of the bank’s voting shares;   •  

acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of any bank; or   •  

merging or consolidating with any other bank holding company. Additionally, the Bank Holding Company Act provides that the Federal Reserve Board may not approve any of these transactions if it would result in or tend to create a monopoly or substantially lessen competition or otherwise function as a restraint of trade, unless the anti-competitive effects of the proposed transaction are clearly outweighed by the public interest in meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve Board is also required to consider the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the bank holding companies and banks concerned and the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve Board’s consideration of financial resources generally focuses on capital adequacy, which is discussed below.

Under the Bank Holding Company Act, if we are adequately capitalized and adequately managed, we may purchase banks located either inside or outside of Alabama and Florida. Conversely, an adequately capitalized and adequately managed bank holding company located either inside or outside of Alabama or Florida may purchase a bank located inside Alabama or Florida. In Florida, however, restrictions may be placed on the acquisition of a bank that has only been in existence for a limited amount of time or will result in specified concentrations of deposits. For example, Florida law prohibits a bank holding company from acquiring control of a financial institution until the target financial institution has been in existence and continually operating as a bank for more than three years.

Change in Bank Control.     Subject to various exceptions, the Bank Holding Company Act and the Change in Bank Control Act, together with related regulations, require Federal Reserve Board approval prior to any person or company acquiring “control” of a bank holding company. Control is conclusively presumed to exist if an individual or company acquires 25% or more of any class of voting securities of the bank holding company. Control is rebuttably presumed to exist if a person or company acquires 10% or more, but less than 25%, of any class of voting securities and either:


the bank holding company has registered securities under Section 12 of the Securities Act of 1934; or   •  

no other person owns a greater percentage of that class of voting securities immediately after the transaction. Our common stock is registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The regulations provide a procedure for challenging any rebuttable presumption of control.

Permitted Activities.     A bank holding company is generally permitted under the Bank Holding Company Act to engage in or acquire direct or indirect control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company engaged in the following activities:


banking or managing or controlling banks; and   •  

any activity that the Federal Reserve Board determines to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident to the business of banking. Activities that the Federal Reserve Board has found to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident to the business of banking include:


factoring accounts receivable;   •  

making, acquiring, brokering or servicing loans and usual related activities;   •  

leasing personal or real property;   •  

operating a non-bank depository institution, such as a savings association;   •  

trust company functions;   •  

financial and investment advisory activities;   •  

conducting discount securities brokerage activities;   •  

underwriting and dealing in government obligations and money market instruments;   •  

providing specified management consulting and counseling activities;   •  

performing selected data processing services and support services;   •  

acting as agent or broker in selling credit life insurance and other types of insurance in connection with credit transactions; and   •  

performing selected insurance underwriting activities. Despite prior approval, the Federal Reserve Board may order a bank holding company or its subsidiaries to terminate any of these activities or to terminate its ownership or control of any subsidiary when it has reasonable cause to believe that the bank holding company’s continued ownership, activity or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of it or any of its bank subsidiaries.

In addition to the permissible bank holding company activities listed above, a bank holding company may qualify and elect to become a financial holding company, permitting the bank holding company to engage in additional activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to financial activity. The Bank Holding Company Act expressly lists the following activities as financial in nature:


lending, trust and other banking activities;   •  

insuring, guaranteeing or indemnifying against loss or harm, or providing and issuing annuities and acting as principal, agent or broker for these purposes, in any state;   •  

providing financial, investment or advisory services;   •  

issuing or selling instruments representing interests in pools of assets permissible for a bank to hold directly;   •  

underwriting, dealing in or making a market in securities;   •  

other activities that the Federal Reserve Board may determine to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident to managing or controlling banks;   •  

foreign activities permitted outside of the United States if the Federal Reserve Board has determined them to be usual in connection with banking operations abroad;   •  

merchant banking through securities or insurance affiliates; and   •  

insurance company portfolio investments. To qualify to become a financial holding company, each of our depository institution subsidiaries must be well capitalized and well managed and must have a Community Reinvestment Act rating of at least

“satisfactory.” Additionally, we must file an election with the Federal Reserve Board to become a financial holding company and must provide the Federal Reserve Board with 30 days’ written notice prior to engaging in a permitted financial activity. We are not a financial holding company at this time.

Support of Subsidiary Institutions.     Under Federal Reserve Board policy, we are expected to act as a source of financial strength for the Banks and to commit resources to support them. This support may be required at times when, without this Federal Reserve Board policy, we might not be inclined to provide it.

The Banks

Each of our subsidiary Banks is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), and, as such, their respective deposits are insured by the FDIC to the extent provided by law. Each of our subsidiary Banks is also subject to numerous state and federal statutes and regulations that affect its business, activities, and operations, and each is supervised and examined by one or more state or federal bank regulatory agencies. Our subsidiary Banks are state-chartered banks subject to supervision and examination by the state banking authorities of the states in which they are located. The primary state regulator for the Mobile and Eufaula Banks is the Superintendent of the State Banking Department of Alabama. The primary state regulator for the Florida Bank is the Office of Financial Regulation under the Florida Department of Financial Services. The federal banking regulator for each of our Banks, as well as the appropriate state banking authority for each Bank, regularly examines their operations and is given authority to approve or disapprove mergers, consolidations, the establishment of branches and similar corporate actions. The federal and state banking regulators also have the power to prevent the continuance or development of unsafe or unsound banking practices or other violations of law.

Prompt Corrective Action.     The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 establishes a system of prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized financial institutions. Under this system, the federal banking regulators have established five capital categories (well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized) in which all institutions are placed. Federal banking regulators are required to take various mandatory supervisory actions and are authorized to take other discretionary actions with respect to institutions in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of the action depends upon the capital category in which the institution is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, the banking regulator must appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution that is critically undercapitalized. The federal banking agencies have specified by regulation the relevant capital level for each category.

An institution that is categorized as undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to its appropriate federal banking agency. A bank holding company must guarantee that a subsidiary depository institution meets its capital restoration plan, subject to various limitations. The controlling holding company’s obligation to fund a capital restoration plan is limited to the lesser of 5% of an undercapitalized subsidiary’s assets at the time it became undercapitalized or the amount required to meet regulatory capital requirements. An undercapitalized institution is also generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions, establishing any branches or engaging in any new line of business, except under an accepted capital restoration plan or with FDIC approval. The regulations also establish procedures for downgrading an institution to a lower capital category based on supervisory factors other than capital.

FDIC Insurance Assessments.     The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system for insured depository institutions that takes into account the risks attributable to different categories and concentrations of assets and liabilities. The system assigns an institution to one of three capital categories: (1) well capitalized; (2) adequately capitalized; and (3) undercapitalized. These three categories are substantially similar to the prompt corrective action categories described above, with the “undercapitalized” category including institutions that are undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized for prompt corrective action

purposes. The FDIC also assigns an institution to one of three supervisory subgroups based on a supervisory evaluation that the institution’s primary federal regulator provides to the FDIC and information that the FDIC determines to be relevant to the institution’s financial condition and the risk posed to the deposit insurance funds. Assessments range from 0 to 27 cents per $100 of deposits, depending on the institution’s capital group and supervisory subgroup. In addition, the FDIC imposes assessments to help pay off the $780 million in annual interest payments on the $8 billion Financing Corporation bonds issued in the late 1980s as part of the government rescue of the thrift industry. This assessment rate is adjusted quarterly and is set at 1.3 cents per $100 of deposits for the first quarter of 2007.

The FDIC may terminate its insurance of deposits if it finds that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.

Community Reinvestment Act.     The Community Reinvestment Act requires that, in connection with examinations of financial institutions within their respective jurisdictions, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, shall evaluate the record of each financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. These facts are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. Failure to adequately meet these criteria could impose additional requirements and limitations on our Banks. Additionally, we must publicly disclose the terms of various Community Reinvestment Act-related agreements.

Other Regulations.     Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by our Banks are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. For example, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which amended the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, a lender is generally prohibited from charging an annual interest rate in excess of 6% on any obligation for which the borrower is a person on active duty with the United States military.

Our Banks’ loan operations are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, such as the:


Truth-In-Lending Act, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;   •  

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the community it serves;   •  

Equal Credit Opportunity Act, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed or other prohibited factors in extending credit;   •  

Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1978, governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies;   •  

Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies;   •  

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which amended the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, governing the repayment terms of, and property rights underlying, secured obligations of persons in military service; and   •  

the rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws. The deposit operations of our Banks are subject to:


the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records; and   •  

the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E issued by the Federal Reserve Board to implement that act, which govern automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services. Capital Adequacy

We are required to comply with the capital adequacy standards established by the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board has established a risk-based and a leverage measure of capital adequacy for bank holding companies. The risk-based capital standards are designed to make regulatory capital requirements more sensitive to differences in risk profiles among banks and bank holding companies, to account for off-balance sheet exposure, and to minimize disincentives for holding liquid assets. Assets and off-balance sheet items, such as letters of credit and unfunded loan commitments, are assigned to broad risk categories, each with appropriate risk weights. The resulting capital ratios represent capital as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets and off-balance sheet items.

The minimum guideline for the ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets is 8%. Total capital consists of two components, Tier 1 Capital and Tier 2 Capital. Tier 1 Capital generally consists of common stock, minority interests in the equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock and a limited amount of qualifying cumulative perpetual preferred stock, less goodwill and other specified intangible assets. Tier 1 Capital must equal at least 4% of risk-weighted assets. Tier 2 Capital generally consists of subordinated debt, other preferred stock and a limited amount of loan loss reserves. The total amount of Tier 2 Capital is limited to 100% of Tier 1 Capital. At December 31, 2006, our ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets was 12.77% and our ratio of Tier 1 Capital to risk-weighted assets was 11.51%.

In addition, the Federal Reserve Board has established minimum leverage ratio guidelines for bank holding companies. These guidelines provide for a minimum ratio of Tier 1 Capital to average assets, less goodwill and other specified intangible assets, of 3% for bank holding companies that meet specified criteria, including having the highest regulatory rating and implementing the Federal Reserve Board’s risk-based capital measure for market risk. All other bank holding companies generally are required to maintain a leverage ratio of at least 4%. At December 31, 2006, our leverage ratio was 10.02%. The guidelines also provide that bank holding companies experiencing internal growth or making acquisitions will be expected to maintain strong capital positions substantially above the minimum supervisory levels without reliance on intangible assets. The Federal Reserve Board considers the leverage ratio and other indicators of capital strength in evaluating proposals for expansion or new activities.

Failure to meet capital guidelines could subject a bank or bank holding company to a variety of enforcement remedies, including issuance of a capital directive, the termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC, a prohibition on accepting brokered deposits and certain other restrictions on its business. As described above, significant additional restrictions can be imposed on FDIC-insured depository institutions that fail to meet applicable capital requirements.

Payment of Dividends

BancTrust is a legal entity separate and distinct from our banking and other subsidiaries. Our principal source of cash flow, including cash flow to pay dividends to shareholders, is dividends from our Banks and the Trust Company. There are statutory and regulatory limitations on the payment of dividends by these subsidiaries, and there are statutory and regulatory limitations on our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders.

As to the payment of dividends, each of our state-chartered Banks and the Trust Company are subject to the respective laws and regulations of the state in which it is located and to the regulations of the FDIC. Various federal and state statutory provisions limit the amount of dividends our subsidiary Banks can pay to us without regulatory approval. The approval of the Federal Reserve Board is required for any dividend by a state chartered

bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System (a “state member bank”) if the total of all dividends declared by the bank in any calendar year would exceed the total of its net profits (as defined by regulatory agencies) for that year combined with its retained net profits for the preceding two years. In addition, a state member bank may not pay a dividend in an amount greater than its net profits then on hand. State member banks may also be subject to similar restrictions imposed by the laws of the states in which they are chartered. None of our Banks, however, is currently a state member bank.

If, in the opinion of a federal bank regulatory agency, an institution under its jurisdiction is engaged in or is about to engage in an unsafe or unsound practice (which, depending on the financial condition of the depository institution, could include the payment of dividends), such agency may require, after notice and hearing, that such institution cease and desist from such practice. The federal banking agencies have indicated that paying dividends that deplete an institution’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice. Under current federal law, an insured institution may not pay any dividend if payment would cause it to become undercapitalized or if it already is undercapitalized. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC have issued policy statements which provide that bank holding companies and insured banks should generally pay dividends only out of current operating earnings.

Under Alabama law, a bank may not pay a dividend in excess of 90% of its net earnings until the bank’s surplus is equal to at least 20% of its capital. An Alabama state bank is also required by Alabama law to obtain the prior approval of the Superintendent of the State Banking Department of Alabama for the payment of dividends if the total of all dividends declared by it in any calendar year will exceed the total of (a) its net earnings (as defined by statute) for that year, plus (b) its retained net earnings for the preceding two years, less any required transfers to surplus. In addition, no dividends may be paid from an Alabama state bank’s surplus without the prior written approval of the Superintendent.

Under Florida law, the directors of a bank, after charging off bad debts, depreciation, and other worthless assets, if any, and making provision for reasonably anticipated future realized losses on loans and other assets, may quarterly, semiannually or annually declare a dividend of so much of the aggregate of the net profits of that period combined with its retained net profits of the preceding two years as the directors shall judge expedient, and, with the approval of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, a bank may declare a dividend from retained net profits which accrued prior to the preceding two years, but each bank shall, before the declaration of a dividend on its common stock, carry 20 percent of its net profits for such preceding period as is covered by the dividend to its surplus fund, until the same shall at least equal the amount of its common and preferred stock then issued and outstanding. No bank shall declare any dividend at any such time that its net income from the current year combined with the retained net income from the preceding 2 years is a loss or which would cause the capital accounts of the bank to fall below the minimum amount required by law, regulation, order, or any written agreement with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation or a state or federal regulatory agency.

At December 31, 2006, our subsidiaries were able to pay dividends totaling approximately $18.5 million without the need for regulatory approval.

Restrictions on Transactions with Affiliates

We are subject to the provisions of Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act. Section 23A places limits on the amount of:


a bank’s loans or extensions of credit to affiliates;   •  

a bank’s investment in affiliates;   •  

assets a bank may purchase from affiliates, except for real and personal property exempted by the Federal Reserve Board;   •  

loans or extensions of credit to third parties collateralized by the securities or obligations of affiliates; and   •  

a bank’s guarantee, acceptance or letter of credit issued on behalf of an affiliate. The total amount of the above transactions is limited in amount, as to any one affiliate, to 10% of a bank’s capital and surplus and, as to all affiliates combined, to 20% of a bank’s capital and surplus. In addition to the limitation on the amount of these transactions, each of the above transactions must also meet specified collateral requirements. The Banks must also comply with other provisions designed to avoid the taking of low-quality assets.

We are also subject to the provisions of Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act which, among other things, prohibit an institution from engaging in the above transactions with affiliates unless the transactions are on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the institution or its subsidiaries, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with nonaffiliated companies.


Financial institutions are required to disclose their policies for collecting and protecting confidential information. Customers generally may prevent financial institutions from sharing nonpublic personal financial information with nonaffiliated third parties except under narrow circumstances, such as the processing of transactions requested by the consumer or when the financial institution is jointly sponsoring a product or service with a nonaffiliated third party. Additionally, financial institutions generally may not disclose consumer account numbers to any nonaffiliated third party for use in telemarketing, direct mail marketing or other marketing to consumers.

Consumer Credit Reporting

On December 4, 2003, President Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act amending the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. These amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA Amendments”) became effective in 2004.

The FCRA Amendments include, among other things:


requirements for financial institutions to develop policies and procedures to identify potential identity theft and, upon the request of a consumer, place a fraud alert in the consumer’s credit file stating that the consumer may be the victim of identity theft or other fraud;   •  

consumer notice requirements for lenders that use consumer report information in connection with risk-based credit pricing programs;   •  

for entities that furnish information to consumer reporting agencies (which would include the Banks), requirements to implement procedures and policies regarding the accuracy and integrity of the furnished information and regarding the correction of previously furnished information that is later determined to be inaccurate; and   •  

a requirement for mortgage lenders to disclose credit scores to consumers. The FCRA Amendments also prohibit a business that receives consumer information from an affiliate from using that information for marketing purposes unless the consumer is first provided a notice and an opportunity to direct the business not to use the information for such marketing purposes (the opt-out), subject to certain exceptions. We do not share consumer information among our affiliated companies for marketing purposes, except as allowed under exceptions to the notice and opt-out requirements. Because no affiliate of BancTrust is currently sharing consumer information with any other affiliate of BancTrust for marketing purposes, the limitations on sharing of information for marketing purposes do not have a significant impact on us.

Anti-Terrorism and Money Laundering Legislation

The Banks are subject to the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”), the Bank Secrecy Act and rules and regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (the “OFAC”). These statutes and related rules and regulations impose requirements and limitations on specific financial transactions and account relationships and are intended to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. The Banks have each established a customer identification program pursuant to Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Bank Secrecy Act, and otherwise have implemented policies and procedures to comply with the foregoing rules.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) comprehensively revised the laws affecting corporate governance, accounting obligations and corporate reporting for companies, such as BancTrust, with equity or debt securities registered under the Exchange Act. In particular, SOX established: (a) new requirements for audit committees, including independence, expertise, and responsibilities; (b) additional responsibilities regarding financial statements for the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the reporting company; (c) new standards for auditors and regulation of audits; (d) increased disclosure and reporting obligations for the reporting company and their directors and executive officers; and (e) new and increased civil and criminal penalties for violations of the securities laws.

Proposed Legislation and Regulatory Action

New regulations and statutes are regularly proposed that contain wide-ranging proposals for altering the structures, regulations and competitive relationships of financial institutions operating and doing business in the United States. We cannot predict whether or in what form any proposed regulation or statute will be adopted or the extent to which our business may be affected by any new regulation or statute.

Effect of Governmental Monetary Policies

Our earnings are affected by domestic economic conditions and the monetary and fiscal policies of the United States government and its agencies. The Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policies have had, and are likely to continue to have, an important impact on the operating results of commercial banks. The Federal Reserve Board has the power to implement national monetary policy in order, among other things, to curb inflation or combat a recession. The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Board affect the levels of bank loans, investments and deposits through its control over the issuance of United States government securities, its regulation of the discount rate applicable to member banks and its influence over reserve requirements to which member banks are subject. We cannot predict the nature or impact of future changes in monetary and fiscal policies.

Available Information

Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments of those reports, filed with or furnished to the SEC are available on our website at These documents are made available on BancTrust’s website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. You may also request a copy of these filings, at no cost, by writing or telephoning BancTrust at the following address:

BancTrust Financial Group, Inc.

Attn: F. Michael Johnson

100 St. Joseph Street

Mobile, Alabama 36602

(251) 431-7800

Executive Officers of the Registrant

The following table reflects certain information concerning the executive officers of BancTrust. Each such officer holds his office(s) until the first meeting of the Board of Directors following the annual meeting of shareholders each year, or until a successor is chosen, subject to removal at any time by the Board of Directors. Except as otherwise indicated, no family relationships exist among the executive officers and directors of BancTrust, and no such officer holds his office(s) by virtue of any arrangement or understanding between him and any other person except the Board of Directors.

Name, Age and Office(s) with BancTrust


Other Positions with BancTrust

J. Stephen Nelson—age 69(1)

Chairman (since 1993)


Director (since 1993)

W. Bibb Lamar, Jr.—age 63(2)

President and CEO (since 1989)


Director (since 1989)

Michael D. Fitzhugh—age 58(3)

Executive Vice President (since 2004)



F. Michael Johnson—age 61(4)

Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President & Secretary (since 1993)



Bruce C. Finley, Jr.—age 58(5)

Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer (since 2004)



(1) Previously: Chairman, 1993-2003, Chief Executive Officer, 1984-2003, and Director, 1979-2003, BankTrust of Brewton, which was merged into the Mobile Bank in 2003. (2) Chief Executive Officer, since 1989, and Chairman, since 1998, the Mobile Bank. Previously: President (1989-1998), the Mobile Bank. (3) President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Florida Bank since 2005. Previously: President, Chief Operating Officer and Director (1998 to 2005) of the Mobile Bank. (4) Executive Vice President and Cashier, since 1986, the Mobile Bank. (5) Executive Vice President of the Mobile Bank since 1998. Previously: Senior Loan officer (1998-2004), the Mobile Bank.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following risk factors and other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face, and additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we deem to be less significant may also impair our financial condition and results of operations.

Our business strategy includes significant growth plans. Our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively affected if we fail to grow or fail to manage our growth effectively.

We intend to continue pursuing a profitable growth strategy. We cannot assure you that we will be able to expand our market presence in our existing markets or successfully enter new markets or that any such expansion will not adversely affect our results of operations. Failure to manage our growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, future prospects, financial condition or results of operations and could adversely affect our ability to successfully implement our business strategy. Also, if we grow more slowly than anticipated, our operating results could be materially adversely affected.

Our ability to grow successfully will depend on a variety of factors including the continued availability of desirable business opportunities, the competitive responses from other financial institutions in our market areas and our ability to manage our growth. While we believe we have the management resources and internal systems in place to successfully manage our future growth, there can be no assurance growth opportunities will be available or growth will be successfully managed.

Our business is subject to the vitality of the local economies where we operate, and a downturn in our local economies, including as a result of hurricanes or other adverse weather conditions, could adversely affect our business.

Our success depends in large part upon the growth in population, industry, income levels, deposits and housing starts in our primary and secondary markets. If the communities in which we operate do not grow or if prevailing economic conditions locally or nationally are unfavorable, our business may not succeed. Adverse economic conditions in our specific market area could reduce our growth rate, affect the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us and generally affect our financial condition and results of operations. Damage caused by hurricanes and other adverse weather conditions may create economic uncertainty in our market area that could negatively affect our local economies. We cannot predict the long-term effects that hurricanes and other adverse weather conditions may have on our business or results of operations. We are less able than a larger institution to spread the risks of unfavorable local economic conditions across a large number of diversified economies. Moreover, we cannot give any assurance we will benefit from any market growth or favorable economic conditions in our primary market areas if they do occur.

Any adverse market or economic conditions in Alabama and Northwest Florida may disproportionately increase the risk that our borrowers will be unable to make their loan payments. In addition, the fair value of the real estate we hold as collateral could be adversely affected by unfavorable changes in market and economic conditions. Any sustained period of increased payment delinquencies, foreclosures or losses caused by adverse market, real estate or economic conditions in our market areas, including as a result of Hurricane Katrina and other storms, could adversely affect the value of our assets, our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.

Hurricanes or other adverse weather events could negatively affect our local economies or disrupt our operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business or results of operations.

Our market areas in Alabama and Florida are susceptible to hurricanes. This coastal region experienced major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The psychological impact of these storms, the high cost of and, in some cases, lack of property insurance, an over-supply of housing and investment properties along with changing property values and higher taxes over recent years have slowed the economic growth in these areas. Such weather events can disrupt our operations, result in damage to our properties and negatively affect the local economies in which we operate. We cannot predict whether or to what extent damage caused by these hurricanes or damage that may be caused by future hurricanes will affect our operations or the economies in our market areas, but such weather events could result in a decline in loan originations, a decline in the value or destruction of properties securing our loans and an increase in the risk of delinquencies, foreclosures or loan losses. Our business or results of operations may be adversely affected by these and other negative effects of future hurricanes.

We face risks with respect to future expansion.

We may acquire other financial institutions or parts of those institutions in the future and we may engage in de novo branch expansion. We may also consider and enter into new lines of business or offer new products or services. We also may receive future inquiries and have discussions with potential acquirors. Acquisitions and mergers involve a number of expenses and risks, including:


the time and costs associated with identifying and evaluating potential acquisitions and merger partners;   •  

the estimates and judgments used to evaluate credit, operations, management and market risks with respect to the target institution may not be accurate;   •  

the time and costs of evaluating new markets, hiring experienced local management and opening new offices, and the time lags between these activities and the generation of sufficient assets and deposits to support the costs of the expansion;   •  

our ability to finance an acquisition and possible dilution to our existing shareholders;   •  

the diversion of our Management’s attention to the negotiation of a transaction, and the integration of the operations and personnel of the combining businesses;   •  

entry into new markets where we lack experience;   •  

the introduction of new products and services into our business;   •  

the incurrence and possible impairment of goodwill associated with an acquisition and possible adverse short-term effects on our results of operations; and   •  

the risk of loss of key employees and customers. We may incur substantial costs to expand, and we can give no assurance such expansion will result in the levels of profits we seek. There can be no assurance integration efforts for any future mergers or acquisitions will be successful. Also, we may issue equity securities in connection with future acquisitions, which could cause ownership and economic dilution to our shareholders. There is no assurance that, following any future mergers or acquisitions, our integration efforts will be successful or our company, after giving effect to the acquisition, will achieve profits comparable to or better than our historical experience.

If the value of real estate in our core Northern Gulf Coast market were to decline materially, a significant portion of our loan portfolio could become under-collateralized, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

With a substantial portion of our loans concentrated along the Gulf Coast of South Alabama and Northwest Florida, a decline in local economic conditions could adversely affect the values of our real estate collateral. Consequently, a decline in local economic conditions may have a greater effect on our earnings and capital than on the earnings and capital of larger financial institutions whose real estate loan portfolios are more geographically diverse. In particular, we cannot predict whether and to what extent damage caused by hurricanes and other adverse weather in our market areas will cause adverse economic conditions or will disrupt our operations. Any decline in deposits or loan originations, any increase in borrower delinquencies or any decline in the value or condition of mortgaged properties could have a material adverse effect on our business.

In addition to considering the financial strength and cash flow characteristics of our borrowers, the Banks often secure loans with real estate. The real estate collateral in each case provides an alternate source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower. Real estate values may deteriorate during the time the credit is extended. If we are required to liquidate collateral to satisfy a debt during a period of reduced real estate values, our earnings and capital could be adversely affected.

An inadequate allowance for loan losses would reduce our earnings.

The risk of credit losses on loans varies with, among other things, general economic conditions, the type of loan being made, the creditworthiness of the borrower over the term of the loan and, in the case of a collateralized loan, the value and marketability of the collateral for the loan. Management maintains an allowance for loan losses based upon, among other things, historical experience, an evaluation of economic conditions and regular reviews of delinquencies and loan portfolio quality. Based upon such factors, Management makes various assumptions and judgments about the ultimate collectibility of the loan portfolio and

provides an allowance for loan losses based upon such assumptions and judgments as well as a percentage of the outstanding balances. If Management’s assumptions and judgments prove to be incorrect and the allowance for loan losses is inadequate to absorb losses, or if the bank regulatory authorities require the Banks to increase the allowance for loan losses as a part of their examination process, the Banks’ earnings and capital could be significantly and adversely affected.

We may be required to raise additional capital at a time when capital may not be readily available.

We are required by federal and state regulatory authorities, as well as good business practices, to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on conditions in the capital markets at the time and on our financial performance. Accordingly, we cannot assure you of our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, on terms acceptable to us. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, our ability to further expand our operations through internal growth and acquisitions could be materially impaired.

Changes in interest rates may negatively affect our earnings and the value of our assets.

Changes in interest rates may affect our level of interest income, the primary component of our gross revenue, as well as the level of our interest expense, our largest recurring expenditure. In a period of rising or declining interest rates, our interest expense could increase or decrease in different amounts and at different rates than the interest that we earn on our assets. Accordingly, changes in interest rates could reduce our net interest income.

Changes in the level of interest rates may negatively affect our ability to originate real estate loans, the value of our assets and our ability to realize gains from the sale of our assets, all of which ultimately affect our earnings. A decline in the market value of our assets may limit our ability to borrow additional funds or result in our lenders requiring additional collateral from us under our loan agreements. As a result, we could be required to sell some of our loans and investments under adverse market conditions, upon terms that are not favorable to us, in order to maintain our liquidity. If those sales were made at prices lower than the amortized costs of the investments, we would incur losses.

Competition from financial institutions and other financial service providers may adversely affect our profitability.

The banking business is highly competitive and we experience competition in each of our markets from many other financial institutions. We compete with commercial banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage banking firms, consumer finance companies, securities brokerage firms, insurance companies, money market funds and other mutual funds, as well as other super-regional, national and international financial institutions that operate offices in our primary market areas and elsewhere.

We compete with these institutions both in attracting deposits and in making loans. In addition, we have to attract our customer base from other existing financial institutions and from new residents. Many of our competitors are well-established larger financial institutions. While we believe we can and do successfully compete with these other financial institutions in our primary markets, we may face a competitive disadvantage as a result of our smaller size, lack of geographic diversification and inability to spread our marketing costs across a broader market. Although we compete by concentrating our marketing efforts in our primary markets with local advertisements, personal contacts and greater flexibility and responsiveness in working with local customers, we can give no assurance this strategy will continue to be successful.

We are subject to extensive regulation that could limit or restrict our activities.

We operate in a highly regulated industry and are subject to examination, supervision and comprehensive regulation by various federal and state agencies. Our compliance with these regulations is costly and restricts

certain of our activities, including payment of dividends, mergers and acquisitions, investments, loans, interest rates charged, interest rates paid on deposits and locations of offices. We are also subject to capitalization guidelines established by our regulators that require us to maintain adequate capital to support our growth.

The laws and regulations applicable to the banking industry could change at any time, and we cannot predict the effects of these changes on our business and profitability. Because government regulation greatly affects the business and financial results of all commercial banks and bank holding companies, our cost of compliance could adversely affect our ability to operate profitably.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and the related rules and regulations promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq that are now applicable to us, have increased the scope, complexity and cost of corporate governance, reporting and disclosure practices. As a result, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, greater compliance costs.

Our directors and executive officers own a significant portion of our common stock.

Our directors and executive officers, as a group, beneficially owned approximately 13.41% of our outstanding common stock as of February 28, 2007. As a result of their ownership, the directors and executive officers will have the ability, by voting their shares in concert, to significantly influence the outcome of all matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, including the election of directors.

We are dependent upon the services of our management team.

Our future success and profitability are substantially dependent upon the management and banking abilities of our senior executives. We believe that our future results will also depend in part upon our attracting and retaining highly skilled and qualified management, sales and marketing personnel. Competition for such personnel is intense, and we cannot assure you that we will be successful in retaining such personnel. We also cannot guarantee that members of our executive management team will remain with us. Changes in key personnel and their responsibilities may be disruptive to our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments


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