Naugatuck Valley F, Incl Cp (NVSL) - Description of business
Loans . We make commercial business loans to a variety of professionals, sole proprietorships and ses primarily in our market area. We offer a variety of commercial lending products. These loans are typically secured, primarily by business assets. These loans are originated with maximum loan-to-value ratios of 75% of the value of the personal property. We originate one- to seven-year term loans for the acquisition of equipment or business expansion, lines of credit for seasonal financing needs and demand loans for short term financing needs with specific repayment sources. Commercial business loans are usually written at variable rates which use the prime rate as published in The Wall Street Journal as an index and, depending on the qualifications of the borrower, a 0.5% to 3.0% margin is added. These rates will change when and as the index rate changes without caps. Fixed-rate loans are written at market rates determined at the time the loan is granted and are based on the length of the term and the qualifications of the borrower. Our largest commercial business loan relationship was a $1.1 million loan secured by a leasehold interest in commercial real estate. This loan was performing according to its original terms at December 31, 2005.
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When making commercial business loans, we consider the financial statements of the borrower, the borrower’s payment history of both corporate and personal debt, the debt service capabilities of the borrower, the projected cash flows of the business, and viability of the industry in which the customer operates and the value of the collateral.
Unlike residential mortgage loans, which generally are made on the basis of the borrower’s ability to make repayment from his or her employment or other income, and which are secured by real property whose value tends to be more easily ascertainable, commercial business loans are of higher risk and typically are made on the basis of the borrower’s ability to make repayment from the cash flow of the borrower’s business. As a result, the availability of funds for the repayment of commercial business loans may depend substantially on the success of the business itself. Further, any collateral securing such loans may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value.
Consumer Loans . We offer a variety of consumer loans, primarily second mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit, and, to a much lesser extent, loans secured by passbook or certificate accounts, automobiles and unsecured loans. Unsecured loans generally have a maximum borrowing limit of $5,000 and a maximum term of three years.
The procedures for underwriting consumer loans include an assessment of the applicant’s payment history on other debts and ability to meet existing obligations and payments on the proposed loans. Although the applicant’s creditworthiness is a primary consideration, the underwriting process also includes a comparison of the value of the collateral, if any, to the proposed loan amount. Second mortgage loans have fixed rates of interest for terms of up to 15 years. These loans are originated with maximum loan-to-value ratios of 80% of the appraised value of the property. Home equity lines of credit have adjustable rates of interest that are indexed to the prime rate as published in The Wall Street Journal for terms of up to 10 years. These loans are originated with maximum loan-to-value ratios of 80% of the value of the appraised value of the property and we require that we have a second lien position on the property.
Consumer loans may entail greater risk than do residential mortgage loans, particularly in the case of consumer loans that are unsecured or secured by assets that depreciate rapidly. In such cases, repossessed collateral for a defaulted consumer loan may not provide an adequate source of repayment for the outstanding loan and the remaining deficiency often does not warrant further substantial collection efforts against the borrower. In addition, consumer loan collections depend on the borrower’s continuing financial stability, and therefore are more likely to be adversely affected by job loss, divorce, illness or personal bankruptcy. Furthermore, the application of various federal and state laws, including federal and state bankruptcy and insolvency laws, may limit the amount which can be recovered on such loans.
Loan Originations, Purchases and Sales . Loan originations come from a number of sources. The primary source of loan originations are our in-house loan originators, and to a lesser extent, local mortgage brokers, advertising and referrals from customers. We occasionally purchase loans or participation interests in loans.
We consider loan sales as part of our interest rate risk management efforts. We sell longer-term fixed-rate loans in the secondary market based on prevailing market interest rate conditions, an analysis of the composition and risk of the loan portfolio, liquidity needs and interest rate risk management goals. Generally, loans are sold without recourse and with servicing retained. We did not sell any loans during the year ended December 31, 2005. We sold $1.9 million and $8.9 million of loans in the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively. We occasionally sell participation interests in loans.
Loan Approval Procedures and Authority . Our lending activities follow written, nondiscriminatory, underwriting standards and loan origination procedures established by our Board of Directors and management.
For one- to four-family loans and owner occupied residential construction loans, two members of the mortgage loan committee, one of whom must be the President and Chief Executive Officer or a vice president, may approve loans up to $417,000 and a majority of the members of the Board loan committee must approve loans over $417,000. For unsecured commercial business loans, a majority of the members of the Board must approve loans over $500,000 and two members of the Board of Directors loan committee must approve loans over $250,000 and up to $500,000. Unsecured business loans of $250,000 or less must be approved by two members of the officers’
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loan committee. Loans of $50,000 or less which are unsecured can be approved by one member of the officers’ loan committee and later presented to the officers’ loan committee for ratification. For secured commercial loans and commercial construction loans, a majority of the members of the Board must approve loans over $1.2 million and two members of the Board of Directors loan committee must approve loans over $500,000 and up to $1.2 million. Loans of $500,000 or less secured by real estate where the loan-to-value is 80% or less can be approved by two members of the officers’ loan committee and for $100,000 or less secured by real estate with an 80% loan-to-value one member of the officers’ loan committee can approve with a later ratification by the officers’ loan committee. The Board of Directors must approve all consumer loans over $200,000. Various bank personnel have been delegated authority to approve smaller commercial loans and consumer loans.
Loans to One Borrower . The maximum amount that we may lend to one borrower and the borrower’s related entities is limited, by regulation, to generally 15% of our stated capital and reserves. At December 31, 2005, our regulatory limit on loans to one borrower was $6.2 million. At that date, our largest lending relationship was $3.7 million and included a home mortgage loan and a commercial construction loan, all of which were performing according to the original repayment terms at December 31, 2005.
Loan Commitments . We issue commitments for fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage loans conditioned upon the occurrence of certain events. Commitments to originate mortgage loans are legally binding agreements to lend to our customers and generally expire in 60 days or less.
Delinquencies . When a borrower fails to make a required loan payment, we take a number of steps to have the borrower cure the delinquency and restore the loan to current status. We make initial contact with the borrower when the loan becomes 15 days past due. If payment is not then received by the 30 th day of delinquency, additional letters and phone calls generally are made. We send a letter notifying the borrower that we will commence foreclosure proceedings if the loan is not brought current within 91 days. When the loan becomes 91 days past due, we generally commence foreclosure proceedings against any real property that secures the loan or attempt to repossess any personal property that secures a consumer loan. If a foreclosure action is instituted and the loan is not brought current, paid in full, or refinanced before the foreclosure sale, the real property securing the loan generally is sold at foreclosure. We may consider loan workout arrangements with certain borrowers under certain circumstances.
Management informs the Board of Directors on a monthly basis of the amount of loans delinquent more than 90 days, all loans in foreclosure and all foreclosed and repossessed property that we own.
We have legal authority to invest in various types of liquid assets, including U.S. Treasury obligations, securities of various federal agencies and of state and municipal governments, mortgage-backed securities and certificates of deposit of federally insured institutions. Within certain regulatory limits, we also may invest a portion of our assets in corporate securities and mutual funds. We also are required to maintain an investment in Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston stock.
At December 31, 2005, our investment portfolio consisted of U.S. government and agency securities with maturities primarily less than three years, mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae with stated final maturities of 30 years or less, collateralized mortgage obligations with stated final maturities of 30 years or less, municipal securities with maturities of 15 years or less, preferred money market securities with terms of 91 days or less, and insured certificates of deposit at other financial institutions.
Our investment objectives are to provide and maintain liquidity, to maintain a balance of high quality, diversified investments to minimize risk, to provide collateral for pledging requirements, to establish an acceptable level of interest rate risk, to provide an alternate source of low-risk investments when demand for loans is weak, and to generate a favorable return. Considering our interest rate risk position and with the objective of enhancing earnings, we implemented two leverage strategies during 2005. In the first strategy, we borrowed $28.8 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston on a short-term basis to fund the purchase of a like amount of long-term securities. In the second strategy, we borrowed up to $11.0 million of short-term funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston to fund the purchase of same term money market preferred securities. Our Board of Directors has the overall responsibility for our investment portfolio, including approval of our investment policy and
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appointment of our Asset/Liability Committee. The Asset/Liability Committee is responsible for approval of investment strategies and monitoring of investment performance. Our Executive Vice President and our Controller are co-designated investment portfolio managers and are responsible for the daily investment activities and are authorized to make investment decisions consistent with our investment policy. The Asset/Liability Committee meets regularly with the Controller, the Executive Vice President and President and Chief Executive Officer in order to determine and review investment strategies and transactions.
Deposit Activities and Other Sources of Funds
General . Deposits and loan repayments are the major sources of our funds for lending and other investment purposes. Loan repayments are a relatively stable source of funds, while deposit inflows and outflows and loan prepayments are significantly influenced by general interest rates and money market conditions.
Deposit Accounts . The vast majority of our depositors are residents of the State of Connecticut. Deposits are attracted from within our primary market area through the offering of a broad selection of deposit instruments, including NOW accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, regular savings accounts, club savings accounts, certificate accounts and various retirement accounts . Generally, we do not utilize brokered funds. Deposit account terms vary according to the minimum balance required, the time periods the funds must remain on deposit and the interest rate, among other factors. In determining the terms of our deposit accounts, we consider the rates offered by our competition, profitability to us, matching deposit and loan products and customer preferences and concerns. We generally review our deposit mix and pricing weekly . Our current strategy is to offer competitive rates, and even higher rates on long-term deposits, but not be the market leader in every type and maturity.
Borrowings . We borrow from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston to supplement our supply of lendable funds and to meet deposit withdrawal requirements. The Federal Home Loan Bank functions as a central reserve bank providing credit for member financial institutions. As a member, we are required to own capital stock in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and are authorized to apply for advances on the security of such stock and certain of our mortgage loans and other assets (principally securities which are obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States), provided certain standards related to creditworthiness have been met. Advances are made under several different programs, each having its own interest rate and range of maturities. Depending on the program, limitations on the amount of advances are based either on a fixed percentage of an institution’s net worth or on the Federal Home Loan Bank’s assessment of the institution’s creditworthiness. Under its current credit policies, the Federal Home Loan Bank generally limits advances to 25% of a member’s assets, and short-term borrowings of less than one year may not exceed 10% of the institution’s assets. The Federal Home Loan Bank determines specific lines of credit for each member institution.
In addition, we occasionally borrow short-term from correspondent banks to cover temporary cash needs.
Naugatuck Valley Mortgage Servicing Corporation, established in 1999 under Connecticut law as a subsidiary of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, is a passive investment corporation organized in order to take advantage of certain tax benefits. Its primary business is to service mortgage loans which we have originated and subsequently transferred to Naugatuck Valley Mortgage Servicing. At December 31, 2005, Naugatuck Valley Mortgage Servicing had $196.3 million in assets.
At December 31, 2005, we had 88 full-time employees and 16 part-time employees, none of whom is represented by a collective bargaining unit. We believe our relationship with our employees is good.
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Regulation and Supervision
Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan is subject to extensive regulation, examination and supervision by the Office of Thrift Supervision, as its primary federal regulator, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as its deposits insurer. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and its deposit accounts are insured up to applicable limits by the Savings Association Insurance Fund managed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan must file reports with the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation concerning its activities and financial condition in addition to obtaining regulatory approvals before entering into certain transactions such as mergers with, or acquisitions of, other financial institutions. There are periodic examinations by the Office of Thrift Supervision and, under certain circumstances, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to evaluate Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s safety and soundness and compliance with various regulatory requirements. This regulatory structure is intended primarily for the protection of the insurance fund and depositors. The regulatory structure also gives the regulatory authorities extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies with respect to the classification of assets and the establishment of adequate loan loss reserves for regulatory purposes. Any change in such policies, whether by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or Congress, could have a material adverse impact on our operations.
Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual, as savings and loan holding companies, are required to file certain reports with, are subject to examination by, and otherwise have to comply with the rules and regulations of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Naugatuck Valley Financial is also subject to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission under the federal securities laws.
Certain of the regulatory requirements that are applicable to Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual are described below. This description of statutes and regulations is not intended to be a complete explanation of such statutes and regulations and their effects on Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the actual statutes and regulations.
Regulation of Federal Savings Associations
Business Activities . Federal law and regulations, primarily the Home Owners’ Loan Act and the regulations of the Office of Thrift Supervision, govern the activities of federal savings banks, such as Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan. These laws and regulations delineate the nature and extent of the activities in which federal savings banks may engage. In particular, certain lending authority for federal savings banks, e.g. , commercial, non-residential real property loans and consumer loans, is limited to a specified percentage of the institution’s capital or assets. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan complies with all lending limits imposed by the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Branching . Federal savings banks are authorized to establish branch offices in any state or states of the United States and its territories, subject to the approval of the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Capital Requirements . The Office of Thrift Supervision’s capital regulations require federal savings institutions to meet three minimum capital standards: a 1.5% tangible capital to total assets ratio, a 4% leverage ratio (3% for institutions receiving the highest rating on the CAMELS examination rating system) and an 8% risk-based capital ratio. In addition, the prompt corrective action standards discussed below also establish, in effect, a minimum 2% tangible capital standard, a 4% Tier 1 capital to total assets leverage ratio (3% for institutions receiving the highest rating on the CAMELS system) and, together with the risk-based capital standard itself, a 4% Tier 1 risk-based capital standard. The Office of Thrift Supervision regulations also require that, in meeting the tangible, leverage and risk-based capital standards, institutions must generally deduct investments in and loans to subsidiaries engaged in activities as principal that are not permissible for a national bank.
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The risk-based capital standard requires federal savings institutions to maintain Tier 1 (core) and total capital (which is defined as core capital and supplementary capital) to risk-weighted assets of at least 4% and 8%, respectively. In determining the amount of risk-weighted assets, all assets, including certain off-balance sheet assets, recourse obligations, residual interests and direct credit substitutes, are multiplied by a risk-weight factor of 0% to 100%, assigned by the Office of Thrift Supervision capital regulation based on the risks believed inherent in the type of asset. Core (Tier 1) capital is generally defined as common stockholders’ equity (including retained earnings), certain noncumulative perpetual preferred stock and related surplus and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, less intangibles other than certain mortgage servicing rights and credit card relationships. The components of supplementary capital (Tier 2 capital) currently include cumulative preferred stock, long-term perpetual preferred stock, mandatory convertible securities, subordinated debt and intermediate preferred stock, the allowance for loan and lease losses limited to a maximum of 1.25% of risk-weighted assets and up to 45% of unrealized gains on available-for-sale equity securities with readily determinable fair market values. Overall, the amount of supplementary capital included as part of total capital cannot exceed 100% of core capital.
The Office of Thrift Supervision also has authority to establish individual minimum capital requirements in appropriate cases upon a determination that an institution’s capital level is or may become inadequate in light of the particular circumstances. At December 31, 2005, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan met each of these capital requirements.
Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action . The Office of Thrift Supervision is required to take certain supervisory actions against undercapitalized institutions, the severity of which depends upon the institution’s degree of undercapitalization. Generally, a savings institution that has a ratio of total capital to risk weighted assets of less than 8%, a ratio of Tier 1 (core) capital to risk-weighted assets of less than 4% or a ratio of core capital to total assets of less than 4% (3% or less for institutions with the highest examination rating) is considered to be “undercapitalized.” A savings institution that has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6%, a Tier 1 capital ratio of less than 3% or a leverage ratio that is less than 3% is considered to be “significantly undercapitalized” and a savings institution that has a tangible capital to assets ratio equal to or less than 2% is deemed to be “critically undercapitalized.” Subject to a narrow exception, the Office of Thrift Supervision is required to appoint a receiver or conservator within specified time frames for an institution that is “critically undercapitalized.” An institution must file a capital restoration plan with the Office of Thrift Supervision within 45 days of the date it is deemed to have received notice that it is “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized.” Compliance with the plan must be guaranteed by any parent holding company in an amount of up to the lesser of 5% of the savings association’s total assets when it was deemed to be undercapitalized or the amount necessary to achieve compliance with applicable capital regulations. In addition, numerous mandatory supervisory actions become immediately applicable to an undercapitalized institution, including, but not limited to, increased monitoring by regulators and restrictions on growth, capital distributions and expansion. “Significantly undercapitalized” and “critically undercapitalized” institutions are subject to more extensive mandatory regulatory actions. The Office of Thrift Supervision could also take any one of a number of discretionary supervisory actions, including the issuance of a capital directive and the replacement of senior executive officers and directors.
Loans to One Borrower . Federal law provides that savings institutions are generally subject to the limits on loans to one borrower applicable to national banks. Generally, subject to certain exceptions, savings institutions may not make a loan or extend credit to a single or related group of borrowers in excess of 15% of its unimpaired capital and surplus. An additional amount may be lent, equal to 10% of unimpaired capital and surplus, if secured by specified readily-marketable collateral.
Standards for Safety and Soundness . As required by statute, the federal banking agencies have adopted Interagency Guidelines prescribing Standards for Safety and Soundness. The guidelines set forth the safety and soundness standards that the federal banking agencies use to identify and address problems at insured depository institutions before capital becomes impaired. If the Office of Thrift Supervision determines that a savings institution fails to meet any standard prescribed by the guidelines, the Office of Thrift Supervision may require the institution to submit an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard. Naugatuck Valley has not received any notice that it has failed to meet any standard prescribed by the guidelines.
Limitation on Capital Distributions . Office of Thrift Supervision regulations impose limitations upon all capital distributions by a savings institution, including cash dividends, payments to repurchase its shares and payments to shareholders of another institution in a cash-out merger. Under the regulations, an application to and
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the prior approval of the Office of Thrift Supervision is required before any capital distribution if the institution does not meet the criteria for “expedited treatment” of applications under Office of Thrift Supervision regulations ( i.e. , generally, examination and Community Reinvestment Act ratings in the two top categories), the total capital distributions for the calendar year exceed net income for that year plus the amount of retained net income for the preceding two years, the institution would be undercapitalized following the distribution or the distribution would otherwise be contrary to a statute, regulation or agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision. If an application is not required, the institution must still provide prior notice to the Office of Thrift Supervision of the capital distribution if, like Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, it is a subsidiary of a holding company. If Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s capital were ever to fall below its regulatory requirements or the Office of Thrift Supervision notified it that it was in need of increased supervision, its ability to make capital distributions could be restricted. In addition, the Office of Thrift Supervision could prohibit a proposed capital distribution that would otherwise be permitted by the regulation, if the agency determines that such distribution would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice.
Qualified Thrift Lender Test . Federal law requires savings institutions to meet a qualified thrift lender test. Under the test, a savings association is required to either qualify as a “domestic building and loan association” under the Internal Revenue Code or maintain at least 65% of its “portfolio assets” (total assets less: (i) specified liquid assets up to 20% of total assets; (ii) intangibles, including goodwill; and (iii) the value of property used to conduct business) in certain “qualified thrift investments” (primarily residential mortgages and related investments, including certain mortgage-backed securities) in at least 9 months out of each 12-month period.
A savings institution that fails the qualified thrift lender test is subject to certain operating restrictions and may be required to convert to a bank charter. Recent legislation has expanded the extent to which education loans, credit card loans and s loans may be considered “qualified thrift investments.” At December 31, 2005, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan met the qualified thrift lender test.
Transactions with Related Parties . Federal law limits Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s authority to lend to, and engage in certain other transactions with (collectively, “covered transactions”), “affiliates” ( e.g ., any entity that controls or is under common control with an institution, including Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and their non-savings institution subsidiaries). The aggregate amount of covered transactions with any individual affiliate is limited to 10% of the capital and surplus of the savings institution. The aggregate amount of covered transactions with all affiliates is limited to 20% of the savings institution’s capital and surplus. Loans and other specified transactions with affiliates are required to be secured by collateral in an amount and of a type specified by federal law. The purchase of low quality assets from affiliates is generally prohibited. Transactions with affiliates must be on terms and under circumstances that are at least as favorable to the institution as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with non-affiliated companies. In addition, savings institutions are prohibited from lending to any affiliate that is engaged in activities that are not permissible for bank holding companies and no savings institution may purchase the securities of any affiliate other than a subsidiary.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 generally prohibits a company from making loans to its executive officers and directors. However, the law contains a specific exception for loans by a depository institution to its executive officers and directors in compliance with federal banking laws. Under such laws, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s authority to extend credit to executive officers, directors and 10% shareholders (“insiders”), as well as entities such persons control, is limited. The law restricts both the individual and aggregate amount of loans Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan may make to insiders based, in part, on Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s capital position and requires certain Board approval procedures to be followed. Such loans must be made on terms substantially the same as those offered to unaffiliated individuals and not involve more than the normal risk of repayment. There is an exception for loans made pursuant to a benefit or compensation program that is widely available to all employees of the institution and does not give preference to insiders over other employees. There are additional restrictions applicable to loans to executive officers.
Enforcement . The Office of Thrift Supervision has primary enforcement responsibility over federal savings institutions and has the authority to bring actions against the institution and all institution-affiliated parties, including stockholders, and any attorneys, appraisers and accountants who knowingly or recklessly participate in wrongful action likely to have an adverse effect on an insured institution. Formal enforcement action may range from the issuance of a capital directive or cease and desist order to removal of officers and/or directors to appointment of a receiver or conservator or termination of deposit insurance. Civil penalties cover a wide range of
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violations and can amount to $25,000 per day, or even $1 million per day in especially egregious cases. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has authority to recommend to the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision that enforcement action to be taken with respect to a particular savings institution. If action is not taken by the Director, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has authority to take such action under certain circumstances. Federal law also establishes criminal penalties for certain violations.
Assessments . Federal savings banks are required to pay assessments to the Office of Thrift Supervision to fund its operations. The general assessments, paid on a semi-annual basis, are computed based upon the savings institution’s (including consolidated subsidiaries) total assets, condition and complexity of portfolio. The OTS assessments paid by the Bank for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 totaled $71,672.
Insurance of Deposit Accounts . Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan is a member of the Savings Association Insurance Fund. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation maintains a risk-based assessment system by which institutions are assigned to one of three categories based on their capitalization and one of three subcategories based on examination ratings and other supervisory information. An institution’s assessment rate depends upon the categories to which it is assigned. Assessment rates for Savings Association Insurance Fund member institutions are determined semi-annually by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and currently range from zero basis points of assessable deposits for the healthiest institutions to 27 basis points of assessable deposits for the riskiest.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has authority to increase insurance assessments. A material increase in Savings Association Insurance Fund insurance premiums would likely have an adverse effect on the operating expenses and results of operations of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan. Management cannot predict what insurance assessment rates will be in the future.
In addition to the assessment for deposit insurance, institutions are required to make payments on bonds issued in the late 1980s by the Financing Corporation to recapitalize the predecessor to the Savings Association Insurance Fund. During the year ended December 31, 2005, Financing Corporation payments for Savings Association Insurance Fund members averaged 1.39 basis points of assessable deposits. At December 31, 2005, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan had paid all fees and assessments for deposit insurance.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may terminate an institution’s insurance of deposits upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe or 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 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Office of Thrift Supervision. The management of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan does not know of any practice, condition or violation that might lead to termination of deposit insurance.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005 (the “Act”), signed by the President on February 8, 2006, revised the laws governing the federal deposit insurance system. The Act provides for the consolidation of the Bank and Savings Association Insurance Funds into a combined “Deposit Insurance Fund.”
Under the Act, insurance premiums are to be determined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) based on a number of factors, primarily the risk of loss that insured institutions pose to the Deposit Insurance Fund. The legislation eliminates the current minimum 1.25% reserve ratio for the insurance funds, the mandatory assessments when the ratio fall below 1.25% and the prohibition on assessing the highest quality banks when the ratio is above 1.25%. The Act provides the FDIC with flexibility to adjust the new insurance fund’s reserve ratio between 1.15% and 1.5%, depending on projected losses, economic changes and assessment rates at the end of a calendar year.
The Act increased deposit insurance coverage limits from $100,000 to $250,000 for certain types of Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings accounts. While it preserved the $100,000 coverage limit for individual accounts and municipal deposits, the FDIC was furnished with the discretion to adjust all coverage levels to keep pace with inflation beginning in 2010. Also, institutions that become undercapitalized will be prohibited from accepting certain employee benefit plan deposits.
The consolidation of the Bank and Savings Association Insurance Funds must occur no later than the first day of the calendar quarter that begins 90-days after the date of the Act’s enactment, i.e. , July 1, 2006. The Act also
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states that the FDIC must promulgate final regulations implementing the remainder of its provisions not later than 270 days after its enactment.
At this time, management cannot predict the effect, if any, that the Act will have on insurance premiums paid by Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
Federal Home Loan Bank System . Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which consists of 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The Federal Home Loan Bank provides a central credit facility primarily for member institutions. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, as a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, is required to acquire and hold shares of capital stock in that Federal Home Loan Bank. The Bank was in compliance with this requirement with an investment in Federal Home Loan Bank stock at December 31, 2005 of $3.2 million.
The Federal Home Loan Banks are required to provide funds for the resolution of insolvent thrifts in the late 1980s and to contribute funds for affordable housing programs. These requirements could reduce the amount of dividends that the Federal Home Loan Banks pay to their members and could also result in the Federal Home Loan Banks imposing a higher rate of interest on advances to their members. If dividends were reduced, or interest on future Federal Home Loan Bank advances increased, our net interest income would likely also be reduced.
Community Reinvestment Act. Under the Community Reinvestment Act, as implemented by Office of Thrift Supervision regulations, a savings association has a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with its safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The Community Reinvestment Act 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 Community Reinvestment Act. The Community Reinvestment Act requires the Office of Thrift Supervision, in connection with its examination of a savings association, to assess the institution’s record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its evaluation of certain applications by such institution.
The Community Reinvestment Act requires public disclosure of an institution’s rating and requires the Office of Thrift Supervision to provide a written evaluation of an association’s Community Reinvestment Act performance utilizing a four-tiered descriptive rating system.
Naugatuck Valley Savings received a “Satisfactory” rating as a result of its most recent Community Reinvestment Act assessment.
Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve Board regulations require savings institutions to maintain non-interest earning reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) and regular checking accounts). The regulations generally provided that reserves be maintained against aggregate transaction accounts as follows: a 3% reserve ratio is assessed on net transaction accounts up to and including $48.3 million; a 10% reserve ratio is applied above $48.3 million. The first $8.0 million of otherwise reservable balances (subject to adjustments by the Federal Reserve Board) are exempted from the reserve requirements. The amounts are adjusted annually. Naugatuck Valley Savings complies with the foregoing requirements.
Holding Company Regulation
General. Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual are savings and loan holding companies within the meaning of federal law. As such, they are registered with the Office of Thrift Supervision and are subject to Office of Thrift Supervision regulations, examinations, supervision, reporting requirements and regulations concerning corporate governance and activities. In addition, the Office of Thrift Supervision has enforcement authority over Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual and their non-savings institution subsidiaries. Among other things, this authority permits the Office of Thrift Supervision to restrict or prohibit activities that are determined to be a serious risk to Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
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Restrictions Applicable to Mutual Holding Companies. According to federal law and Office of Thrift Supervision regulations, a mutual holding company, such as Naugatuck Valley Mutual, may generally engage in the following activities: (1) investing in the stock of insured depository institutions and acquiring them by means of a merger or acquisition; (2) investing in a corporation the capital stock of which may be lawfully purchased by a savings association under federal law; (3) furnishing or performing management services for a savings association subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company; (4) conducting an insurance agency or escrow business; (5) holding, managing or liquidating assets owned or acquired from a savings association subsidiary of the savings and loan holding company; (6) holding or managing properties used or occupied by a savings association subsidiary of the savings and loan holding company; (7) acting as trustee under deed or trust; (8) any activity permitted for multiple savings and loan holding companies by Office of Thrift Supervision regulations; (9) any activity permitted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for bank holding companies and financial holding companies; and (10) any activity permissive for service corporations. Recent legislation, which authorized mutual holding companies to engage in activities permitted for financial holding companies, expanded the authorized activities. Financial holding companies may engage in a broad array of financial services activities, including insurance and securities.
Federal law prohibits a savings and loan holding company, including a federal mutual holding company, from directly or indirectly, or through one or more subsidiaries, acquiring more than 5% of the voting stock of another savings institution, or its holding company, without prior written approval of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Federal law also prohibits a savings and loan holding company from acquiring or retaining control of a depository institution that is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In evaluating applications by holding companies to acquire savings institutions, the Office of Thrift Supervision must consider the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the company and institution involved, the effect of the acquisition on the risk to the insurance funds, the convenience and needs of the community and competitive factors.
The Office of Thrift Supervision is prohibited from approving any acquisition that would result in a multiple savings and loan holding company controlling savings institutions in more than one state, except: (1) the approval of interstate supervisory acquisitions by savings and loan holding companies, and (2) the acquisition of a savings institution in another state if the laws of the state of the target savings institution specifically permit such acquisitions. The states vary in the extent to which they permit interstate savings and loan holding company acquisitions.
If the savings institution subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company fails to meet the qualified thrift lender test set, the holding company must register with the Federal Reserve Board as a bank holding company within one year of the savings institution’s failure to so qualify.
Stock Holding Company Subsidiary Regulation. The Office of Thrift Supervision has adopted regulations governing the two-tier mutual holding company form of organization and subsidiary stock holding companies that are controlled by mutual holding companies. We have this two-tier form of organization. Naugatuck Valley Financial is the stock holding company subsidiary of Naugatuck Valley Mutual. Naugatuck Valley Financial is only permitted to engage in activities that are permitted for Naugatuck Valley Mutual subject to the same restrictions and conditions.
Waivers of Dividends by Naugatuck Valley Mutual. Office of Thrift Supervision regulations require Naugatuck Valley Mutual to notify the Office of Thrift Supervision if it proposes to waive receipt of our dividends from Naugatuck Valley Financial. The Office of Thrift Supervision reviews dividend waiver notices on a case-by-case basis, and, in general, does not object to any such waiver if: (i) the waiver would not be detrimental to the safe and sound operation of the savings association; and (ii) the mutual holding company’s Board of Directors determines that such waiver is consistent with such directors’ fiduciary duties to the mutual holding company’s members. We anticipate that Naugatuck Valley Mutual will waive dividends that Naugatuck Valley Financial may pay, if any.
Conversion of Naugatuck Valley Mutual to Stock Form. Office of Thrift Supervision regulations permit Naugatuck Valley Mutual to convert from the mutual form of organization to the capital stock form of organization. There can be no assurance when, if ever, a conversion transaction will occur, and the Board of Directors has no current intention or plan to undertake a conversion transaction. In a conversion transaction a new holding company would be formed as our successor, Naugatuck Valley Mutual’s corporate existence would end, and
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certain depositors of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan would receive the right to subscribe for additional shares of the new holding company. In a conversion transaction, each share of common stock held by stockholders other than Naugatuck Valley Mutual would be automatically converted into a number of shares of common stock of the new holding company based on an exchange ratio determined at the time of conversion that ensures that stockholders other than Naugatuck Valley Mutual own the same percentage of common stock in the new holding company as they owned in us immediately before conversion. Under Office of Thrift Supervision regulations, stockholders other than Naugatuck Valley Mutual would not be diluted because of any dividends waived by Naugatuck Valley Mutual (and waived dividends would not be considered in determining an appropriate exchange ratio), in the event Naugatuck Valley Mutual converts to stock form. The total number of shares held by stockholders other than Naugatuck Valley Mutual after a conversion transaction also would be increased by any purchases by stockholders other than Naugatuck Valley Mutual in the stock offering conducted as part of the conversion transaction.
Acquisition of Control. Under the federal Change in Bank Control Act, a notice must be submitted to the Office of Thrift Supervision if any person (including a company), or group acting in concert, seeks to acquire “control” of a savings and loan holding company or savings association. An acquisition of “control” can occur upon the acquisition of 10% or more of the voting stock of a savings and loan holding company or savings institution or as otherwise defined by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Under the Change in Bank Control Act, the Office of Thrift Supervision has 60 days from the filing of a complete notice to act, taking into consideration certain factors, including the financial and managerial resources of the acquirer and the anti-trust effects of the acquisition. Any company that so acquires control would then be subject to regulation as a savings and loan holding company.
Remutualization Transactions . Current Office of Thrift Supervision regulations permit a mutual holding company to be acquired by a mutual institution in a remutualization transaction. However, the Office of Thrift Supervision has issued a policy statement indicating that it views remutualization transactions as raising significant issues concerning disparate treatment of minority stockholders and mutual members of the target entity and as raising issues concerning the effect on the mutual members of the acquiring entity. Under certain circumstances, the Office of Thrift Supervision intends to give these issues special scrutiny and reject applications for the remutualization of a mutual holding company unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that the Office of Thrift Supervision’s concerns are not warranted in the particular case.
Federal Securities Laws
Naugatuck Valley Financial’s common stock is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Naugatuck Valley Financial is subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading restrictions and other requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 implemented legislative reforms intended to address corporate and accounting fraud. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act restricts the scope of services that may be provided by accounting firms to their public company audit clients and any non-audit services being provided to a public company audit client will require preapproval by the company’s audit committee. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires chief executive officers and chief financial officers, or their equivalent, to certify to the accuracy of periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, subject to civil and criminal penalties if they knowingly or willingly violate this certification requirement.
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, bonuses issued to top executives before restatement of a company’s financial statements are now subject to disgorgement if such restatement was due to corporate misconduct. Executives are also prohibited from insider trading during retirement plan “blackout” periods, and loans to company executives (other than loans by financial institutions permitted by federal rules and regulations) are restricted. The legislation accelerates the time frame for disclosures by public companies and changes in ownership in a company’s securities by directors and executive officers.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act also increases the oversight of, and codifies certain requirements relating to audit committees of public companies and how they interact with the company’s “registered public accounting firm.”
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Among other requirements, companies must disclose whether at least one member of the committee is a “financial expert” (as such term is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission) and if not, why not.
Although we anticipate that we will incur additional expense in complying with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the resulting regulations, management does not expect that such compliance will have a material impact on our results of operations or financial condition.
Privacy Requirements of the GLBA
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (referred to as the “USA PATRIOT Act”) significantly expands the responsibilities of financial institutions, including savings and loan associations, in preventing the use of the U.S. financial system to fund terrorist activities. Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act provides for a significant overhaul of the U.S. anti-money laundering regime. Among other provisions, it requires financial institutions operating in the United States to develop new anti-money laundering compliance programs, due diligence policies and controls to ensure the detection and reporting of money laundering. Such required compliance programs are intended to supplement existing compliance requirements, also applicable to financial institutions, under the Bank Secrecy Act and the Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations. We have established policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the USA PATRIOT Act’s provisions, and the impact of the USA PATRIOT Act on our operations has not been material.
Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s 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; of identity theft and provide for accuracy, privacy, limits on information sharing and new consumer rights to disclosure.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003, intended to help consumers fight the growing crime of identity theft and provide for accuracy, privacy, limits on information sharing and new consumer rights to disclosure.
Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies; and
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rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing such federal laws.
The deposit operations of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan also 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;
Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E promulgated thereunder, which governs 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; and
Check Clearing for the 21 st Century Act (also known as “Check 21"), which gives “substitute checks,” such as digital check images and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check.
Federal and State Taxation
Federal Income Taxation
General . We report our income on a fiscal year basis using the accrual method of accounting. The federal income tax laws apply to us in the same manner as to other corporations with some exceptions, including particularly our reserve for bad debts discussed below. The following discussion of tax matters is intended only as a summary and does not purport to be a comprehensive description of the tax rules applicable to us. Our federal income tax returns have been either audited or closed under the statute of limitations through tax year 2000. For its 2005 year, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s maximum federal income tax rate was 34%.
Bad Debt Reserves . For fiscal years beginning before June 30, 1996, thrift institutions that qualified under certain definitional tests and other conditions of the Internal Revenue Code were permitted to use certain favorable provisions to calculate their deductions from taxable income for annual additions to their bad debt reserve. A reserve could be established for bad debts on qualifying real property loans, generally secured by interests in real property improved or to be improved, under the percentage of taxable income method or the experience method. The reserve for nonqualifying loans was computed using the experience method. Federal legislation enacted in 1996 repealed the reserve method of accounting for bad debts and the percentage of taxable income method for tax years beginning after 1995 and require savings institutions to recapture or take into income certain portions of their accumulated bad debt reserves. Approximately $1.4 million of our accumulated bad debt reserves would not be recaptured into taxable income unless Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan makes a “non-dividend distribution” to Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan as described below.
Distributions . If Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan makes “non-dividend distributions” to us, the distributions will be considered to have been made from Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s unrecaptured tax bad debt reserves, including the balance of its reserves as of December 31, 1987, to the extent of the “non-dividend distributions,” and then from Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s supplemental reserve for losses on loans, to the extent of those reserves, and an amount based on the amount distributed, but not more than the amount of those reserves, will be included in Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s taxable income. Non-dividend distributions include distributions in excess of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, as calculated for federal income tax purposes, distributions in redemption of stock, and distributions in partial or complete liquidation. Dividends paid out of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s current or accumulated earnings and profits will not be so included in Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s taxable income.
The amount of additional taxable income triggered by a non-dividend is an amount that, when reduced by the tax attributable to the income, is equal to the amount of the distribution. Therefore, if Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan makes a non-dividend distribution to us, approximately one and one-half times the amount of the distribution not in excess of the amount of the reserves would be includable in income for federal income tax
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purposes, assuming a 34% federal corporate income tax rate. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan does not intend to pay dividends that would result in a recapture of any portion of its bad debt reserves.
Naugatuck Valley Mutual, Naugatuck Valley Financial and its subsidiaries are subject to the Connecticut corporation business tax. Naugatuck Valley Mutual, Naugatuck Valley Financial and its subsidiaries will be eligible to file a combined Connecticut income tax return and will pay the larger of the regular corporation business tax (income tax) or a capital stock tax, but no less than a nominal minimum tax.
The Connecticut corporation business tax is based on the federal taxable income before net operating loss and special deductions of Naugatuck Valley Mutual, Naugatuck Valley Financial and its subsidiaries and makes certain modifications to federal taxable income to arrive at Connecticut taxable income. Connecticut taxable income is multiplied by the effective state tax rate (7.5% for 2005) to arrive at Connecticut income tax.
In May 1998, the State of Connecticut enacted legislation permitting the formation of passive investment company subsidiaries by financial institutions. This legislation exempts qualifying passive investment companies from the Connecticut corporation business tax and excludes dividends paid from a passive investment company from the taxable income of the parent financial institution. Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan’s formation of a passive investment company in September 1999 is expected to substantially eliminate the state income tax expense of Naugatuck Valley Mutual, Naugatuck Valley Financial and its subsidiaries. However, we will remain liable for the capital stock tax. The State of Connecticut continues to be under pressure to find new sources of revenue, and therefore could propose legislation to eliminate the passive investment company exemption. If such legislation were enacted, we would be subject to state income taxes in Connecticut.
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Executive Officers of the Registrant
The executive officers of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual Holding Company and Naugatuck Valley Savings are elected annually by the Board of Directors and serve at the Board’s discretion. The executive officers of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual Holding Company and Naugatuck Valley Savings are:
John C. Roman
President and Chief Executive Officer of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
Dominic J. Alegi, Jr.
Executive Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
Jane H. Walsh
Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
William C. Nimons
Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
Mark S. Graveline
Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
Lee R. Schlesinger
Vice President and Treasurer of Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Mutual and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
Below is information regarding the executive officers who are not also directors. Unless otherwise stated, each executive officer has held his or her current position for at least the last five years. Ages presented are as of December 31, 2005.
Dominic J. Alegi, Jr . has served as Executive Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual since September 2004 and has been Executive Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan since 1989. Mr. Alegi has served with Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan since 1970. Age 59.
William C. Nimons has served as Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual since September 2004 and has been Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan since 2001. Mr. Nimons previously was the Manager-Network Management of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation, a real estate and relocation firm and was an Executive Vice President at Shelton Savings Bank. Age 59.
Mark S. Graveline has served as Senior Vice President of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual and as Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan since February 2005. Mr. Graveline previously was a Vice President of Banknorth-Connecticut and a Vice President of North American Bank and Trust. Age 49.
Lee R. Schlesinger has served as Vice President and Treasurer of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Mutual since September 2004 and has been Vice President and Treasurer of Naugatuck Valley Savings since August 2004. Mr. Schlesinger served as Vice President and Controller of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan from 2003 to 2004 and as Assistant Vice President and Controller of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Schlesinger has served with Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan since 1983. Age 45.
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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.
Rising interest rates may hurt our profits and asset value.
Interest rates were recently at historically low levels. However, between June 30, 2004 and December 31, 2005, the U.S. Federal Reserve has increased its target for the federal funds rate thirteen times to 4.25%. These increases have led to a “flattening” of the yield curve where there is relatively little differential between short-term and long-term interest rates. If short-term interest rates continue to rise, causing the rates on our deposits and borrowings to reprice upwards faster than the rates on our loans and investments, we would experience continued compression of our interest rate spread and net interest margin, which would have a negative effect on our profitability.
If we do not achieve profitability on new branches, the new branches may negatively impact our earnings.
We opened a new branch in Seymour, Connecticut in January 2005. We also expect to open a new branch in Southbury, Connecticut in the third quarter of 2006. We intend to continue to pursue opportunities to pursue expansion of our branch network, as well as to upgrade our current branch facilities. We cannot assure you that our branch expansion strategy and our branch upgrading will be accretive to our earnings, or that it will be accretive to earnings within a reasonable period of time. Numerous factors contribute to the performance of a new branch, such as a suitable location, qualified personnel and an effective marketing strategy. Additionally, it takes time for a new branch to generate significant deposits and make sufficient loans to produce enough income to offset expenses, some of which, like salaries and occupancy expense, are relatively fixed costs. In addition to branch employees, we will hire lending and other employees to support our expanded infrastructure.
Our increased emphasis on commercial and construction lending and the unseasoned nature of these loans may expose us to increased lending risks and could impact the level of our allowance for loan losses.
Since December 31, 2001, our commercial real estate, commercial business and residential construction loan portfolio has increased $53.7 million, or 368.5%, and at December 31, 2005, $68.3 million, or 25.9%, of our loan portfolio consisted of these real estate, construction and commercial business loans. We intend to continue to emphasize these types of lending. These types of loans generally expose a lender to greater risk of non-payment and loss than one- to four-family residential mortgage loans because repayment of the loans often depends on the successful operation of the property, the income stream of the borrowers for commercial business loans and for construction loans, the accuracy of the estimate of the property’s value at completion of construction and the estimated cost of construction. These factors can be impacted by many variables including economic events beyond the borrowers’ control. Such loans typically involve larger loan balances to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers compared to one- to four-family residential mortgage loans. Also, many of our commercial and construction borrowers have more than one loan outstanding with us. Consequently, an adverse development with respect to one loan or one credit relationship can expose us to a significantly greater risk of loss compared to an adverse development with respect to a one- to four-family residential mortgage loan.
Because of our planned continued emphasis on commercial and construction lending and the unseasoned nature of many of these loans, we may determine it necessary to increase the level of our allowance for loan losses. We make various judgments about the collectibility of our loans, including the creditworthiness of our borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for our loans. In determining the amount of the allowance for loan losses, we review our loans and our loan loss and delinquency experience, and we evaluate economic conditions. However, as a result of our recent expansion, a significant portion of our commercial and construction loans are unseasoned, with the risk that these loans may not have had sufficient time to perform to properly indicate the potential magnitude of losses. If our judgments are incorrect, our allowance for loan losses may not be sufficient to cover future losses, which will result in additions to our allowance through increased provisions for loan losses. In addition, bank regulators periodically review our allowance for loan losses and may require us to increase our provision for loan losses or recognize further loan charge-offs. Increased provisions for loan losses would increase our expenses and reduce our profits. Finally, during our recent expansion, we have also experienced a historically low interest rate environment. Our unseasoned adjustable rate loans have not, therefore, been subject to a rising interest rate environment which could cause them to adjust to their maximum interest rate
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level. Such an increase could increase collection risks resulting from potentially higher payment obligations by the borrower.
A decline in our return on equity as a result of the capital we raised in our 2004 stock offering may negatively impact our stock price.
Return on equity, which equals net income divided by average equity, is a ratio used by many investors to compare the performance of a particular company with other companies. Our return on equity for the year ended December 31, 2005 was 3.66%. Over time, we intend to use the net proceeds from our 2004 stock offering to increase earnings per share and book value per share, without assuming undue risk, with the goal of achieving a return on equity that is competitive with other publicly held subsidiaries of mutual holding companies. This goal could take a number of years to achieve, and we cannot assure you that it will be attained. Consequently, you should not expect a competitive return on equity in the near future. Failure to achieve a competitive return on equity might make an investment in our common stock unattractive to some investors and might cause our common stock to trade at lower prices than comparable companies with higher returns on equity.
Expenses from operating as a public company and from new stock-based benefit plans will continue to adversely affect our profitability.
Our noninterest expenses are impacted as a result of the financial accounting, legal and various other additional expenses usually associated with operating as a public company. We also recognize additional annual employee compensation and benefit expenses stemming from the shares that are purchased or granted to employees and executives under new benefit plans. These additional expenses adversely affect our profitability. We recognize expenses for our employee stock ownership plan when shares are committed to be released to participants’ accounts and recognize expenses for restricted stock awards and stock options over the vesting period of awards made to recipients.
Naugatuck Valley Mutual’s majority control of our common stock enables it to exercise voting control over most matters put to a vote of stockholders, including preventing sale or merger transactions you may like or a second-step conversion by Naugatuck Valley Mutual.
Naugatuck Valley Mutual owns a majority of our common stock and, through its Board of Directors, is able to exercise voting control over most matters put to a vote of stockholders. The same directors and officers manage Naugatuck Valley Financial, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Naugatuck Valley Mutual. As a federally chartered mutual holding company, the Board of Directors of Naugatuck Valley Mutual must ensure that the interests of depositors of Naugatuck Valley Savings are represented and considered in matters put to a vote of stockholders of Naugatuck Valley Financial. Therefore, the votes cast by Naugatuck Valley Mutual may not be in your personal best interests as a stockholder. For example, Naugatuck Valley Mutual may exercise its voting control to defeat a stockholder nominee for election to the board of directors of Naugatuck Valley Financial. In addition, stockholders will not be able to force a merger or second-step conversion transaction without the consent of Naugatuck Valley Mutual. Some stockholders may desire a sale or merger transaction, since stockholders typically receive a premium for their shares, or a second-step conversion transaction, since fully converted institutions tend to trade at higher multiples than mutual holding companies.
Office of Thrift Supervision policy on remutualization transactions could prohibit the merger or an acquisition of us, which may lower our stock price.
Current Office of Thrift Supervision regulations permit a mutual holding company to be acquired by a mutual institution in a remutualization transaction. The possibility of a remutualization transaction has recently resulted in a degree of takeover speculation for mutual holding companies which is reflected in the stock prices of mutual holding companies. However, the Office of Thrift Supervision has issued a policy statement indicating that it views remutualization transactions as raising significant issues concerning disparate treatment of minority stockholders and mutual members of the target entity and as raising issues concerning the effect on the mutual members of the acquiring entity. Under certain circumstances, the Office of Thrift Supervision intends to give these issues special scrutiny and reject applications for the remutualization of a mutual holding company unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that the Office of Thrift Supervision’s concerns are not warranted in the particular case. Should the Office of Thrift Supervision prohibit or otherwise restrict these transactions in the future, our stock
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price may be adversely affected. We have no current plans to undertake a remutualization transaction. In addition, Office of Thrift Supervision regulations prohibit, for three years following the completion of a stock offering by a company such as Naugatuck Valley Financial, the acquisition of more than 10% of any class of equity security of the company without the prior approval of the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Strong competition within our market area could hurt our profits and slow growth.
Although we consider ourselves competitive in the Greater Naugatuck Valley, which we consider our market area, we face intense competition both in making loans and attracting deposits. Price competition for loans and deposits might result in us earning less on our loans and paying more on our deposits, which reduces net interest income. Some of the institutions with which we compete have substantially greater resources and lending limits than we have and may offer services that we do not provide. We expect competition to increase in the future as a result of legislative, regulatory and technological changes and the continuing trend of consolidation in the financial services industry. Our profitability depends upon our continued ability to compete successfully in our market area.
We operate in a highly regulated environment and we may be adversely affected by changes in laws and regulations.
We are subject to extensive government regulation, supervision and examination. Such regulation, supervision and examination govern the activities in which we may engage, and is intended primarily for the protection of the deposit insurance fund and our depositors. Regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in their supervisory and enforcement activities, including the imposition of restrictions on our operations, the classification of our assets and determination of the level of our allowance for loan losses. Any change in such regulation and oversight, whether in the form of regulatory policy, regulations, legislation or supervisory action, may have a material impact on our operations.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS .
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