Docoh
Loading...

VLY Valley National Bancorp

Filed: 25 Feb 21, 7:00pm

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission File Number 1-11277
VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New Jersey 22-2477875
(State or other jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 (I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
One Penn Plaza
New York,NY 10119
(Address of principal executive office) (Zip code)
973-305-8800
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading SymbolsName of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, no par valueVLYThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, no par valueVLYPPThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B, no par valueVLYPOThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes  No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files.)    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (check one):
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer  Smaller reporting company 
Non-accelerated filer   Emerging growth company 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act)     Yes No  
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $3.1 billion on June 30, 2020.
There were 405,611,861 shares of Common Stock outstanding at February 25, 2021.
Documents incorporated by reference:
Certain portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement (the “2021 Proxy Statement”) for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held April 19, 2021 will be incorporated by reference in Part III. The 2021 Proxy Statement will be filed within 120 days of December 31, 2020.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 




PART I
 
Item 1.Business
The disclosures set forth in this item are qualified by Item 1A—Risk Factors and the section captioned “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (referred to as this "report") and other cautionary statements set forth elsewhere in this report.
Valley National Bancorp, headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, is a New Jersey corporation organized in 1983 and is registered as a bank holding company with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“Holding Company Act”). The words “Valley,” “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Valley National Bancorp and its wholly owned subsidiaries, unless we indicate otherwise. At December 31, 2020, Valley had consolidated total assets of $40.7 billion, total net loans of $31.9 billion, total deposits of $31.9 billion and total shareholders’ equity of $4.6 billion. In addition to its principal subsidiary, Valley National Bank (commonly referred to as the “Bank” in this report), Valley owns all of the voting and common shares of GCB Capital Trust III, State Bancorp Capital Trusts I and II, and Aliant Statutory Trust II at December 31, 2020 through which trust preferred securities were issued. These trusts are not consolidated subsidiaries. See Note 11 to the consolidated financial statements.
Valley advertises and identifies itself under the trade names "Valley Bank" and "Valley".
Valley National Bank is a national banking association chartered in 1927 under the laws of the United States. Currently, the Bank has 226 branches serving northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. The Bank offers a full suite of banking solutions through various commercial, retail, insurance and wealth management financial services products. These products include, but are not limited to, traditional commercial and industrial lending, commercial real estate financing, small business loans, equipment, basic consumer and commercial deposit products, personal financing solutions such as residential mortgages, home equity loans and automobile financing, as well as solutions for homeowners associations and a full service line of cash management solutions. The Bank provides a variety of banking services including automated teller machines, telephone and internet banking, remote deposit capture, overdraft facilities, drive-in and night deposit services, and safe deposit facilities. In addition, certain international banking services are available to customers including standby letters of credit, documentary letters of credit and related products, and certain ancillary services such as foreign exchange transactions, documentary collections, foreign wire transfers, as well as transaction accounts for non-resident aliens.
Our primary focus is to build and develop profitable customer relationships across all lines of business and create a convenient and innovative omni-channel customer experience beyond our traditional branch footprint, including through the use and promotion of our mobile and online service offerings, such as our ValleyDirect on-line savings account.
Valley National Bank’s subsidiaries are all included in the consolidated financial statements of Valley (See Exhibit 21 at Part IV, Item 15 for a list of subsidiaries). These subsidiaries include, but are not limited to:
an insurance agency offering property and casualty, life and health insurance;
an asset management adviser that is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
a title insurance agency in New York which also provides services in New Jersey;
subsidiaries which hold, maintain and manage investment assets for the Bank;
a subsidiary which specializes in health care equipment lending and other commercial equipment leases; and
a subsidiary which owns and services New York commercial loans.
The Bank’s subsidiaries also include real estate investment trust subsidiaries (the "REIT" subsidiaries), which own real estate related investments and a REIT subsidiary, which owns some of the real estate utilized by the Bank and related real estate investments. Except for Valley’s REIT subsidiaries and Valley's insurance agency (10% of which is owned by the insurance agency's co-CEOs), all subsidiaries mentioned above are directly or indirectly wholly owned by the Bank. Because each REIT must have 100 or more shareholders to qualify as a REIT, each REIT has issued less than 20 percent of its outstanding non-voting preferred stock to individuals, most of whom are current and former Bank employees. The Bank owns the remaining preferred stock and all the common stock of the REITs.

32020 Form 10-K


Recent Acquisitions
Valley has grown significantly in the past several years primarily through bank acquisitions that expanded our branch footprint in New Jersey and Florida. Recent bank transactions are discussed further below.
Oritani Financial Corp. On December 1, 2019, Valley completed its acquisition of Oritani Financial Corp. ("Oritani") and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oritani Bank. Oritani had approximately $4.3 billion in assets, $3.4 billion in net loans, $2.9 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and a branch network of 26 locations. The acquisition represented a significant addition to Valley's New Jersey franchise, and meaningfully enhanced its presence in the Bergen County market. The common shareholders of Oritani received 1.60 shares of Valley common stock for each Oritani share that they owned prior to the merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $835 million, consisting of approximately 71.1 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding Oritani stock-based awards.
USAmeriBancorp, Inc. On January 1, 2018, Valley completed its acquisition of USAmeriBancorp, Inc. (USAB) headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. USAB, largely through its wholly-owned subsidiary, USAmeriBank, had approximately $5.1 billion in assets, $3.7 billion in net loans and $3.6 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and maintained a branch network of 29 offices. The acquisition represented a significant addition to Valley’s Florida presence, primarily in the Tampa Bay market. The acquisition also brought Valley to the Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tallapoosa areas in Alabama, where USAB maintained 15 of its branches. The common shareholders of USAB received 6.1 shares of Valley common stock for each USAB share they owned prior to merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $737 million, consisting of 64.9 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding USAB stock based awards.
Impact of COVID-19
Valley's primary market areas within New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama have all experienced significant outbreaks and resurgences of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and disruptions from the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and any preventative or protective actions that Valley or its customers have taken or may take in response resulted and may continue to result in extended periods of disruption to Valley, its customers, service providers, and third parties. The full extent and duration of the adverse impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on Valley's business, financial position, results of operations, and prospects are currently unknown, but could be significant. As of the date of this report, the banking and financial services industries have been deemed essential businesses in the jurisdictions in which Valley operates. Although our branches are now open, we continue to implement various protocols and practices imposed to safeguard the health and wellness of customers and employees and to comply with applicable government directives. However, the imposition and the extent of any further restrictions on our operations, and compliance therewith could have a material effect on Valley’s business. Valley cannot predict whether and to what extent governmental and nongovernmental authorities will continue to implement policy measures or further legislative relief to assist Valley and its customers and the failure to do so could have adverse effects on Valley's business.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided for in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as supplemented by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Enhancement Act), was designed to aid small- and medium-sized businesses through federally guaranteed loans distributed through banks. These loans were intended to offset payroll and other costs to help those businesses remain viable and allow their workers to pay their bills. Valley National Bank is a certified Small Business Administration (SBA) lender and facilitated approximately 13,000 SBA-approved PPP loans with balances totaling $2.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. While difficult to accurately predict, we expect the majority of these loans to be forgiven in accordance with rules, application and documentation requirements for this program.
Business Segments
Our business segments are reassessed by management, at least on an annual basis, to ensure the proper identification and reporting of our operating segments. Valley currently reports the results of its operations and manages its business through four business segments: commercial lending, consumer lending, investment management, and corporate and other adjustments. Valley’s Wealth Management Division comprised of trust, asset management and insurance services, is included in the consumer lending segment. See Note 21 to the consolidated financial statements for details of the financial performance of our business segments. We offer a variety of products and services within the commercial and consumer lending segments as described below.

Commercial Lending Segment
Commercial and industrial loans. Commercial and industrial loans totaled approximately $6.9 billion and represented 21.3 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. We make commercial loans to small and middle market
2020 Form 10-K4


businesses most often located in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama. Loans originated from Florida accounted for approximately 28 percent of total commercial and industrial loans at both, December 31, 2020 and 2019. A significant proportion of Valley’s commercial and industrial loan portfolio is granted to long-standing customers of proven ability, strong repayment performance, and high character. Underwriting standards are designed to assess the borrower’s ability to generate recurring cash flow sufficient to meet the debt service requirements of loans granted. While such recurring cash flow serves as the primary source of repayment, most of the loans are collateralized by borrower assets intended to serve as a secondary source of repayment should the need arise. Anticipated cash flows of borrowers, however, may not occur as expected and the collateral securing these loans may fluctuate in value. In the case of loans secured by accounts receivable, the ability of the borrower to collect all amounts due from its customers may be impaired. Our loan decisions include consideration of a borrower’s willingness to repay debts, collateral coverage, standing in the community and other forms of support. Strong consideration is given to long-term existing customers that have maintained a favorable relationship with the Bank. Commercial loan products offered consist of term loans for equipment purchases, working capital lines of credit that assist our customers’ financing of accounts receivable and inventory, and commercial mortgages for owner occupied properties. Working capital advances are generally used to finance seasonal requirements and are repaid at the end of the cycle. Short-term commercial business loans may be collateralized by a lien on accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and/or partly collateralized by real estate. Short-term loans may also be made on an unsecured basis based on a borrower’s financial strength and past performance. Whenever possible, we obtain the personal guarantee of the borrower’s principals to mitigate the risk. Unsecured loans, when made, are generally granted to the Bank’s most creditworthy borrowers. Unsecured commercial and industrial loans totaled $2.7 billion (including $2.2 billion of SBA guaranteed PPP loans) at December 31, 2020. In addition, we provide financing to the health care and industrial equipment leasing market through our leasing subsidiary, Highland Capital Corp.
The commercial portfolio also includes approximately $90.6 million and $6.9 million of New York City and Chicago taxi medallion loans at December 31, 2020, respectively. All of these loans are on non-accrual status due to ongoing weakness exhibited in the taxi industry caused by strong competition from alternative ride-sharing services and the economic stress caused by COVID-19. At December 31, 2020, the non-accrual taxi medallion loans totaling $97.5 million had related reserves of $66.4 million, or 68.1 percent of such loans, within the allowance for loan losses. We continue to closely monitor this portfolio and negative trends in the market valuations of the underlying taxi medallion collateral and a decline in borrower cash flows, among other factors, could result in additional charges to increase the reserves associated with this loan portfolio. See the “Non-performing Assets” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” (MD&A) for additional information regarding our taxi medallion loans.
Commercial real estate loans. Commercial real estate and construction loans totaled $18.5 billion and represented 57.3 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. We originate commercial real estate loans that are secured by various diversified property types across the New York metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) along with Florida and our Alabama footprint. Property types in this portfolio range from multi-family residential properties to non-owner occupied commercial, industrial/warehouse and retail. Loans originated from Florida lending represented 26 percent of the total commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2020 as compared to 25 percent of such loans at December 31, 2019. Loans are generally written on an adjustable basis with rates tied to a specifically identified market rate index. Adjustment periods generally range between five to ten years and repayment is generally structured on a fully amortizing basis for terms up to thirty years. Commercial real estate loans are subject to underwriting standards and processes similar to commercial and industrial loans but generally they involve larger principal balances and longer repayment periods as compared to commercial and industrial loans. Commercial real estate loans are viewed primarily as cash flow loans and secondarily as loans secured by real property. Repayment of most loans is dependent upon the cash flow generated from the property securing the loan or the business that occupies the property. Commercial real estate loans may be more adversely affected by conditions in the real estate markets or in the general economy and accordingly, conservative loan to value ratios are required at origination, as well as stress tested to evaluate the impact of market changes relating to key underwriting elements. The properties securing the commercial real estate portfolio represent diverse types, with most properties located within Valley’s primary markets. With respect to loans to developers and builders, we originate and manage construction loans structured on either a revolving or a non-revolving basis, depending on the nature of the underlying development project. Our construction loans totaling approximately $1.7 billion at December 31, 2020 are generally secured by the real estate to be developed and may also be secured by additional real estate to mitigate the risk. Within our construction portfolio, we have a diverse mix of both residential (for sale and rental) and commercial development projects. Non-revolving construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantially all committed funds with repayment substantially dependent on the successful completion and sale, or lease, of the project. Sources of repayment for these types of loans may be from pre-committed permanent loans from other lenders, sales of developed property, or an interim loan commitment from Valley until permanent financing is obtained elsewhere. Revolving construction loans (generally relating to single-family residential construction) are controlled with loan advances dependent upon the presale of housing units financed. These loans are closely monitored by on-site inspections and are considered to have higher risks than other real estate loans due to their ultimate repayment being sensitive to interest rate changes, governmental regulation of real property, general economic conditions and the availability of long-term financing.
52020 Form 10-K


Consumer Lending Segment
Residential mortgage loansResidential mortgage loans totaled $4.2 billion and represented 13.0 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. Our residential mortgage loans include fixed and variable interest rate loans located mostly in New Jersey, New York and Florida. Valley’s ability to be repaid on such loans is closely linked to the economic and real estate market conditions in our lending markets. We also make mortgage loans secured by homes beyond this primary geographic area; however, lending outside this primary area is generally made in support of existing customer relationships, as well as targeted purchases of loans guaranteed by third parties. Mortgage loan originations are based on underwriting standards that generally comply with Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac requirements. Appraisals and valuations of real estate collateral are contracted through an approved appraisal management company. The appraisal management company adheres to all regulatory requirements. The Bank’s appraisal management policy and procedure is in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidance issued by the Bank’s primary regulator. Credit scoring, using FICO® and other proprietary, credit scoring models is employed in the ultimate, judgmental credit decision by Valley’s underwriting staff. Valley does not use third party contract underwriting services. In deciding whether to originate each residential mortgage, Valley considers the qualifications of the borrower, the value of the underlying property and other factors that we believe are predictive of future loan performance. Valley originated first mortgages include both fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) products with 10-year to 30-year maturities. The adjustable rate loans have a fixed-rate, fixed payment, introductory period of 5 to 10 years that is selected by the borrower. Additionally, Valley originates jumbo residential mortgage loans, which are mostly fixed-rate with 30-year maturities. At December 31, 2020, fixed and adjustable rate jumbo residential mortgage loans totaled approximately $2.5 billion. Interest-only (i.e., non-amortizing) residential mortgage loans within our jumbo portfolio totaled $39.4 million (or 0.94 percent of the total residential mortgage loan portfolio) at December 31, 2020. The Bank is also a servicer of residential mortgage portfolios, and it is compensated for loan administrative services performed for mortgage servicing rights related primarily to loans originated and sold by the Bank. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for further details.
Other consumer loans. Other consumer loans totaled $2.7 billion and represented 8.4 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. Our other consumer loan portfolio is primarily comprised of direct and indirect automobile loans, loans secured by the cash surrender value of life insurance, home equity loans and lines of credit, and to a lesser extent, secured and unsecured other consumer loans (including credit card loans). Valley is an auto lender in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Connecticut, Delaware and Alabama offering indirect auto loans secured by either new or used automobiles. Automobile originations (including light truck and sport utility vehicles) are largely produced via indirect channels, originated through approved automobile dealers. Valley acquired an immaterial amount of automobile loans from its bank acquisitions in Florida since 2014, as auto lending was not a focus of the acquired operations. However, we implemented our indirect auto lending model in Florida in 2015, and in Alabama in 2018 using our New Jersey based underwriting and loan servicing platform. The relatively new Florida auto dealer network generated approximately $85 million and $169 million of auto loans in 2020 and 2019, respectively, while the auto loans originated from Alabama totaled $22 million in 2020 as compared to $39 million in 2019. Home equity lending consists of both fixed and variable interest rate products mainly to provide home equity loans to our residential mortgage customers or take a secondary position to another lender’s first lien position within the footprint of our primary lending territories. We generally will not exceed a combined (i.e., first and second mortgage) loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent when originating a home equity loan. Other consumer loans include direct consumer term loans, both secured and unsecured, but are largely comprised of personal lines of credit secured by cash surrender value of life insurance. The product is mainly originated through the Bank’s retail branch network and third party financial advisors. Unsecured consumer loans totaled approximately $49.4 million, including $8.8 million of credit card loans, at December 31, 2020.
Wealth Management. Our Wealth Management and Insurance Services Division provides asset management advisory services, trust services, commercial and personal insurance products, and title insurance. Asset management advisory services include investment services for individuals and small to medium sized businesses, trusts and custom -tailored investment strategies designed for various types of retirement plans. Trust services include living and testamentary trusts, investment management, custodial and escrow services, and estate administration, primarily to individuals.
Investment Management Segment
Although we are primarily focused on our lending and wealth management services, a large portion of our income is generated through investments in various types of securities, and depending on our liquid cash position, interest-bearing deposits with banks (primarily the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), as part of our asset/liability management strategies. As of December 31, 2020, our total investment securities and interest bearing deposits with banks were $3.5 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively. See the “Investment Securities Portfolio” section of the MD&A and Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information concerning our investment securities.


2020 Form 10-K6


Changes in Loan Portfolio Composition
At December 31, 2020 and 2019, approximately 72 percent and 76 percent, respectively, of Valley’s gross loans totaling $32.2 billion and $29.7 billion, respectively, consisted of commercial real estate (including construction loans), residential mortgage, and home equity loans. The remaining 28 percent and 24 percent at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, consisted of loans not collateralized by real estate. Valley has no internally planned changes that would significantly impact the current composition of our loan portfolio by loan type. However, we have continued to diversify the geographic concentrations in the New Jersey and New York City Metropolitan area within our loan portfolio primarily through our bank acquisitions and expanded lending teams in Florida since 2014, including our acquisition of USAB on January 1, 2018. Many external factors outlined in Item 1A. Risk Factors, the “Executive Summary” section of Item 7. MD&A, and elsewhere in this report may impact our ability to maintain the current composition of our loan portfolio. See the “Loan Portfolio” section in Item 7. MD&A in this report for further discussion of our loan composition and concentration risks.
The following table presents the loan portfolio segments by state as an approximate percentage of each applicable segment and our percentage of total loans by state at December 31, 2020. 
 Percentage of Loan Portfolio Segment: 
Commercial and IndustrialCommercial
Real Estate
ResidentialConsumer% of Total
Loans
New Jersey31 %27 %41 %35 %30 %
New York24 38 29 29 33 
Florida28 26 21 17 25 
Pennsylvania
Alabama
California
Connecticut*
Other12 
Total100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %
*Represents less than one percent of the loan portfolio segment.

Risk Management
Financial institutions must manage a variety of business risks that can significantly affect their financial performance. Significant risks we confront are credit risks and asset/liability management risks, which include interest rate and liquidity risks. Credit risk is the risk of not collecting payments pursuant to the contractual terms of loan, lease and investment assets. Interest rate risk results from changes in interest rates which may impact the re-pricing of assets and liabilities in different amounts or at different dates. Liquidity risk is the risk that we will be unable to fund obligations to loan customers, depositors or other creditors at a reasonable cost.

Valley’s Board performs its risk oversight function primarily through several standing committees, including the Risk Committee, all of which report to the full Board. The full Board regularly engages in discussions of risk management and receives reports on risk factors from our executive management, other Company officers and the chairman of the Risk Committee. The Risk Committee assists the Board by, among other things, establishing an enterprise-wide risk management framework and risk culture that is aligned with Valley’s strategic plan and is appropriate for Valley’s capital, business activities, size and risk appetite. Management applies the enterprise-wide risk management framework to holistically manage and monitor risks across the organization and to aggregate and manage the risk appetite approved by the board. As part of the risk management framework, the Risk Committee reviews and recommends to the Board appropriate risk tolerances and limits for strategic, credit, interest rate, price, liquidity, compliance, operational (including cyber and information security risk), and reputation risks, oversees that risks are managed within those tolerances, and monitors compliance with applicable laws and regulations. With guidance from and oversight by the Risk Committee, management continually refines and enhances its risk management policies, procedures and monitoring programs to be able to adapt to changing risks.

In May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “EGRRCPA”) was signed into law. On July 6, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a joint interagency statement regarding the impact of the
72020 Form 10-K


EGRRCPA. As a result of this statement and the EGRRCPA, Valley and the Bank are no longer subject to Dodd-Frank Act stress testing requirements. While Valley is no longer required to publish company-run annual stress tests, it continues to internally run stress tests of its capital position that are subject to review by Valley's primary regulators. Additionally, the results of the internal stress tests are considered in combination with other risk management and monitoring practices at Valley to maintain an effective risk management program.
Cyber Security
Information security is a significant operational risk for Valley. Information security includes the risk of losses resulting from cyber-attacks. Valley frequently experiences attempted cyber security attacks against its systems. However, to date, none of these incidents have resulted in material losses, known breaches of customer data or significant disruption of services to our customers. Within the past few years, we have significantly increased the resources dedicated to cyber security. We believe that further increases are likely to be required in the future, in anticipation of increases in the sophistication and persistency of cyber-attacks. We employ personnel dedicated to overseeing the infrastructure and systems necessary to defend against cyber security incidents. Senior management is briefed on information and cyber security matters, preparedness and any incidents requiring a response.

Valley’s Board, through its Risk Committee, has primary oversight responsibility for information security and receives regular updates and reporting from management on information and cyber security matters, including information related to any third-party assessments of Valley’s cyber program. The Risk Committee periodically approves Valley’s information security policies.

We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures and if we experienced a cyber security breach of customer data, to make required notifications to customers and disclosure to government officials. As a result, cyber security and the continued development and enhancement of the controls and processes designed to protect our systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access is a high priority for us. While we have confidence in our cyber security practices and personnel, we also know we are not immune from a costly and successful attack.

Credit Risk Management and Underwriting Approach
Credit risk management. For all loan types, we adhere to a credit policy designed to minimize credit risk while generating the maximum income given the level of risk appetite. Management reviews and approves these policies and procedures on a regular basis with subsequent approval by the Board of Directors annually. Credit authority relating to a significant dollar percentage of the overall portfolio is centralized and controlled by the Credit Risk Management Division and by a Credit Committee. A reporting system supplements the review process by providing management with frequent reports concerning loan production, loan quality, internal loan classifications, concentrations of credit, loan delinquencies, non-performing, and potential problem loans. Loan portfolio diversification is an important factor utilized by us to manage the portfolio’s risk across business sectors, geographic markets and through cyclical economic circumstances.
Our historical and current loan underwriting practice prohibits the origination of payment option adjustable residential mortgages which allow for negative interest amortization and subprime loans. Virtually all of our residential mortgage loan originations in recent years have conformed to rules requiring documentation of income, assets sufficient to close the transactions and debt to income ratios that support the borrower’s ability to repay under the loan’s proposed terms and conditions. These rules are applied to all loans originated for retention in our portfolio or for sale in the secondary market.
Loan underwriting and loan documentation. Loans are well documented in accordance with specific and detailed underwriting policies and verification procedures. General underwriting guidance is consistent across all loan types with possible variations in procedures and due diligence dictated by specific loan requests. Due diligence standards require acquisition and verification of sufficient financial information to determine a borrower’s or guarantor’s credit worthiness, capital support, capacity to repay, collateral support, and character. Credit worthiness is generally verified using personal or business credit reports from independent credit reporting agencies. Capacity to repay the loan is based on verifiable liquidity and earnings capacity as shown on financial statements and/or tax returns, banking activity levels, operating statements, rent rolls or independent verification of employment. Finally, collateral valuation is determined via appraisals from independent, bank-approved, certified or licensed property appraisers, valuation services, or readily available market resources.
Types of collateral. Loan collateral, when required, may consist of any one or a combination of the following asset types depending upon the loan type and intended purpose: commercial or residential real estate; general business assets including working assets such as accounts receivable, inventory, or fixed assets such as equipment or rolling stock; marketable securities or other forms of liquid assets such as bank deposits or cash surrender value of life insurance; automobiles; or other assets wherein adequate protective value can be established and/or verified by reliable outside independent appraisers. In addition to
2020 Form 10-K8


these types of collateral, we, in many cases, will obtain the personal guarantee of the borrower’s principals or an affiliated corporate entity to mitigate the risk of certain commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans.
Many times, we will underwrite loans to legal entities formed for the limited purpose of the business which is being financed. Credit granted to these entities and the ultimate repayment of such loans is primarily based on the cash flow generated from the property securing the loan or the business that occupies the property. The underlying real property securing the loans is considered a secondary source of repayment, and normally such loans are also supported by guarantees of the legal entity members. Absent such guarantees or approval by our credit committee, our commercial real estate underwriting guidelines require that the loan to value ratio (at origination) should not exceed 60 percent, except for certain low risk loan categories where the loan to value ratio requirement may be higher, based on the estimated market value of the property as established by an independent licensed appraiser.
Reevaluation of collateral values. Commercial loan renewals, refinancings and other subsequent transactions that include the advancement of new funds or result in the extension of the amortization period beyond the original term, require a new or updated appraisal. Renewals, refinancings and other subsequent transactions that do not include the advancement of new funds (other than for reasonable closing costs) or, in the case of commercial loans, the extension of the amortization period beyond the original term, do not require a new appraisal unless management believes there has been a material change in market conditions or the physical aspects of the property which may negatively impact the collectability of our loan. In general, the period of time an appraisal continues to be relevant will vary depending upon the circumstances affecting the property and the marketplace. Examples of factors that could cause material changes to reported values include the passage of time, the volatility of the local market, the availability of financing, the inventory of competing properties, new improvements to, or lack of maintenance of, the subject or competing surrounding properties, changes in zoning and environmental contamination.
Certain collateral-dependent loans are reported at the fair value of the underlying collateral (less estimated selling costs) if repayment is expected solely from the collateral and are commonly referred to as “collateral dependent loans.” Commercial real estate loans are collateralized by real estate and construction loans are generally secured by the real estate to be developed and may also be secured by additional real estate to mitigate the risk. Residential and home equity loans are collateralized by residential real estate. Collateral values for such loans are typically estimated using individual appraisals performed every 12 months (or 18 months for impaired loans no greater than $1.0 million with current loan to value ratios less than 75 percent). Between scheduled appraisals, property values are monitored within the commercial portfolio by reference to recent trends in commercial property sales as published by leading industry sources. Property values are monitored within the residential mortgage portfolio by reference to available market indicators, including real estate price indices within Valley’s primary lending areas.
All refinanced residential mortgage loans to be held in our loan portfolio require either a new appraisal or a new evaluation in accordance with our appraisal policy. However, certain residential mortgage loans may be originated for sale and sold without new appraisals when the investor (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) presents a refinance of an existing government sponsored enterprise loan without the benefit of a new appraisal. Additionally, all loan types are assessed for full or partial charge-off when they are between 90 and 120 days past due (or sooner when the borrowers’ obligation has been released in bankruptcy) based upon their estimated net realizable value. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information concerning our loan portfolio risk elements, credit risk management and our loan charge-off policy.
Loan Renewals and Modifications
In the normal course of our lending business, we may renew loans to existing customers upon maturity of the existing loan. These renewals are granted provided that the new loan meets our standard underwriting criteria for such loan type. Additionally, on a case-by-case basis, we may extend, restructure, or otherwise modify the terms of existing loans from time to time to remain competitive and retain certain profitable customers, as well as assist customers who may be experiencing financial difficulties. If the borrower is experiencing financial difficulties and a concession has been made at the time of such modification, the loan is classified as a troubled debt restructured loan (TDR), except as explained below.
The majority of the concessions made for TDRs involve an extension of the term of the loan without a corresponding adjustment to the risk premium reflected in the interest rate, lowering the monthly payments on loans through either a reduction in interest rate below a market rate or a combination of these two methods. The concessions rarely result in the forgiveness of principal or accrued interest. In addition, Valley frequently obtains additional collateral or guarantor support when modifying such loans. If the borrower has demonstrated performance under the previous terms and Valley’s underwriting process shows the borrower has the capacity to continue to perform under the restructured terms, the loan will continue to accrue interest. Non-accruing restructured loans may be returned to accrual status when there has been a sustained period of repayment performance (generally six consecutive months of payments) and both principal and interest are deemed collectible.
92020 Form 10-K


CARES Act Loan Modifications
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact to certain customers, Valley implemented short-term loan modifications such as payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms, or delays in payment that were insignificant, when requested by customers. These modifications complied with the CARES Act to provide temporary payment relief to those borrowers directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who were not more than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019. Generally, the modification terms allow for a deferral of payments for up to 90 days, which Valley may extend for an additional 90 days. Any extensions beyond this period were made in accordance with applicable regulatory guidance. As of December 31, 2020, Valley had approximately $361 million of outstanding loans remaining in their payment deferral period under short-term modifications. Under the CARES Act and the Enhancement Act and other applicable guidance, none of these loans were considered TDRs as of December 31, 2020.
Extension of Credit to Past Due Borrowers
Loans are placed on non-accrual status generally when they become 90 days past due and the full and timely collection of principal and interest becomes uncertain. Valley prohibits the advancement of additional funds on non-accrual loans, TDRs and CARES Act loan modifications, except under certain workout plans if such extension of credit is intended to mitigate losses.
Allowance for Credit Losses
We maintain an allowance for credit losses (ACL) for financial assets measured at amortized cost. The ACL consists of the allowance for loan losses and unfunded loan commitments (combined the "allowance of credit losses for loans"), and the allowance for credit losses for held to maturity securities. The estimate of expected credit losses under the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology adopted on January 1, 2020 is based on relevant information about the past events, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the reported amounts. CECL methodology to estimate the allowance for loan losses has two components: (i) a collective reserve component for estimated lifetime expected credit losses for pools of loans that share common risk characteristics and (ii) an individual reserve component for loans that do not share common risk characteristics. The allowance for unfunded credit commitments mainly consists of undisbursed non-cancellable lines of credit, new loan commitments and commercial letters of credit valued using a similar methodology as used for loans. Management's estimate of expected losses inherent in these off-balance sheet credit exposures also incorporates estimated utilization rate over the commitment's contractual period or an expected pull-through rate for new loan commitments. To measure the expected credit losses on held to maturity debt securities that have loss expectations, Valley estimates the expected credit losses using a discounted cash flow model developed by a third-party. The amount of ACL is based on ongoing, quarterly assessments by management. See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion regarding CECL methodology.
Loans Originated by Third Parties
From time to time, the Bank makes purchases of commercial real estate loans and loan participations, residential mortgage loans, automobile loans, and other loan types, originated by, and sometimes serviced by, other financial institutions. The purchase decision is usually based on several factors, including current loan origination volumes, market interest rates, excess liquidity, our continuous efforts to meet the credit needs of certain borrowers under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as well as other asset/liability management strategies. Valley purchased approximately $24 million and $35 million of 1-4 family loans, qualifying for CRA purposes during 2020 and 2019, respectively. All purchased loans are selected using Valley’s normal underwriting criteria at the time of purchase, or in some cases guaranteed by third parties. Purchased commercial and industrial, and commercial real estate participation loans are generally seasoned loans with expected shorter durations. Additionally, each purchased participation loan is stress-tested by Valley to assure its credit quality.
Purchased commercial loans (including commercial and industrial and commercial real estate loans) and residential mortgage loans totaled approximately $855.5 million and $722.7 million, respectively, at December 31, 2020 representing 3.63 percent, and 17.27 percent of our total commercial and residential mortgage loans, respectively.
At December 31, 2020, 5.66 percent of commercial loans originated by third parties were past due 30 days or more, which represented 0.88 percent of our total commercial loan portfolio, and 9.16 percent of residential mortgage loans originated by third parties were past due 30 days or more which represented 1.36 percent of our total residential mortgage portfolio.
Additionally, Valley has performed credit due diligence on the majority of the loans acquired in our bank acquisitions (disclosed under the "Recent Acquisitions" section above) in determining the estimated cash flows receivable from such loans. See the "Loan Portfolio" section of our MD&A of this report below for additional information.

2020 Form 10-K10


Competition
Valley National Bank is one of the largest commercial banks headquartered in New Jersey, with its primary markets located in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. Valley ranked 15th in competitive ranking and market share based on the deposits reported by 180 FDIC-insured financial institutions in the New York, Northern New Jersey and Long Island deposit markets as of June 30, 2020. The FDIC also ranked Valley 6th, 38th, 21st, and 18th in the states of New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama, respectively, based on deposit market share as of June 30, 2020. While our FDIC rankings reflect a solid foundation in our primary markets, the market for banking and bank-related services is highly competitive and we face substantial competition in all areas of our operations from a variety of different competitors, many of which are larger and may have more financial resources than Valley to deal with the potential negative changes in the financial markets and regulatory landscape. Many of these competitors may have fewer regulatory constraints, broader geographic service areas, greater capital, and, in some cases, lower cost structures. Valley competes with other providers of financial services such as commercial and savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, money market and mutual funds, mortgage companies, title agencies, asset managers, insurance companies, and a large list of other local, regional and national institutions which offer financial services.

Additionally, the financial services industry is facing a wave of digital disruption from fintech companies and other large financial services providers. The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new, technology-driven products and services which increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. These competitors provide innovative web-based solutions to traditional retail banking services and products. Fintech companies tend to have stronger operating efficiencies and fewer regulatory burdens than their traditional bank counterparts, including Valley.

Within our markets, we also compete with some of the largest financial institutions in the world that have greater human and financial resources and are able to offer a large range of products and services at competitive rates and prices. In addition, we face an intense competition among direct banks because online banking provides customers the ability to rapidly deposit and withdraw funds and open and close accounts in favor of products and services offered by competitors. Nevertheless, we believe we can compete effectively as a result of utilizing various strategies including our long history of local customer service and convenience as part of a relationship management culture, in conjunction with the pricing of loans and deposits. Our customers are influenced by the convenience, quality of service from our knowledgeable staff, personal contacts and attention to customer needs, as well as availability of products and services and related pricing. We provide such convenience through our banking network of 226 branches, an extensive ATM network, and our telephone and on-line banking systems. Our competitive advantage also lies in our strong community presence with over 90 years of service. This longevity is especially appealing to customers seeking a strong, stable and service-oriented bank.
We continually review our pricing, products, locations, alternative delivery channels and various acquisition prospects, and periodically engage in discussions regarding possible acquisitions to maintain and enhance our competitive position.
Human Capital
At Valley, our goal is to give people and businesses the power to succeed. We strive to build an inclusive, diverse, and high-performing culture where empowered associates, innovation and collaboration thrive.
Demographics. At December 31, 2020, Valley National Bank and its subsidiaries employed 3,155 full-time equivalent persons across our multi-state footprint. Management considers relations with its employees to be satisfactory. During the year 2020, we hired 384 employees and our voluntary turnover rate was 13 percent. Our average tenure was approximately 8.6 years.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We believe that the diversity of our associates helps us to become stronger. Thus, we strive to foster a strong and inclusive culture that is committed to providing the quality service to our customers, the communities in which we operate and each other.
112020 Form 10-K


As of December 31, 2020, the population of our workforce broken down by gender and diversity was as follows:

vly-20201231_g1.jpg
Total Rewards. We offer market competitive compensation programs to attract, engage, retain, and motivate talent across our footprint. These programs include base wages, performance-based bonus and incentive compensation, stock awards, a 401(k) Plan with a company match, healthcare and insurance benefits, voluntary benefits, commuter benefits, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, disability, family leave, wellness and employee assistance programs.
Health and Safety. We are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our associates. In 2020, we embraced safety protocols that have become the new way of life in this pandemic era.
Maintaining alignment with state and local COVID-19 mandates and recommendations, Valley implemented remote work, where functional roles allowed, moving approximately 90 percent of our non-retail associates from the office until safety strategies could be implemented. Return to the workplace protocols and tools have allowed us to return critical workers to Valley facilities.
Talent. Within both our Talent Acquisition and Talent Development teams, our goal of attracting, developing, and retaining the most qualified people is crucial to all aspects of Valley's activities and long-term success and is central to our long-term strategy. We actively engage our senior business leaders in reviewing their critical roles in coordination with their strategic talent initiatives. Our annual Talent Review and Succession Planning process has created a broader understanding of our key talent and our flagship Leadership Development programs provide meaningful development and experiences that challenge our high potential associates.
Additional information regarding Valley's human capital management can be found under Item 1: Election of Directors of its 2021 Proxy Statement.
2020 Form 10-K12


Information about our Executive Officers

NameAge at
December 31,
2020
Executive
Officer
Since
OfficePrincipal occupation during last five years other than Valley
Ira Robbins462009Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank
Michael D. Hagedorn542019Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank2015 - 2018 Vice Chairman, UMB Financial Corporation, President and CEO, UMB Bank n.a.
Thomas A. Iadanza622015Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Banking Officer of Valley National Bank
Joseph Chillura542020Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Customer Officer of Valley National Bank
Ronald H. Janis722017Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Valley and Valley National Bank1992 - 2016 Partner, SEC, Banking and Merger & Acquisitions, Day Pitney LLP
Robert J. Bardusch552016Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Operating Officer of Valley National Bank2014 - 2016 Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Head of Technology and Operations, MVB Financial Corp.
Melissa F. Scofield612015Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Risk Officer of Valley National Bank
Yvonne M. Surowiec602017Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief People Officer of Valley National Bank2014 - 2016 Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CDK Global
Mark Saeger562018Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Credit Officer of Valley National Bank
Mitchell L. Crandell502007Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank
All officers serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Available Information
The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov which contains reports and other information filed with the SEC electronically. We make our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments thereto available on our website at www.valley.com without charge as soon as reasonably practicable after filing or furnishing them to the SEC. Also available on our website are Valley’s Code of Conduct and Ethics that applies to all of our employees including our executive officers and directors, Valley’s Audit Committee Charter, Valley’s Compensation and Human Resources Committee Charter, Valley’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter, and Valley’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.
Additionally, we will provide without charge a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K or the Code of Conduct and Ethics to any shareholder by mail. Requests should be sent to Valley National Bancorp, Attention: Shareholder Relations, 1455 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ 07470.

132020 Form 10-K


SUPERVISION AND REGULATION
The banking industry is highly regulated. Statutory and regulatory controls increase a bank holding company’s cost of doing business and limit the options of its management to deploy assets and maximize income. The compliance cost for Valley is significant and subject to increase as new governmental regulations are enacted and/or the level of enforcement of those regulators increases. In particular, Valley employs specialists and retains outside advisors to ensure that Valley has sufficient resources to comply with the regulations to which it is subject. Certain of Valley's competitors, including credit unions, fintech companies, and others, are not regulated to the extent that Valley and other banks are, which may place Valley at a competitive disadvantage.
The following discussion is not intended to be a complete list of all the activities regulated by the banking laws or of the impact of such laws and regulations on Valley or Valley National Bank. It is intended only to briefly summarize some material provisions.

Bank Holding Company Regulation
Valley is a bank holding company within the meaning of the Holding Company Act. As a bank holding company, Valley is supervised by the FRB and is required to file reports with the FRB and provide such additional information as the FRB may require.
The Holding Company Act prohibits Valley, with certain exceptions, from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of five percent or more of the voting shares of any company which is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to subsidiary banks, except that it may, upon application, engage in, and may own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the FRB to be so closely related to banking “as to be a proper incident thereto.” The Holding Company Act requires prior approval by the FRB of the acquisition by Valley of five percent or more of the voting stock of any other bank. Satisfactory capital ratios, Community Reinvestment Act ratings, and anti-money laundering policies are generally prerequisites to obtaining federal regulatory approval to make acquisitions. The policy of the FRB provides that a bank holding company is expected to act as a source of financial strength to its subsidiary bank and to commit resources to support the subsidiary bank in circumstances in which it might not do so absent that policy. Acquisitions through the Bank require approval of the OCC. The Holding Company Act does not place territorial restrictions on the activities of non-bank subsidiaries of bank holding companies. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, discussed below, allows Valley to expand into insurance, securities and other activities that are financial in nature if Valley elects to become a financial holding company.
Regulation of Bank Subsidiary
Valley National Bank is subject to the supervision of, and to regular examination by, the OCC. Various laws and the regulations thereunder applicable to Valley and its bank subsidiary impose restrictions and requirements in many areas, including capital requirements, the maintenance of reserves, establishment of new offices, the making of loans and investments, consumer protection, employment practices, bank acquisitions and entry into new types of business. There are various legal limitations, including Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which govern the extent to which a bank subsidiary may finance or otherwise supply funds to its holding company or its holding company’s non-bank subsidiaries. Under federal law, no bank subsidiary may, subject to certain limited exceptions, make loans or extensions of credit to, or investments in the securities of, its parent or the non-bank subsidiaries of its parent (other than direct subsidiaries of such bank which are not financial subsidiaries) or take their securities as collateral for loans to any borrower. Each bank subsidiary is also subject to collateral security requirements for any loans or extensions of credit permitted by such exceptions. With the approval of the OCC, and subject to certain legal requirements, a bank may establish financial subsidiaries which may act as insurance agents, securities brokers and perform other non-banking functions.
Capital Requirements
The FRB and the OCC have rules establishing a comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations, referred to as the Basel III rules.
Under Basel III, the minimum capital ratios for us and Valley National Bank are as follows:
4.5 percent CET1 (common equity Tier 1) to risk-weighted assets.
6.0 percent Tier 1 capital (i.e., CET1 plus Additional Tier 1) to risk-weighted assets.
8.0 percent Total capital (i.e., Tier 1 plus Tier 2) to risk-weighted assets.
2020 Form 10-K14


4.0 percent Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”).
Under Basel III, both Valley and Valley National Bank are required to maintain a 2.5 percent “capital conservation buffer” on top of the minimum risk-weighted asset ratios, effectively resulting in minimum ratios of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7.0 percent, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.5 percent, and (iii) total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 10.5 percent. The capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions with a ratio of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets or (iii) total capital to risk-weighted assets above the respective minimum but below the capital conservation buffer will face constraints on dividends, equity repurchases and discretionary bonus payments to executive officers based on the amount of the shortfall. Basel III also provides for a number of complex deductions from and adjustments to its various capital components.
Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA), each federal banking agency has promulgated regulations, specifying the levels at which a financial institution would be considered “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” or “critically undercapitalized,” and to take certain mandatory and discretionary supervisory actions based on the capital level of the institution.
With respect to Valley National Bank, Basel III also revised the “prompt corrective action” regulations of FDICIA, by (i) introducing a CET1 ratio requirement at each capital quality level (other than critically undercapitalized); (ii) increasing the minimum Tier 1 capital ratio requirement for each category; and (iii) requiring a leverage ratio of 5 percent to be well-capitalized. The OCC’s regulations implementing these provisions of FDICIA provide that an institution will be classified as “well capitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of at least 6.5 percent, (iv) has a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 5.0 percent, and (v) meets certain other requirements. An institution will be classified as “adequately capitalized” if it meets the aforementioned minimum capital ratios under Basel III. An institution will be classified as “undercapitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of less than 4.5 percent or (iv) has Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 4.0 percent. An institution will be classified as “significantly undercapitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of less than 3.0 percent or (iv) has a Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 3.0 percent. An institution will be classified as “critically undercapitalized” if it has a tangible equity to total assets ratio that is equal to or less than 2.0 percent. An insured depository institution may be deemed to be in a lower capitalization category if it receives an unsatisfactory examination rating. Similar categories apply to bank holding companies. On January 1, 2019, the capital conservation buffer was fully phased in, and as a result, the capital ratios applicable to depository institutions under Basel III now exceed the ratios to be considered well-capitalized under the prompt corrective action regulations.
Valley National Bank’s capital ratios were all above the minimum levels required for it to be considered a “well capitalized” financial institution at December 31, 2020, under the “prompt corrective action” regulations.
For regulatory capital purposes, in connection with the Federal Reserve Board’s final interim rule as of April 3, 2020, 100 percent of the CECL Day 1 impact to shareholders' equity equaling $28.2 million after-tax will be deferred for a two-year period ending January 1, 2022, at which time it will be phased in on a pro-rata basis over a three-year period ending January 1, 2025. Additionally, 25 percent of the reserve build (i.e., provision for credit losses less net charge-offs) for the year ended December 31, 2020 will be phased in over the same time frame.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act)
The Dodd-Frank Act significantly changed the bank regulatory landscape and impacted the lending, deposit, investment, trading and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. Some of the effects are discussed below.
The Dodd-Frank Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and shifted most of the federal consumer protection rules applicable to banks and the enforcement power with respect to such rules to the CFPB.
Under the Durbin Amendment contained in the Dodd-Frank Act, the FRB adopted rules applying to banks with more than $10 billion in assets which established a maximum permissible interchange fee equal to no more than 21 cents plus 5 basis points of the transaction value for many types of debit interchange transactions. The FRB also adopted a rule to allow a debit card issuer to recover 1 cent per transaction for fraud prevention purposes if the issuer complies with certain fraud-related requirements required by the FRB. The FRB also has rules governing routing and exclusivity that require issuers to offer two unaffiliated networks for routing transactions on each debit or prepaid product. Because we exceed $10 billion in assets, we are subject to the interchange fee cap.
152020 Form 10-K


The Dodd-Frank Act also imposed stress testing on Valley and the Bank. However, the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “EGRRCPA”) and a joint interagency statement regarding the impact of the EGRRCPA resulted in Valley and the Bank being no longer subject to the stress testing requirements. However, under safety and soundness principles we will continue to conduct stress testing of our own design.
Volcker Rule
The Volcker Rule (contained in the Dodd-Frank Act) prohibits an insured depository institution and its affiliates from: (i) engaging in certain “proprietary trading” and (ii) investing in or sponsoring certain types of funds (Covered Funds). The Rule also effectively prohibits most short-term trading strategies investments and prohibits the use of some hedging strategies. We identified no investments held as of December 31, 2020 that meet the definition of Covered Funds.
Incentive Compensation
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the federal bank regulators and the SEC to maintain guidelines prohibiting incentive-based payment arrangements at specified regulated entities, including us and our Bank, having at least $1 billion in total assets that encourage inappropriate risks by providing an executive officer, employee, director or principal stockholder with excessive compensation, fees, or benefits or that could lead to material financial loss to the entity.
The FRB and the OCC review, as part of their regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations, such as us, that are not “large, complex banking organizations.” These reviews are tailored to each organization based on the scope and complexity of the organization’s activities and the prevalence of incentive compensation arrangements.
Dividend Limitations
Valley is a legal entity separate and distinct from its subsidiaries. Valley’s revenues (on a parent company only basis) result in substantial part from dividends paid by the Bank. The Bank’s dividend payments, without prior regulatory approval, are subject to regulatory limitations. Under the National Bank Act, without consent, a national bank may declare, in any one year, dividends only in an amount aggregating not more than the sum of its net profits for such year and its retained net profits for the preceding two years. In addition, the bank regulatory agencies have the authority to prohibit us from paying dividends if the supervising agency determines that such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice. Among other things, consultation with the FRB supervisory staff is required in advance of our declaration or payment of a dividend to our shareholders that exceeds our earnings for the trailing four-quarter period in which the dividend is being paid.
Transactions by the Bank with Related Parties
Valley National Bank’s authority to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and 10 percent shareholders, as well as to entities controlled by such persons, is currently governed by the requirements of the National Bank Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Regulation O of the FRB thereunder. Among other things, these provisions require that extensions of credit to insiders (i) be made on terms that are substantially the same as, and follow credit underwriting procedures that are not less stringent than, those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated persons and that do not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features and (ii) not exceed certain limitations on the amount of credit extended to such persons, individually and in the aggregate, which limits are based, in part, on the amount of the Bank’s capital. In addition, extensions of credit in excess of certain limits must be approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Valley and its subsidiaries, other than the Bank under the authority of Regulation O, may not extend or arrange for any personal loans to its directors and executive officers.
Section 22 of the Federal Reserve Act prohibits the Bank from paying to a director, officer, attorney or employee a rate on deposits that is greater than the rate paid to other depositors on similar deposits with the Bank. Regulation W governs and limits transactions between the Bank and Valley.
Community Reinvestment
Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as implemented by OCC regulations, a national bank has a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with its safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community. The CRA requires the OCC, in connection with its examination of a national bank, to assess the association’s record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its
2020 Form 10-K16


evaluation of certain applications by such association. The CRA also requires all institutions to make public disclosure of their CRA ratings. Valley National Bank received an overall “outstanding” CRA rating in its most recent examination.
A bank which does not have a CRA program that is deemed satisfactory or better by its regulator may be prevented from making acquisitions.
USA PATRIOT Act
As part of the USA PATRIOT Act, Congress adopted the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “Anti Money Laundering Act”). The Anti Money Laundering Act authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, in consultation with the heads of other government agencies, to adopt special measures applicable to financial institutions such as banks, bank holding companies, broker-dealers and insurance companies. Among its other provisions, the Anti Money Laundering Act requires each financial institution: (i) to establish an anti-money laundering program; (ii) to establish due diligence policies, procedures and controls that are reasonably designed to detect and report instances of money laundering in United States private banking accounts and correspondent accounts maintained for non-United States persons or their representatives; and (iii) to avoid establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing correspondent accounts in the United States for, or on behalf of, a foreign shell bank that does not have a physical presence in any country.
Regulations implementing the due diligence requirements require minimum standards to verify customer identity and maintain accurate records, encourage cooperation among financial institutions, federal banking agencies, and law enforcement authorities regarding possible money laundering or terrorist activities, prohibit the anonymous use of “concentration accounts,” and require all covered financial institutions to have in place an anti-money laundering compliance program.
The OCC, along with other banking agencies, have strictly enforced various anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting requirements using formal and informal enforcement tools to cause banks to comply with these provisions.
A bank which is issued a formal or informal enforcement requirement with respect to its Anti Money Laundering program will be prevented from making acquisitions.
Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation (OFAC)
The U.S. Treasury Department’s OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and regimes, under authority of various laws, including designated foreign countries, nationals and others. OFAC publishes lists of specially designated targets and countries. We and our Bank are responsible for, among other things, blocking accounts of, and transactions with, such targets and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked transactions after their occurrence. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Supervision
As a financial institution with more than $10 billion in assets, Valley National Bank is supervised by the CFPB for consumer protection purposes. The CFPB’s regulation of Valley National Bank is focused on risks to consumers and compliance with the federal consumer financial laws and includes regular examinations of the Bank. The CFPB, along with the Department of Justice and bank regulatory authorities also seek to enforce discriminatory lending laws. In such actions, the CFPB and others have used a disparate impact analysis, which measures discriminatory results without regard to intent. Consequently, unintentional actions by Valley could have a material adverse impact on our lending and results of operations if the actions are found to be discriminatory by our regulators.
Valley National Bank is subject to federal consumer protection statutes and regulations promulgated under those laws, including, but not limited to the following:
Truth-In-Lending Act and Regulation Z, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C, requiring financial institutions to provide certain information about home mortgage and refinanced loans;
Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or other prohibited factors in extending credit;
172020 Form 10-K


Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V, governing the provision of consumer information to credit reporting agencies and the use of consumer information; and
Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies.
Valley National Bank’s deposit operations are also subject to the following federal statutes and regulations, among others:
The Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD, which requires disclosure of deposit terms to consumers;
Regulation CC, which relates to the availability of deposit funds to consumers;
The Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records; and
Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E, governing 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.
The CFPB examines Valley National Bank’s compliance with such laws and the regulations under them.
Insurance of Deposit Accounts
The Bank’s deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the FDIC. Under the FDIC’s risk-based system, insured institutions are assigned to one of four risk categories based on supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital levels and certain other factors with less risky institutions paying lower assessments on their deposits.
As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC adopted rules that revise the assessment base to consist of average consolidated total assets during the assessment period minus the average tangible equity during the assessment period. In addition, the rules eliminated the adjustment for secured borrowings, including Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) advances, and made certain other changes to the impact of unsecured borrowings and brokered deposits on an institution’s deposit insurance assessment.
The rules also revised the assessment rate schedule to provide initial base assessment rates ranging from 5 to 35 basis points and total base assessment rates ranging from 2.5 to 45 basis points after adjustment.
The Dodd-Frank Act made permanent a $250 thousand limit for federal deposit insurance.
London Interbank Offered Rate
Central banks around the world, including the FRB, have commissioned working groups of market participants and official sector representatives with the goal of finding suitable replacements for the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) based on observable market transactions because of the phase out of LIBOR. Most tenors of LIBOR are expected to cease being published on June 30, 2023 with some tenors expected to cease being published earlier. The FRB has stated that financial institutions should stop writing contacts using LIBOR by the end of 2021 at the latest. This change away from LIBOR and transition to other benchmarks may have an adverse impact on the value of, return on and trading markets for a broad array of financial products, including any LIBOR-based securities, loans and derivatives that are included in our financial assets and liabilities. A transition away from LIBOR also requires extensive changes to the contracts that govern these LIBOR-based products, as well as our systems and processes.
A number of the Bank's commercial loans, certain residential mortgage loans, derivative positions, trust preferred securities issued to our capital trusts, and the reset provisions for our preferred stock issuances are based upon LIBOR. The Bank will also be subject to changes to models and systems that currently use LIBOR reference rates, as well as market and strategic risks that could arise from the use of alternative reference rates. The Bank has established a working group to identify and prepare fall back language and replacement provisions, as well as ensure our systems readiness for a change in reference rate. Regulators have expressed concern about litigation that could arise due to the change from LIBOR to another rate.
Prohibitions Against Tying Arrangements
Banks are subject to the prohibitions of 12 U.S.C. Section 1972 on certain tying arrangements. A depository institution is prohibited, subject to some exceptions, from extending credit to or offering any other service, or fixing or varying the
2020 Form 10-K18


consideration for such extension of credit or service, on the condition that the customer obtain some additional service from the institution or its affiliates or not obtain services of a competitor of the institution.

Item 1A.Risk Factors
An investment in our securities is subject to risks inherent to our business. The material risks and uncertainties that management believes may affect Valley are described below. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included or incorporated by reference in this report. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing Valley. Additional risks and uncertainties that management is not aware of or that management currently believes are immaterial may also impair Valley’s business operations. The value or market price of our securities could decline due to any of these identified or other risks, and you could lose all or part of your investment. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.
Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
We anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to adversely affect us and our customers, counterparties, employees, and third-party service providers. The full extent and duration of the adverse impacts on our business, financial position, results of operations, and prospects are currently unknown and could be significant.
The spread of COVID-19 has created a global public-health crisis that has resulted in widespread volatility and deterioration in business, economic, and market conditions and household incomes, including in the states of New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama where we conduct nearly all of our business. The extent of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our capital and liquidity, and on our business, results of operations, financial position and prospects generally will depend on a number of evolving factors, including:
The duration, extent, and severity of the pandemic. COVID-19 has not yet been contained and could affect significantly more households and businesses. The duration and severity of the pandemic, future resurgences of COVID-19 in our primary market areas, the efficacy of new approved vaccines and the timing of the distribution of such vaccines, continue to be impossible to predict. There remains substantial uncertainty surrounding the pace of economic recovery and the return of business and consumer confidence.
The response of governmental and nongovernmental authorities. Many responsive measures have been directed toward curtailing household and business activity to contain COVID-19 while simultaneously deploying fiscal- and monetary-policy measures to partially mitigate the adverse effects on individual households and businesses. These actions are not always coordinated or consistent across jurisdictions but, in general, have rapidly expanded in scope and intensity, contributing to substantial market volatility. We cannot predict whether and to what extent governmental and nongovernmental authorities will continue to implement policy measures to assist us and our customers and the failure to do so could have adverse effects on our business.
The effect on our customers, counterparties, employees, and third-party service providers. COVID-19 and its associated consequences and uncertainties, including increased unemployment rates, are affecting individuals, households, and businesses differently and unevenly and we anticipate will continue to do so. Many, however, have already changed their behavior in response to governmental mandates and advisories to sharply restrain commercial and social interactions and discretionary spending. As a result, our credit, operational, and other risks have generally increased and, for the foreseeable future, are expected to remain elevated or increase further.
The effect on economies and markets. Whether the actions of governmental and nongovernmental authorities will be successful in mitigating the adverse effects of COVID-19 in the future is unclear. National, regional, and local economies (including the local economies in the markets areas which we serve) and markets could suffer disruptions that are lasting. Governmental actions are meaningfully influencing the interest-rate environment and financial-market activity, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. We can provide no assurance that governmental or non-governmental mitigation efforts will continue or be effective in the future.
In 2020, the most notable impacts to our results of operations were a higher provision expense for credit losses, which we expect to continue. Our provision for credit losses for loans was $125.1 million for 2020 as compared to $24.2 million for 2019. With recent increases in COVID-19 infection rates in our market areas, our forecast of macroeconomic conditions and operating results, including expected lifetime credit losses on our loan portfolio, remains subject to meaningful uncertainty. We have also entered into forbearance agreements (short-term loan modifications) with respect to approximately 600 loans with outstanding balances of approximately $361 million as of December 31, 2020. If these borrowers are unable to resume payments on their loans, our loan charge-offs may increase.
192020 Form 10-K


Governments have taken unprecedented steps to partially mitigate the adverse effects of their containment measures. For example, on March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was enacted to inject more than $2 trillion of financial assistance into the U.S. economy. The FRB has taken decisive and sweeping actions as well. Since March 15, 2020, these have included a reduction in the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to 0.25 percent, a program to purchase an indeterminate amount of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities, and numerous facilities to support the flow of credit to households and businesses.
While there is evidence that our actions and those of governments and others have assisted our customers, counterparties, and third-party service providers and advanced our business and the economy generally it is uncertain how much, if at all, these actions will be effective in the future. For example, while our short-term loan modifications granted to certain customers impacted by COVID-19 may better position them to resume their regular payments to us in the future and enhance our brand and customer loyalty, these modifications have and may continue to negatively impact our cash flows and results of operations, may produce a higher degree of requests for extensions and rewrites than we have anticipated, and may not be as successful as we expect in managing our credit risk. In addition, while the FRB’s monetary policy may benefit us to some degree by supporting economic activity among our customers, this policy and sudden shifts may inhibit our ability to grow or sustain net interest income and effectively manage interest rate risk.
In order to safeguard the health and wellness of our customers and employees, and to comply with applicable government directives, we have modified our business practices, including temporary closure of certain non-branch offices, restricting employee travel and directing employees to work from home whenever possible, and have implemented our business continuity plans to the extent necessary. These measures, and further actions we may take as required by government authorities or that we otherwise determine are in the best interests of our customers and employees, could increase certain risks, including cybersecurity risks, impair our ability to perform critical functions and adversely impact our results of operations.
We are unable to estimate the near-term and ultimate impacts of COVID-19 on our business and operations at this time. The pandemic could cause us to experience higher credit losses in our lending portfolio, additional increases in our allowance for credit losses, impairment of our goodwill and other financial assets, diminished access to capital markets and other funding sources, further reduced demand for our products and services, and other negative impacts on our financial position, results of operations, and prospects. In addition, sustained adverse effects may impair our capital and liquidity positions, require us to take capital actions, prevent us from satisfying our minimum regulatory capital ratios and other supervisory requirements, result in downgrades in our credit ratings, and the reduction or elimination of our common stock dividend in future periods.
As a participating lender in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, we are subject to additional risks of litigation from our customers or other parties regarding our processing of loans for the PPP and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties, which could have a significant adverse impact on our business, financial position, results of operations, and prospects.
The CARES Act included a $349 billion loan program administered through the SBA referred to as the PPP. Under the PPP, small businesses and other entities and individuals can apply for loans from existing SBA lenders and other approved regulated lenders that enroll in the program, subject to numerous limitations and eligibility criteria. On April 16, 2020, the SBA notified lenders that the original $349 billion of funding under the PPP was exhausted, and on April 24, 2020, Congress allocated an additional $310 billion to the program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides approximately $900 billion in new COVID-19 stimulus relief partly comprised of additional funding under the PPP. The amendment to the PPP also expands borrowers eligibility to certain second draws under the program. We participated as a lender in each round of the PPP. Since the opening of the PPP, banks have been subject to class action litigation regarding the process and procedures that such banks used in processing applications for the PPP and their refusal to pay agent fees. Class action litigation was filed against us, along with many other banks claiming the banks are obligated to pay agent fees. The litigation against us was dismissed by the plaintiffs without prejudice. Any financial liability, litigation costs or reputational damage caused by PPP-related litigation could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial position, results of operations and prospects.
We may have a credit risk on PPP loans if a determination is made by the SBA that there is a deficiency in the manner in which the loan was originated, funded, or serviced by us, such as an issue with the eligibility of a borrower to receive a PPP loan, which may or may not be related to the ambiguity in the laws, rules and guidance regarding the operation of the PPP. In the event of a loss resulting from a default on a PPP loan and a determination by the SBA that there was a deficiency in the manner in which the PPP loan was originated, funded, or serviced by us, the SBA may deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty, or, if it has already paid under the guaranty, seek recovery of any loss related to the deficiency from us, which could adversely impact our business, financial position, results of operations and prospects.
Valley's outstanding PPP loans totaled $2.2 billion as of December 31, 2020.

2020 Form 10-K20


We may be required to consult with the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) before declaring cash dividends on our common stock, which ultimately may delay, reduce, or eliminate such dividends and adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such cash dividends as our Board of Directors may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so. We may reduce or eliminate our common stock cash dividend in the future depending upon our results of operations, financial condition or other metrics which could be adversely impacted by the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which remains unknown.
In July 2020, the FRB updated its supervisory guidance to provide greater clarity regarding the situations in which bank holding companies, like Valley, may expect an expedited consultation in connection with the declaration of dividends that exceed quarterly earnings. To qualify, amongst other criteria, total commercial real estate loan concentrations cannot represent 300 percent or more of total capital and the outstanding balance of the commercial real estate loan portfolio cannot increase by 50 percent or more during the prior 36 months. Currently, we believe that Valley does not meet the standard for expedited consultation and approval of its dividend, should it be required. As a result, Valley could be subject to a lengthier and possibly more burdensome review process by the FRB when considering paying dividends that exceed quarterly earnings. The delay, reduction or elimination of our quarterly dividend could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. See additional information regarding our quarterly cash dividend and the current rate of earnings retention at the "Capital Adequacy" section of the MD&A.

Risks Associated with Our Business Model
Our investments in certain tax-advantaged projects may not generate returns as anticipated and may have an adverse impact on our results of operations.
We invest in certain tax-advantaged investments that support qualified affordable housing projects, community development and, prior to 2019, renewable energy resources. Our investments in these projects are designed to generate a return primarily through the realization of federal and state income tax credits, and other tax benefits, over specified time periods. Third parties perform diligence on these investments for us on which we rely both at inception and on an on-going basis. We are subject to the risk that previously recorded tax credits, which remain subject to recapture by taxing authorities based on compliance features required to be met at the project level, may fail to meet certain government compliance requirements and may not be able to be realized. The possible inability to realize these tax credits and other tax benefits may have a negative impact on our financial results. The risk of not being able to realize the tax credits and other tax benefits depends on many factors outside our control, including changes in the applicable tax code and the ability of the projects to be completed.
We previously invested in mobile solar generators sold and leased back by DC Solar and its affiliates (DC Solar). DC Solar had its assets frozen in December 2018 by the U.S. Department of Justice. DC Solar and related entities are in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A group of investors who purchased mobile solar generators from, and leased them back to, DC Solar, including us received tax credits for making these renewable resource investments. During the fourth quarter 2019, several of the co-conspirators pleaded guilty to fraud in the on-going federal investigation. Based upon this new information, Valley deemed that its tax positions related to the DC Solar funds did not meet the more likely than not recognition threshold in Valley's tax reserve assessment at December 31, 2019. As a result, our net income for the year ended December 31, 2019 included an increase to our provision for income taxes of $31.1 million, reflecting the reserve for uncertain tax liability positions related to tax credits and other tax benefits previously recognized from the investments in the DC Solar funds plus interest. The principals pled guilty to fraud in early 2020.
While we believe that Valley was fully reserved for the tax positions related to DC Solar at December 31, 2020, we continue to evaluate all our existing tax positions each quarter under U.S. GAAP.
We recently implemented new deposit services for businesses in the state licensed marijuana industry which could expose us to additional liabilities and regulatory compliance costs.
In 2020, we implemented specialized deposit services intended for a limited number of state licensed medical-use marijuana business customers. Medical use marijuana, as well as recreational use businesses are legal in numerous states and the District of Columbia, including our primary markets of New Jersey, New York, and Florida. However, such businesses are not legal at the federal level and cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published guidelines for financial institutions servicing state legal cannabis businesses. We have implemented a comprehensive control framework that includes written policies and procedures related to the on-boarding of such businesses and the monitoring and maintenance of such business accounts that comports with the FinCEN guidance. Additionally, our policies call for due diligence review of the cannabis business before the business is on-boarded, including confirmation that the business is properly licensed and maintains
212020 Form 10-K


the license in good standing in the applicable state. Throughout the relationship, our policies call for continued monitoring of the business, including site visits, to determine if the business continues to meet our requirements, including maintenance of required licenses and calls for undertaking periodic financial reviews of the business. The Bank’s program originally was limited to offering depository products to medical marijuana businesses. Deposit transactions are monitored for compliance with the applicable state medical program rules and other regulations before approval and acceptance by the Bank’s BSA/AML Department. More recently, the Bank has agreed to limited lending on real estate and expanded to licensed recreational dispensaries. The Bank may offer additional banking products and services to such customers in the future.
While we believe our policies and procedures will allow us to operate in compliance with the FinCEN guidelines, there can be no assurance that compliance with the FinCEN guidelines will protect us from federal prosecution or other regulatory sanctions. Federal prosecutors have significant discretion and there can be no assurance that the federal prosecutors will not choose to strictly enforce the federal laws governing cannabis. Any change in the federal government’s enforcement position, could potentially subject us to criminal prosecution and other regulatory sanctions. While we also believe our BSA/AML policies and programs for this new business are sufficient, the medical and recreational marijuana business is considered high-risk, thus increasing the risk of a regulatory action against our BSA/AML program that has adverse consequences, including but not limited to, preventing us from undertaking mergers, acquisitions and other expansion activities.
The loss of or decrease in lower-cost funding sources within our deposit base, including our inability to achieve deposit retention targets under our branch transformation strategy, may adversely impact our net interest income and net income.
Checking and savings, NOW, and money market deposit account balances and other forms of customer deposits can decrease when customers perceive alternative investments, such as the stock market or money market or fixed income mutual funds, as providing a better risk/return trade-off. Additionally, our customers largely bank with us because of our local customer service and convenience. For certain customers, this convenience could be negatively impacted by recent branch consolidation activity undergone as part of our branch transformation strategy. If customers move money out of bank deposits and into other investments, Valley could lose a low cost source of funds, increasing its funding costs and reducing Valley’s net interest income and net income.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate, and events that negatively impact the real estate market could adversely affect our asset quality and profitability for those loans secured by real property and increase the number of defaults and the level of losses within our loan portfolio.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 72 percent of our total loans had real estate as a primary or secondary component of collateral. The real estate collateral in each case provides an alternate source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower and could deteriorate in value during the time the credit is extended. A downturn in the real estate market in our primary market areas could result in an increase in the number of borrowers who default on their loans and a reduction in the value of the collateral securing their loans, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our profitability and asset quality. If we are required to liquidate the collateral securing a loan to satisfy the debt during a period of reduced real estate values, our earnings and shareholders’ equity could be adversely affected. The declines in home or commercial real estate prices in the New Jersey, New York and Florida markets we primarily serve, along with the unpredictable long-term impact and path of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, also may result in increases in delinquencies and losses in our loan portfolios. Unexpected decreases in home or commercial real estate prices coupled with slow economic growth and elevated levels of unemployment could drive losses beyond those which are provided for in our allowance for loan losses. In that event, our earnings could be adversely affected.
We could incur future goodwill impairment.
If our estimates of the fair value of our goodwill change as a result of changes in our business or other factors, we may determine a goodwill impairment charge is necessary. Estimates of the fair value of goodwill are determined using several factors and assumptions, including, but not limited to, industry pricing multiples and estimated cash flows. Based upon Valley’s 2020 goodwill impairment testing, the fair values of its four reporting units, wealth management, consumer lending, commercial lending, and investment management, were in excess of their carrying values. No assurance can be given that we will not record an impairment loss on goodwill in the future and any such impairment loss could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. At December 31, 2020, our goodwill totaled $1.4 billion. See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.

2020 Form 10-K22


Our market share and income may be adversely affected by our inability to successfully compete against larger and more diverse financial service providers, digital fintech start-up firms and other financial services providers which have advanced technological capabilities.
Valley faces substantial competition in all areas of its operations from a variety of different competitors, many of which are larger and may have more financial resources than Valley to deal with the potential negative changes in the financial markets and regulatory landscape. Many of these competitors may have fewer regulatory constraints, broader geographic service areas, greater capital, and, in some cases, lower cost structures. Valley competes with other providers of financial services such as commercial and savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, money market and mutual funds, mortgage companies, title agencies, asset managers, insurance companies, and a large list of other local, regional and national institutions which offer financial services.
Additionally, the financial services industry is facing a wave of digital disruption from fintech companies and other large financial services providers. The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new, technology-driven products and services which increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. These competitors provide innovative web-based solutions to traditional retail banking services and products. Fintech companies tend to have stronger operating efficiencies and fewer regulatory burdens than their traditional bank counterparts, including Valley.
Regulatory changes may continue to allow new entrants into the markets in which we operate. The result of these regulatory changes will likely cause other non-traditional financial services companies to compete directly with Valley. Many of the companies have stronger operating efficiencies and fewer regulatory burdens than their traditional bank counterparts, including Valley.
Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. We may not be able to effectively implement new, technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers and service interruptions, transaction processing errors and system conversion delays and may cause us to fail to comply with applicable laws. Many of Valley’s competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. Valley may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to its customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on Valley’s business and, in turn, Valley’s financial condition and results of operations.

Failure to successfully implement our growth strategies could cause us to incur substantial costs and expenses which may not be recouped and adversely affect our future profitability.
From time to time, Valley may implement new lines of business or offer new products and services within existing lines of business. There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. Valley may invest significant time and resources to develop and market new lines of business and/or products and services. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and/or new products or services may not be achieved, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting customer preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service. Additionally, any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of Valley’s system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to environmental liability risk associated with lending activities which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review prior to originating certain commercial real estate loans, as well as before initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. The remediation costs and any other financial liabilities associated with an environmental hazard could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
232020 Form 10-K


We may incur future losses in connection with repurchases and indemnification payments related to mortgages that we have sold into the secondary market.
We engage in the origination of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market, while typically retaining the loan servicing. In connection with such sales, we make representations and warranties, which, if breached, may require us to repurchase such loans, substitute other loans or indemnify the purchasers of such loans for actual losses incurred in respect of such loans. The aggregate principal balances of residential mortgage loans serviced by the Bank for others approximated $3.5 billion and $3.4 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Over the past several years, we have experienced a nominal amount of repurchase requests, and only a few of which have actually resulted in repurchases by Valley (only two and four loan repurchases in 2020 and 2019, respectively). None of the loan repurchases resulted in a material loss. As of December 31, 2020, no reserves pertaining to loans sold were established on our financial statements. While we currently believe our repurchase risk remains low based upon our careful loan underwriting and documentation standards, it is possible that requests to repurchase loans could occur in the future and such requests may have a negative financial impact on us.

Net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans are a significant component of our non-interest income and could fluctuate in future periods.
Net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans represented approximately 23 percent and 9 percent of our non-interest income for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our net gains on sales of loans for each period are comprised of both gains on sales of residential mortgages and the net change in the mark to market gains and losses on our loans held for sale carried at fair value at each period end. Our ability or decision to sell a portion of our mortgage loan production in the secondary market is dependent upon, amongst other factors, the levels of market interest rates, consumer demand marketable loans, our sales and pricing strategies, the economy and our need to maintain the appropriate level of interest rate risk on our balance sheet. A change in one or more of these or other factors could significantly impact our ability to sell mortgage loans in the future and adversely impact the level of our non-interest income and financial results.   
We may not be able to attract and retain skilled people.
Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to attract and retain key people. Competition for the best people in most activities in which we engage can be intense and we may not be able to hire people or to retain them. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel, including, but not limited to, the executive officers disclosed in Item 1 of this Annual Report, could have a material adverse impact on our business because we would lose the employees’ skills, knowledge of the market, and years of industry experience and may have difficulty promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.
Climate change and severe weather could significantly impact our ability to conduct our business.
A significant portion of our primary markets is located near coastal waters which could generate naturally occurring severe weather, or in response to climate change, that could have a significant impact on our ability to conduct business. Many areas in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama in which our branches operate are subject to severe flooding from time to time and significant disruptions related to the weather may become common events in the future. Heavy storms and hurricanes can also cause severe property damage and result in business closures, negatively impacting both the financial health of retail and commercial customers and our ability to operate our business. The risk of significant disruption and potential losses from future storm activity exists in all of our primary markets.
Risks Related to Our Industry

We may not be able to detect money laundering and other illegal or improper activities fully or on a timely basis, which could expose us to additional liability and could have a material adverse effect on us.
We are required to comply with anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism and other laws and regulations in the United States. These laws and regulations require us, among other things, to adopt and enforce “know-your-customer” policies and procedures and to report suspicious and large transactions to applicable regulatory authorities. These laws and regulations have become increasingly complex and detailed, require improved systems and sophisticated monitoring and compliance personnel and have become the subject of enhanced government supervision.
While we have adopted policies and procedures aimed at detecting and preventing the use of our banking network for money laundering and related activities, those policies and procedures may not completely eliminate instances in which we may be used by customers to engage in money laundering and other illegal or improper activities. To the extent we fail to fully comply with applicable laws and regulations, the OCC, along with other banking agencies, have the authority to impose fines and other penalties and sanctions on us. In addition, our business and reputation could suffer if customers use our banking network for money laundering or illegal or improper purposes.
2020 Form 10-K24


Changes in interest rates could reduce our net interest income and earnings.
Valley’s earnings and cash flows are largely dependent upon its net interest income. Net interest income is the difference between interest income earned on interest-earning assets, such as loans and investment securities, and interest expense paid on interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowed funds. Interest rates are sensitive to many factors that are beyond Valley’s control, including general economic conditions, competition, and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies and, in particular, the policies of the FRB. Changes in interest rates driven by such factors could influence not only the interest Valley receives on loans and investment securities and the amount of interest it pays on deposits and borrowings, but such changes could also affect (i) Valley’s ability to originate loans and obtain deposits, (ii) the fair value of Valley’s financial assets, including the held to maturity and available for sale investment securities portfolios, and (iii) the average duration of Valley’s interest-earning assets and liabilities. This also includes the risk that interest-earning assets may be more responsive to changes in interest rates than interest-bearing liabilities, or vice versa (repricing risk), the risk that the individual interest rates or rate indices underlying various interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities may not change in the same degree over a given time period (basis risk), and the risk of changing interest rate relationships across the spectrum of interest-earning asset and interest-bearing liability maturities (yield curve risk). The FRB has acted to decrease targeted short-term interest rates to 0%-.25%, and it is anticipated that short-term interest rates could remain at these low rates for an extended time period. A period of extended low interest rates could have a negative impact on Valley's net interest income, and any substantial or unexpected change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s financial condition and results of operations. See additional information in the “Net Interest Income” and “Interest Rate Sensitivity” sections of our MD&A.
The replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate may have an impact on Valley’s business, financial condition or results of operations.
Certain loans made by us and financing extended to us are made at variable rates that use LIBOR as a benchmark for establishing the interest rate. In addition, we also have investments, interest rate derivatives and borrowings that reference LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. Subsequently, on November 30, 2020, the ICE Benchmark Administration announced its plan to extend the date most U.S. dollar LIBOR values would cease being computed to June 30, 2023. On the same date, the FRB. FDIC and OCC issued a joint statement instructing banks to cease entering into new LIBOR-based loan agreements by no later than December 31, 2021. In the United States, efforts to identify a set of alternative U.S. dollar reference interest rates are ongoing, and the Alternative Reference Rate Committee (ARRC) has recommended the use of a Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR). SOFR is different from LIBOR in that it is a backward looking secured rate rather than a forward looking unsecured rate. These differences could lead to a greater disconnect between the Bank's costs to raise funds for SOFR as compared to LIBOR. The implementation of a substitute index or indices for the calculation of interest rates under our loan agreements with our borrowers may incur significant expenses in effecting the transition, may result in reduced loan balances if borrowers do not accept the substitute index or indices, and may result in disputes or litigation with customers over the appropriateness or comparability to LIBOR of the substitute index or indices, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. These reforms may cause LIBOR to cease to exist, new methods of calculating LIBOR to be established or the establishment of multiple alternative reference rates. These consequences cannot be entirely predicted and could have an adverse impact on the market value for or value of LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us.
Higher charge-offs and weak credit conditions could require us to further increase our allowance for credit losses through a provision charge to earnings.
The process for determining the amount of the allowance for credit losses is critical to our financial results and conditions. It requires difficult, subjective and complex judgments about the future, including the impact of national and regional economic conditions on the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans. If our judgment proves to be incorrect, our allowance for credit losses may not be sufficient to cover the lifetime credit losses inherent in our loan and held to maturity debt securities portfolios, as well as unfunded credit commitments. Deterioration in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other factors, both within and outside of our control, may require an increase in the allowance for credit losses in addition to the increase in our loan allowance in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, bank regulators review the classification of our loans in their examination of us and we may be required in the future to change the internal classification on certain loans, which may require us to increase our provision for credit losses or loan charge-offs. If actual net charge-offs were to exceed Valley’s allowance, its earnings would be negatively impacted by additional provisions for credit losses. Any increase in our allowance for credit losses or loan charge-offs as required by the OCC or otherwise could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
252020 Form 10-K


An increase in our non-performing assets may reduce our interest income and increase our net loan charge-offs, provision for loan losses, and operating expenses.
Non-performing assets (including non-accrual loans, other real estate owned, and other repossessed assets) totaled $194.6 million at December 31, 2020. Our non-accrual loans increased from 0.22 percent of total loans at December 31, 2016 to 0.58 percent of total loans at December 31, 2020 largely due to a significant increase in non-accrual taxi medallion loans within our commercial and industrial loan portfolio. Due to continued negative trends in estimated fair valuations of the underlying taxi medallion collateral, a weak operating environment for ride services and uncertain borrower performance, the remainder of our previously accruing taxi medallion loans were placed on non-accrual status during the first quarter 2020. At December 31, 2020, the non-accrual taxi medallion loans totaling $97.5 million had related reserves of $66.4 million, or 68.1 percent of such loans, within the allowance for loan losses.
These non-performing assets can adversely affect our net income mainly through decreased interest income and increased operating expenses incurred to maintain such assets or loss charges related to subsequent declines in the estimated fair value of foreclosed assets. Adverse changes in the value of our non-performing assets, or the underlying collateral, or in the borrowers’ performance or financial conditions could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Potential further declines in the market valuation of taxi medallions and the stressed operating environment within both New York City and Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic could also negatively impact the future performance of this portfolio. There can be no assurance that we will not experience increases in non-performing loans in the future, or that our non-performing assets will not result in lower financial returns in the future.
General Commercial, Operational and Financial and Regulatory Risks
Our controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented, which may result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Management periodically reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of the controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on our systems of controls and procedures, and if our system fails, our operations could be disrupted.
We face the risk that the design of our controls and procedures, including those to mitigate the risk of fraud by employees or outsiders, may prove to be inadequate or are circumvented, thereby causing delays in detection of errors or inaccuracies in data and information. We regularly review and update our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may also be subject to disruptions of our systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (including, for example, electrical or telecommunications outages), which may give rise to losses in service to customers and to financial loss or liability. We are further exposed to the risk that our external vendors may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risk of fraud or operational errors by their respective employees as us) and to the risk that our (or our vendors’) business continuity and data security systems prove to be inadequate. We maintain a system of comprehensive policies and a control framework designed to monitor vendor risks including, among other things, (i) changes in the vendor’s organizational structure or internal controls, (ii) changes in the vendor’s financial condition, (iii) changes in the vendor’s support for existing products and services and (iv) changes in the vendor’s strategic focus. While we believe these policies and procedures help to mitigate risk, the failure of an external vendor to perform in accordance with the contracted arrangements under service level agreements could be disruptive to our operations, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.
Our financial results and condition may be adversely impacted by changing economic conditions.
Financial institutions can be affected by changing conditions in the real estate and financial markets. Weak economic conditions could result in financial stress on our borrowers that would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Volatility in the housing markets, real estate values and unemployment levels could result in significant write-downs of asset values by financial institutions. The majority of Valley’s lending is in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City metropolitan area, Florida and Alabama. As a result of this geographic concentration, a significant broad-based deterioration in economic conditions in these areas could have a material adverse impact on the quality of Valley’s loan
2020 Form 10-K26


portfolio, results of operations and future growth potential. Adverse economic conditions in our market areas can reduce our rate of growth, affect our customers’ ability to repay loans and adversely impact our financial condition and earnings. General economic conditions, including inflation, unemployment and money supply fluctuations, also may adversely affect our profitability.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected by the outbreak of pandemic disease, acts of terrorism, and other external events.
The emergence of widespread health emergencies or pandemics, such as COVID-19, could lead to additional quarantines, business shutdowns, labor shortages, disruptions to supply chains, and overall economic instability. Additionally, New York City and New Jersey remain central targets for potential acts of terrorism against the United States. Such events could affect the stability of our deposit base, impair the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans, impair the value of collateral securing loans, cause significant property damage, result in loss of revenue and/or cause us to incur additional expenses. Although we have established and regularly test disaster recovery policies and procedures, the occurrence of any such event in the future could have a material adverse effect on our business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to make opportunistic acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including the risk that regulators will not provide the requisite approvals.
We may make opportunistic whole or partial acquisitions of other banks, branches, financial institutions, or related businesses from time to time that we expect may further our business strategy. Any possible acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain such approval in a timely manner or at all. Even if we obtain regulatory approval, these acquisitions could involve numerous risks, including lower than expected performance or higher than expected costs, difficulties related to integration, diversion of management's attention from other business activities, changes in relationships with customers, and the potential loss of key employees. In addition, we may not be successful in identifying acquisition candidates, integrating acquired institutions, or preventing deposit erosion or loan quality deterioration at acquired institutions. Competition for acquisitions can be intense, and we may not be able to acquire other institutions on attractive terms. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in completing or will even pursue future acquisitions, or if such transactions are completed, that we will be successful in integrating acquired businesses into operations. Ability to grow may be limited if we choose not to pursue or are unable to successfully make acquisitions in the future.
The future impact of changes to the Internal Revenue Code is uncertain and may adversely affect our business.
The U.S. Congress passed significant reform of the Internal Revenue Code, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act) at the end of 2017. While the decline in the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent lowered Valley’s income tax expense as a percentage of its taxable income in 2018 and subsequent years, other provisions of the Tax Act negatively impacted Valley's consolidated financial statements and it may adversely affect Valley in the future. For example, under the provisions of the Tax Act, the $3.3 million and $2.5 million of the Bank's total FDIC insurance assessment for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, was non-tax deductible based upon the asset size of the Bank. If Valley's total assets were to exceed $50 billion at any year-end, its entire FDIC insurance assessment would be non-tax deductible in that fiscal year. The future impact of the Tax Act or subsequent amendments to the tax rates and laws on our business may be adverse.
The new Biden presidential administration has indicated an intention to increase corporate taxes which would reduce our net income.
Our adoption of the CECL model for determining our allowance for credit losses has added volatility, could add additional volatility, to our provision for credit losses and earnings.
Effective January 1, 2020, Valley adopted the FASB's new accounting guidance on the impairment of financial instruments, commonly known as the current expected credit loss (CECL) model. The CECL model requires the allowance for credit losses for certain financial assets, including loans, held to maturity securities and certain off-balance sheet credit exposures, to be calculated based on current expected credit losses over the lives of the assets rather than incurred losses as of a point in time.
Our estimation process is subject to risks and uncertainties, including a reliance on historical loss and trend information that may not be representative of current conditions and indicative of future performance. Changes in such estimates could significantly impact our allowance and provision for credit losses. Accordingly, our actual allowance for credit losses may be materially different than the amounts reported due to the inherent uncertainty in the estimation process, including future loss estimates based upon our reasonable and supportable economic forecasts. Also, future amount could differ materially from
272020 Form 10-K


those estimates due to changes in values and circumstances after the balance sheet date. See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding the impact of the adoption of the CECL model.
We may be unable to adequately manage our liquidity risk, which could affect our ability to meet our obligations as they become due, capitalize on growth opportunities, or pay regular dividends on our common stock.
Liquidity risk is the potential that Valley will be unable to meet its obligations as they come due, capitalize on growth opportunities as they arise, or pay regular dividends on our common stock because of an inability to liquidate assets or obtain adequate funding on a timely basis, at a reasonable cost and within acceptable risk tolerances. Liquidity is required to fund various obligations, including credit commitments to borrowers, mortgage and other loan originations, withdrawals by depositors, repayment of borrowings, dividends to shareholders, operating expenses and capital expenditures. Liquidity is derived primarily from retail deposit growth and retention; principal and interest payments on loans; principal and interest payments on investment securities; sale, maturity and prepayment of investment securities; net cash provided from operations; and access to other funding sources, such as the FHLB and certain brokered deposit channels established by the Bank.
Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that could have a detrimental impact to our access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of our business activity due to persistent weakness, or downturn, in the economy or adverse regulatory action against us. Our ability to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not necessarily specific to us, such as a severe disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry as a whole.
Cyber-attacks could compromise our information or result in the data of our customers being improperly divulged, which could expose us to liability, losses and escalating operating costs.
Valley regularly collects, processes, transmits and stores confidential information regarding its customers, employees and others for whom it services loans. In some cases, this confidential or proprietary information is collected, compiled, processed, transmitted or stored by third parties on Valley’s behalf. Information security risks have increased because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber-attacks. Many financial institutions and companies engaged in data processing have reported significant breaches in the security of their websites or other systems, some of which have involved sophisticated and targeted attacks intended to obtain unauthorized access to confidential information, destroy data, denial-of-service, or sabotage systems, often through the introduction of computer viruses or malware, cyber-attacks and other means. Although Valley frequently experiences attempted cybersecurity attacks against its systems, to date, none of these incidents have resulted in material losses, known breaches of customer data or significant disruption of services to Valley’s customers. However, there can be no assurance that Valley will not incur such issues in the future, exposing us to significant on-going operational costs and reputational harm.
Additionally, risk exposure to cyber security matters will remain elevated or increase in the future due to, among other things, the increasing size and prominence of Valley in the financial services industry, our expansion of Internet and mobile banking tools and products based on customer needs, and the system and customer account conversions associated with the integration of merger targets.
In managing our cyber risks, when entering a new vendor relationship, we review and gauge the cyber security risk of such third-party service providers. A successful attack on one of our third-party service providers could adversely affect our business and result in the disclosure or misuse of our confidential information.
While we believe we are taking reasonable, risk-based precautions to manage the risk of cyber-attacks against third-party service providers, there can be no assurance that our third-party service providers will not suffer a cyber-attack that exposes us to significant operational costs and damages. While we believe we have risk based technology reasonably capable of discovering cyber-attacks, and personnel who are qualified to monitor our technology and systems to detect cyber-attacks, we can offer no assurance that we will be able to identify and prevent cyber-attacks when they occur. Significant damage may occur if Valley fails to identify, or there is a delay in identifying, a cyber-attack on our systems, or those of our third-party service providers.
Extensive regulation and supervision have a negative impact on our ability to compete in a cost-effective manner and may subject us to material compliance costs and penalties.
Valley, primarily through its principal subsidiary and certain non-bank subsidiaries, is subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole. Many laws and regulations affect Valley’s lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy and growth, among other things. They encourage Valley to ensure a satisfactory level of lending in defined areas and establish and maintain comprehensive programs relating to anti-money laundering and
2020 Form 10-K28


customer identification. Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state regulatory agencies continually review banking laws, regulations and policies for possible changes. Changes to statutes, regulations or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations or policies, could affect Valley in substantial and unpredictable ways. Such changes could subject Valley to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products it may offer and/or increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things. Failure to comply with laws, regulations or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties and/or reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Valley’s compliance with certain of these laws will be considered by banking regulators when reviewing bank merger and bank holding company acquisitions.
We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose community investment and nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful regulatory challenge to an institution’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act or other fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, restrictions on mergers and acquisitions, restrictions on expansion and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties also may challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in accounting policies or accounting standards could cause us to change the manner in which we report our financial results and condition in adverse ways and could subject us to additional costs and expenses.
Valley’s accounting policies are fundamental to understanding its financial results and condition. Some of these policies require the use of estimates and assumptions that may affect the value of Valley’s assets or liabilities and financial results. Valley identified its accounting policies regarding the allowance for credit losses, goodwill and other intangible assets, and income taxes to be critical because they require management to make difficult, subjective and complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain. Under each of these policies, it is possible that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions, using different assumptions, or as new information becomes available.
From time to time, the FASB and the SEC change their guidance governing the form and content of Valley’s external financial statements. In addition, accounting standard setters and those who interpret U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP), such as the FASB, SEC, banking regulators and Valley’s independent registered public accounting firm, may change or even reverse their previous interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. Such changes are expected to continue and may accelerate dependent upon the FASB and International Accounting Standards Board commitments to achieving convergence between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards. Changes in U.S. GAAP and changes in current interpretations are beyond Valley’s control, can be hard to predict and could materially impact how Valley reports its financial results and condition. In certain cases, Valley could be required to apply new or revised guidance retroactively or apply existing guidance differently (also retroactively) which may result in Valley restating prior period financial statements for material amounts. Additionally, significant changes to U.S. GAAP may require costly technology changes, additional training and personnel, and other expenses that will negatively impact our results of operations.
Claims and litigation could result in significant expenses, losses and damage to our reputation.
From time to time as part of Valley’s normal course of business, customers, bankruptcy trustees, former customers, contractual counterparties, third parties and current and former employees make claims and take legal action against Valley based on actions or inactions of Valley. If such claims and legal actions are not resolved in a manner favorable to Valley, they may result in financial liability and/or adversely affect the market perception of Valley and its products and services. This may also impact customer demand for Valley’s products and services. Any financial liability could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s financial condition and results of operations. Any reputation damage could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business.

292020 Form 10-K


Risks Related to an Investment in our Securities
We may reduce or eliminate the cash dividend on our common stock, which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such cash dividends as our Board of Directors may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so and may reduce or eliminate our common stock cash dividend in the future depending upon our results of operations, financial condition or other metrics. This reduction or elimination of our dividend could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
If our subsidiaries are unable to pay dividends or make distributions to us, we may be unable to make dividend payments to our preferred and common shareholders or interest payments on our long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts.
We are a separate and distinct legal entity from our banking and non-banking subsidiaries and depend on dividends, distributions, and other payments from the Bank and its non-banking subsidiaries to fund cash dividend payments on our preferred and common stock and to fund most payments on our other obligations. Regulations relating to capital requirements affect the ability of the Bank to pay dividends and other distributions to us and to make loans to us. Additionally, if our subsidiaries’ earnings are not sufficient to make dividend payments to us while maintaining adequate capital levels, we may not be able to make dividend payments to our preferred and common shareholders or interest payments on our long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts. Furthermore, our right to participate in a distribution of assets upon a subsidiary’s liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary’s creditors.
Future acquisitions may dilute shareholder value, especially tangible book value per share.
We regularly evaluate opportunities to acquire other financial institutions. As a result, merger and acquisition discussions and, in some cases, negotiations may take place and future mergers or acquisitions involving cash, debt, or equity securities may occur at any time. Acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values, and, therefore, some dilution of our tangible book value per common share may occur in connection with any future acquisitions.
Future offerings of common stock, preferred stock, debt or other securities may adversely affect the market price of our stock and dilute the holdings of existing shareholders.
In the future, we may increase our capital resources or, if our or the Bank’s actual or projected capital ratios fall below or near the current (Basel III) regulatory required minimums, we or the Bank could be forced to raise additional capital by making additional offerings of common stock, preferred stock or debt securities. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing shareholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Holders of our common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights or other protections against dilution. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock, and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive distributions of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. See Note 18 to the consolidated financial statements for more details on our common and preferred stock.

Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
None. 
2020 Form 10-K30



Item 2.Properties
We conduct our business at 226 retail banking centers locations in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. We own 98 of our banking center facilities and several non-branch operating facilities. The other properties are leased for various terms.

The following table summarizes our retail banking centers in each state: 
Number of banking centers% of Total
New Jersey
Northern10646.9 
Central2511.1 
Total New Jersey13158.0 
New York
Manhattan125.3 
Long Island125.3 
Brooklyn94.0 
Queens52.2 
Total New York3816.8 
Florida4118.1 
Alabama167.1 
Total226100.0 %

Our principal executive office is located at One Penn Plaza in Manhattan, New York. Many of our bank operations are located in Wayne, New Jersey, where we own five office buildings. Our New York City corporate headquarters are primarily used as a central hub for New York based lending activities of senior executives and other commercial lenders. We also lease six non-bank office facilities in Florida, used for operational, executive and lending purposes.
On December 1, 2019, the acquisition of Oritani added 26 banking centers mostly located in northern New Jersey. During 2020, we closed and consolidated 11 of the 26 acquired branches into nearby legacy Valley branches. See the "Executive Summary" section of Item 7. MD&A for details on other planned changes to our branch network in 2021.
The total net book value of our premises and equipment (including land, buildings, leasehold improvements and furniture and equipment) was $319.8 million at December 31, 2020. We believe that all of our properties and equipment are well maintained, in good operating condition and adequate for all of our present and anticipated needs.

Item 3.Legal Proceedings
In the normal course of business, we may be a party to various outstanding legal proceedings and claims. In the opinion of management, our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity should not be materially affected by the outcome of such legal proceedings and claims.
312020 Form 10-K




PART II
 
Item 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “VLY”. There were 7,638 shareholders of record as of December 31, 2020.

Performance Graph
The following graph compares the cumulative total return on a hypothetical $100 investment made on December 31, 2015 in: (a) Valley’s common stock; (b) the KBW Regional Banking Index (KRX) and (c) the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 Stock Index. The graph is calculated assuming that all dividends are reinvested during the relevant periods. The graph shows how a $100 investment would increase or decrease in value over time based on dividends (stock or cash) and increases or decreases in the market price of the stock. 

vly-20201231_g2.jpg
12/1512/1612/1712/1812/1912/20
Valley$100.00 $123.55 $123.65 $101.66 $136.48 $122.76 
KBW Regional Banking Index (KRX)100.00 139.12 141.63 116.86 144.76 132.18 
S&P 500100.00 111.95 136.38 130.39 171.44 202.96 


Issuer Repurchase of Equity Securities
The following table presents the purchases of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers during the three months ended December 31, 2020: 
Period
Total Number of
Shares Purchased (1)
Average Price
Paid Per
Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans(2)
Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased
      Under the Plans (2)
October 1, 2020 to October 31, 20202,322 $6.85 — 4,112,465 
November 1, 2020 to November 30, 20209,571 7.71 — 4,112,465 
December 1, 2020 to December 31, 202031,301 9.98 — 4,112,465 
Total43,194 — 
(1)Represents repurchases made in connection with the vesting of employee stock awards.
2020 Form 10-K32


(2)On January 17, 2007, Valley publicly announced its intention to repurchase up to 4.7 million outstanding common shares in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase plan has no stated expiration date. No repurchase plans or programs expired or terminated during the three months ended December 31, 2020.

Item 6.Selected Financial Data
Not applicable.

Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The purpose of this analysis is to provide the reader with information relevant to understanding and assessing Valley’s results of operations and financial condition for each of the past two years. In order to fully appreciate this analysis, the reader is encouraged to review the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes thereto appearing under Item 8 of this report, and statistical data presented in this document. For comparison of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, please refer to Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of our Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on March 10, 2020.
Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This report, both in MD&A and elsewhere, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not historical facts and include expressions about management’s confidence and strategies and management’s expectations about our business, new and existing programs and products, acquisitions, relationships, opportunities, taxation, technology, market conditions and economic expectations. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “should,” “expect,” “believe,” “view,” “opportunity,” “allow,” “continues,” “reflects,” “typically,” “usually,” “anticipate,” or similar statements or variations of such terms. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties and our actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements in addition to those risk factors listed under the “Risk Factors” section in Part1, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to:

the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economies, including business disruptions, reductions in employment and an increase in business failures, specifically among our clients;
the impact of COVID-19 on our employees and our ability to provide services to our customers and respond to their needs as more cases of COVID-19 may arise in our primary markets;
potential judgments, claims, damages, penalties, fines and reputational damage resulting from pending or future litigation and regulatory and government actions, including as a result of our participation in and execution of government programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic or as a result of our actions in response to, or failure to implement or effectively implement, federal, state and local laws, rules or executive orders requiring that we grant forbearances or not act to collect our loans;
the impact of forbearances or deferrals we are required or agree to as a result of customer requests and/or government actions, including, but not limited to our potential inability to recover fully deferred payments from the borrower or the collateral;
damage verdicts or settlements or restrictions related to existing or potential class action litigation or individual litigation arising from claims of violations of laws or regulations, contractual claims, breach of fiduciary responsibility, negligence, fraud, environmental laws, patent or trademark infringement, employment related claims, and other matters;
a prolonged downturn in the economy, mainly in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, as well as an unexpected decline in commercial real estate values within our market areas;
higher or lower than expected income tax expense or tax rates, including increases or decreases resulting from changes in uncertain tax position liabilities, tax laws, regulations and case law;
the inability to grow customer deposits to keep pace with loan growth;
a material change in our allowance for credit losses under CECL due to forecasted economic conditions and/or unexpected credit deterioration in our loan and investment portfolios;
the need to supplement debt or equity capital to maintain or exceed internal capital thresholds;
greater than expected technology related costs due to, among other factors, prolonged or failed implementations, additional project staffing and obsolescence caused by continuous and rapid market innovations;
332020 Form 10-K


the loss of or decrease in lower-cost funding sources within our deposit base, including our inability to achieve deposit retention targets under Valley's branch transformation strategy;
cyber-attacks, computer viruses or other malware that may breach the security of our websites or other systems to obtain unauthorized access to confidential information, destroy data, disable or degrade service, or sabotage our systems;
results of examinations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory authorities, including the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, require us to increase our allowance for credit losses, write-down assets, reimburse customers, change the way we do business, or limit or eliminate certain other banking activities;
our inability or determination not to pay dividends at current levels, or at all, because of inadequate earnings, regulatory restrictions or limitations, changes in our capital requirements or a decision to increase capital by retaining more earnings;
unanticipated loan delinquencies, loss of collateral, decreased service revenues, and other potential negative effects on our business caused by severe weather, the COVID-19 pandemic or other external events;
unexpected significant declines in the loan portfolio due to the lack of economic expansion, increased competition, large prepayments, changes in regulatory lending guidance or other factors; and
the failure of other financial institutions with whom we have trading, clearing, counterparty and other financial relationships.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our accounting and reporting policies conform, in all material respects, to U.S. GAAP. In preparing the consolidated financial statements, management has made estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the consolidated statements of financial condition and results of operations for the periods indicated. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates.
Valley’s accounting policies are fundamental to understanding management’s discussion and analysis of its financial condition and results of operations. Our significant accounting policies are presented in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements. We identified our policies for the allowance for credit losses, goodwill and other intangible assets, and income taxes to be critical because management has to make subjective and/or complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain and because it is likely that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions. Management has reviewed the application of these policies with the Audit Committee of Valley’s Board of Directors.
The judgments used by management in applying the critical accounting policies discussed below may be affected by significant changes in the economic environment, which may result in changes to future financial results. Specifically, subsequent evaluations of the loan portfolio, in light of the factors then prevailing, may result in material changes in the allowance for credit losses in future periods, and the inability to collect on outstanding loans could result in increased loan losses.
Allowance for Credit Losses. Determining the allowance for credit losses for loans has historically been identified as a critical accounting estimate. On January 1, 2020, we adopted new accounting guidance which requires entities to estimate and recognize an allowance for lifetime expected credit losses for loans, unfunded credit commitments and held to maturity debt securities measured at amortized cost. Previously, an allowance for credit losses for loans was recognized based on probable incurred losses. See Notes 1, 4 and 5 to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our accounting policies and methodologies for establishing the allowance for credit losses.
The accounting estimates relating to the allowance for credit losses is a "critical accounting estimate" for the following reasons:
Changes in the provision for credit losses can materially affect our financial results;
Estimates relating to the allowance for credit losses require us to project future borrower performance, delinquencies and charge-offs, along with, when applicable, collateral values, based on a reasonable and supportable forecast period utilizing forward-looking economic scenarios in order to estimate probability of default and loss given default;
The allowance for credit losses is influenced by factors outside of our control such as industry and business trends, geopolitical events and the effects of laws and regulations as well as economic conditions such as trends in housing prices, interest rates, gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, energy prices and unemployment; and
2020 Form 10-K34


Judgment is required to determine whether the models used to generate the allowance for credit losses produce an estimate that is sufficient to encompass the current view of lifetime expected credit losses.
Our estimation process is subject to risks and uncertainties, including a reliance on historical loss and trend information that may not be representative of current conditions and indicative of future performance. Changes in such estimates could significantly impact our allowance and provision for credit losses. Accordingly, our actual credit loss experience may not be in line with our expectations.
Changes in Our Allowance for Credit Losses for Loans
Valley considers it difficult to quantify the impact of changes in forecast on its allowance for credit losses. However, management believes the following discussion may enable investors to better understand the variables that drive the allowance for credit losses for loans, which amounted to $340.2 million at December 31, 2020.
As discussed further in the "Allowance for Credit Losses" section in this MD&A, we incorporated a multi-scenario economic forecast for estimating lifetime expected credit losses at December 31, 2020. As a result of the deterioration in economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and the related increase in economic uncertainty, we increased our probability weighting for the most severe economic scenario as compared to those at January 1, 2020. As a result, approximately $50.2 million of the $87.2 million increase in our allowance for credit losses for loans from January 1, 2020 reflected the impact of the adverse economic forecast within Valley's lifetime expected credit loss estimate, as well as other qualitative factors. Specific reserves, largely based upon management's valuation of collateral for collateral dependent loans and the present value of expected cash flows for certain troubled debt restructured loans, and quantitative reserves, based upon expected and actual transitions in the credit quality of our loan portfolio, represented $20.9 million and $16.1 million, respectively, of the remaining increase in reserves at December 31, 2020.
In addition, the valuation of certain collateral dependent loans (including New York City taxi medallion loan valuations based on the estimated value of the underlying medallions) could be adversely impacted by illiquidity or dislocation in certain markets, resulting in depressed market valuations of the underlying collateral, thus leading to additional provisions for loan losses.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. We have significant goodwill and other intangible assets related to our acquisitions totaling $1.4 billion and $70.4 million at December 31, 2020, respectively. We record all assets, liabilities, and non-controlling interests in the target in purchase acquisitions, including goodwill and other intangible assets, at fair value as of the acquisition date, and expense all acquisition related costs as incurred as required by ASC Topic 805, “Business Combinations.” The initial recording of goodwill and other intangible assets requires subjective judgments concerning estimates of the fair value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities. Goodwill is subject to annual tests for impairment or more often, if events or circumstances indicate it may be impaired. Our determination of whether or not goodwill is impaired requires us to make significant judgments and to use significant estimates and assumptions regarding estimated future cash flows. If we change our strategy or if market conditions shift, our judgments may change, which may result in adjustments to the recorded goodwill balance. Other intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives and are subject to impairment tests if events or circumstances indicate a possible inability to realize the carrying amount. Such evaluation of other intangible assets is based on undiscounted cash flow projections.
On January 1, 2020, we adopted ASU No. 2017-04 intended to simplify the goodwill impairment test by eliminating a second step which required an entity to determine the implied fair value of the reporting unit’s goodwill. Instead, an impairment loss is now recognized if the carrying value of the net assets assigned to the reporting unit exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit, with the impairment loss not to exceed the amount of goodwill recorded.
We perform our annual goodwill impairment test in the second quarter of each year, or more often if events or circumstances warrant. In addition to the annual impairment test, we assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on macroeconomic variables and economic forecasts and how those might impact the fair value of our reporting units each quarter end. After consideration of these variables and other possible triggering events or circumstances, as well as our operating results, we determined it was more-likely-than-not that the fair values of our four reporting units, wealth management, consumer lending, commercial lending, and investment management, were in excess of their carrying values during 2020. Therefore, we concluded there were no triggering events that would require additional goodwill impairment test of the reporting units during 2020.
Based upon Valley’s 2020 annual goodwill impairment testing, the fair values of its four reporting units were in excess of their carrying values. In 2021, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and its impact on our market capitalization, overall economic conditions, and any triggering events that may indicate a possible impairment of goodwill allocated to our reporting units. While not expected at this time, we may be required to record a charge to earnings should there
352020 Form 10-K


be a deficiency in our estimated fair value of one or more of our reporting units during our subsequent annual (or more frequent) impairment tests. See the "Business Segments" section for more information regarding our business segments/reporting units.
Fair value is determined using certain discounted cash flow and market multiple methods. Estimated cash flows may extend far into the future and, by their nature, are difficult to determine over an extended timeframe. Factors that may materially affect the estimates include, among others, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on macroeconomic variables and economic forecasts, competitive forces, customer behaviors and attrition, changes in revenue growth trends, cost structures and technology, and changes in discount rates, growth rate, terminal values, and specific industry or market sector conditions. To assist in assessing the impact of potential goodwill or other intangible assets impairment charges at December 31, 2020, the impact of a five percent impairment charge on these intangible assets would result in a reduction in pre-tax income of approximately $72.6 million. See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding goodwill and other intangible assets.
Income Taxes. We are subject to the income tax laws of the U.S., its states and municipalities. The income tax laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate are complex and subject to different interpretations by the taxpayer and the relevant government taxing authorities. In establishing a provision for income tax expense, we must make judgments and interpretations about the application of these inherently complex tax laws to our business activities, as well as the timing of when certain items may affect taxable income.
Our interpretations may be subject to review during examination by taxing authorities and disputes may arise over the respective tax positions. We attempt to resolve these disputes during the tax examination and audit process and ultimately through the court systems when applicable. We monitor relevant tax authorities and revise our estimate of accrued income taxes due to changes in income tax laws and their interpretation by the courts and regulatory authorities on a quarterly basis. Revisions of our estimate of accrued income taxes also may result from our own income tax planning and from the resolution of income tax controversies. Such revisions in our estimates may be material to our operating results for any given quarter.
The provision for income taxes is composed of current and deferred taxes. Deferred taxes arise from differences between assets and liabilities measured for financial reporting versus income tax return purposes. Deferred tax assets are recognized if, in management’s judgment, their realizability is determined to be more likely than not. We perform regular reviews to ascertain the realizability of our deferred tax assets. These reviews include management’s estimates and assumptions regarding future taxable income, which also incorporate various tax planning strategies. In connection with these reviews, if we determine that a portion of the deferred tax asset is not realizable, a valuation allowance is established. Management determined it is more likely than not that Valley will realize its net deferred tax assets, except for immaterial valuation allowances, as of December 31, 2020 and 2019.
We also maintain a reserve related to certain tax positions that management believes contain an element of uncertainty. An uncertain tax position is measured based on the largest amount of benefit that management believes is more likely than not to be realized. During 2020 and 2019, our income tax expense reflected $1.5 million and $31.1 million increases to our tax provision related to reserve for uncertain tax liability positions and/or accrued interest related to such positions at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, as compared to a $3.3 million net state tax benefit in 2018 related to the reduction of reserves at December 31, 2018 caused by the expiration of the statute of limitations for certain tax positions.
See Notes 1 and 13 to the consolidated financial statements and the "Executive Summary" and “Income Taxes” sections in this MD&A for an additional discussion on the accounting for income taxes.
New Authoritative Accounting Guidance. See Note 1 of the consolidated financial statements for a description of recent accounting pronouncements including the dates of adoption and the anticipated effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Executive Summary
Company Overview. At December 31, 2020, Valley had consolidated total assets of $40.7 billion, total net loans of $31.9 billion, total deposits of $31.9 billion and total shareholders’ equity of $4.6 billion. Our commercial bank operations include branch office locations in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. Of our current 226 branch network, 58 percent, 17 percent, 18 percent and 7 percent of the branches are located in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, respectively. Despite targeted branch consolidation activity, we have significantly grown both in asset size and locations over the past several years primarily through bank acquisitions, including our acquisition of Oritani Financial Corp. (Oritani) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oritani Bank on December 1, 2019. See Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements for more information regarding the Oritani acquisition.
2020 Form 10-K36


Impact of COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 has created a global public health crisis that has resulted in unprecedented uncertainty, volatility and disruption in financial markets and in governmental, commercial and consumer activity in the United States and globally, including the markets that we serve. While the overall level of economic activity has improved in the second half of 2020 following the steep economic downturn in second quarter 2020, certain industries and businesses continue to be adversely impacted with a significant loss of their normal revenue streams and continue to experience business interruptions. Our outlook, which remains unchanged from the end of the third quarter 2020 indicates continued macroeconomic deterioration with higher levels of credit stress related to borrowers impacted by COVID-19 and lower valuations of collateral securing our non-performing taxi medallion loan portfolio. Uncertainties and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic slowed our traditional new commercial loan volumes and the loan balances for residential and many consumer loan products saw moderate declines in the second half of 2020, primarily as a result of the higher level of residential mortgage loans originated for sale due to our current interest rate risk management strategies. Any sustained economic downturn due to COVID-19 and other factors, or other long-term changes in consumer and business behaviors from COVID-19 may adversely impact the value of assets that serve as collateral for our loans.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided for in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as supplemented by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Enhancement Act), was designed to aid small- and medium-sized businesses through federally guaranteed loans distributed through banks. These loans are intended to guarantee 8 to 24 weeks of payroll and other costs to help those businesses remain viable and allow their workers to pay their bills. Valley National Bank is a certified Small Business Administration (SBA) lender and facilitated approximately 13,000 SBA-approved PPP loans with balances totaling $2.2 billion as of December 31, 2020. While difficult to accurately predict, we expect the majority of these loans to be forgiven in accordance with rules, application and documentation requirements for this program.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020 (Appropriations Act), provides approximately $900 billion in new COVID-19 stimulus relief partly comprised of additional funding under the PPP. The Appropriations Act also expanded borrower eligibility under the PPP to certain second draws under the program. During the first quarter 2021, Valley has approved PPP loan applications totaling approximately $534 million within its pipeline, and originated $499 million of such loans through February 19, 2021. Our future PPP loan originations may ultimately be less than the approved loan application pipeline due to normal underwriting contingencies.
We have reopened all bank branches in our network that were either temporarily closed or had reduced lobby services due to COVID-19. However, we continue to act with an abundance of caution in order to safeguard the health and wellness of our customers and employees and may limit capacity in our branch locations and/or require scheduled appointments in the future. We continue to closely monitor local conditions in the areas we serve and will take actions as circumstances warrant, which may necessitate certain branch or other office closures and reduced lobby services. Our business continuity plan continues to remain in effect with many of our non-customer facing employees continuing to work remotely as we monitor the level of the health crisis in our primary markets.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact on certain customers and in accordance with provisions set forth by the CARES Act, Valley implemented short-term loan modifications, such as payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms, or delays in payment that are insignificant, when requested by customers. Generally, the modification terms allow for a deferral of payments for up to 90 days, which Valley may extend for an additional 90 days. Any extensions beyond this period were made in accordance with applicable regulatory guidance. As of December 31, 2020, Valley had $361 million of outstanding loans remaining in their payment deferral period under short-term modifications. The $361 million of loans in deferral represented approximately 1.1 percent of our total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020, having decreased significantly from approximately $1.1 billion, or 3.3 percent of total loans, near the start of the third quarter 2020.
Significant uncertainties persist as to the impact of future economic conditions and stress on our customers. The severe adverse economic pressures, coupled with the implementation of an expected loss methodology for determining our provision for credit losses as required by CECL, contributed to a sharply increased provision for credit losses for the year ended December 31, 2020, following our initial adoption of CECL on January 1, 2020. We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 closely, as well as any effects that may result from the CARES Act, Enhancement Act and other government stimulus or Federal Reserve actions. However, the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact our operations and financial results during the first quarter 2021 and beyond is highly uncertain. See the "Operating Environment" section of MD&A for more details.
Branch Transformation. As previously disclosed, Valley has embarked on a strategy to continuously overhaul its retail network. Approximately two years ago we established the foundation of what the transformation of our branch network would look like in coming years. At that time, we identified 74 branches that did not meet certain internal performance measures, including 20 branches that were closed and consolidated by the end of the first quarter 2019. For the remaining 54 branches, we
372020 Form 10-K


implemented tailored action plans focused on improving profitability and deposit levels, as well as upgrades in staffing and training, within a defined timeline. During 2020, we permanently closed an additional 16 branches located in New Jersey, including the consolidation of 11 acquired Oritani branches into nearby legacy Valley branches, and 2 Florida branches. We also permanently closed one New Jersey branch in the first quarter 2021. For the overall branch network, we continue to monitor the operating performance of each branch and implement tailored action plans focused on improving profitability and deposit levels for those branches that underperform.
Annual Results. Net income totaled $390.6 million, or $0.93 per diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $309.8 million in 2019, or $0.87 per diluted common share. The increase in net income compared to 2019 was largely due to:
a $220.9 million, or 24.6 percent, increase in our net interest income driven primarily by a $5.6 billion increase in average loan balances and a sharp reduction in interest rates of 85 basis points on the cost of total interest bearing liabilities resulting from the low interest environment, partially offset by loan yields that were 53 basis points lower and interest expense related to a $3.9 billion increase in average interest bearing liabilities; and
a $7.5 million decrease in income tax expense largely due to a $31.1 million addition to our reserves for uncertain tax positions in 2019, partially offset by increased income taxes mostly caused by higher 2020 pre-tax income; partially offset by
a $101.5 million increase in our provision for credit losses for loans due to the CECL adoption and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the model results;
a $31.5 million decrease in non-interest income, due in large part to a $78.5 million gain on the sale (and leaseback) of certain Bank properties recognized in 2019, partially offset by a $23.3 million increase in the gain on sale of residential mortgage loans, as well as swap fee income which increased $25.6 million to $59.0 million for 2020; and
a $14.6 million increase in non-interest expense largely due to higher levels of expense related to our expanded franchise following the Oritani acquisition on December 1, 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by a $20.0 million decrease in the loss on extinguishment of debt and a $7.1 million decrease in the amortization of tax credit investments.
See the “Net Interest Income,” “Non-Interest Income,” “Non-Interest Expense,” and “Income Taxes” sections below for more details on the items above and other infrequent items, including merger expenses and the loss on extinguishment of debt, impacting our 2020 annual results.
Operating Environment. During 2020, real gross domestic product declined 3.5 percent compared to an increase of 2.2 percent in 2019. The decline in growth was driven by decreases in household consumption, exports, restocking of inventories, business fixed investment and state and local government spending. These decreases were partially offset by increases in residential fixed investment and federal government spending, particularly from non-defense spending, which supported economic activity.
To support economic activity, the Federal Reserve reduced the target range for the federal funds rate in the first half of 2020 and began purchasing Treasury securities and agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities. As of the dated of this report, the target range for the federal funds rate is between zero and 0.25 percent. The Federal Reserve indicated at its recent meeting that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support a return to sustained expansion of economic activity.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield ended 2020 at 0.93 percent, or 99 basis points lower as compared to December 31, 2019. The spread between the 2- and 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields ended the year at 0.80 percent, or 46 basis points higher, compared to the end of 2019.
For all commercial banks in the U.S., loans and leases grew approximately 3.5 percent from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020. For the industry, banks reported that demand for most commercial loan products had declined sharply compared to the end of 2019. The decline was broad-based across commercial real estate lending and loans to middle market firms. However, banks reported sharply higher demand for residential mortgage loans, particularly those related to jumbo products. Additionally, the industry reported that underwriting standards had generally tightened significantly for both commercial and residential loans. Valley’s commercial and industrial originations in 2020 were primarily driven by loans associated with PPP. In addition, Valley continued to see solid demand for residential mortgage loans across its geographies during most of 2020. However, the path of economic activity is highly contingent on the progress made in combating COVID-19. Should health conditions warrant more widespread restrictions to business activity, spending and investment would
2020 Form 10-K38


be adversely impacted. Therefore, if conditions remain subdued it could weigh on the Bank’s future financial results, as highlighted below in the MD&A.

Loans. Total loans increased by $2.5 billion to $32.2 billion at December 31, 2020 from December 31, 2019 largely due to $2.2 billion of SBA PPP loans classified as commercial and industrial loans, as well as growth in commercial mortgage loans (including construction loans) which increased $827.1 million, or 4.7 percent during the year ended December 31, 2020. The residential mortgage category and most consumer loan categories experienced moderate declines during the year ended December 31, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and a higher level of residential mortgage loans originated for sale. During the year ended December 31, 2020, we originated $1.2 billion of residential mortgage loans for sale rather than held for investment. Loans held for sale totaled $301.4 million and $76.1 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Asset Quality. Prior to our adoption of the CECL standard on January 1, 2020, our past due loans and non-accrual loans which are discussed further below, excluded those loans which were classified as purchased credit impaired (PCI) loans. Under the new standard, Valley's former PCI loans are accounted for as purchased credit deteriorated (PCD) loans and, if applicable, are reported in our past due and non-accrual categories at December 31, 2020.
Total non-performing assets (NPAs), consisting of non-accrual loans, other real estate owned (OREO), other repossessed assets and non-accrual debt security increased $90.1 million, or 86.3 percent to $194.6 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019. This increase was largely due to non-accrual PCD loans totaling approximately $45 million reported at December 31, 2020 and higher non-accrual taxi medallion loans within the commercial and industrial category. Non-accrual loans totaled $185.3 million, or 0.58 percent of our entire loan portfolio of $32.2 billion, at December 31, 2020 as compared to $93.1 million, or 0.31 percent of total loans, at December 31, 2019.
Total accruing past due loans (i.e., loans past due 30 days or more and still accruing interest) increased $30.8 million to $99.0 million, or 0.31 percent of total loans at December 31, 2020 as compared to $68.2 million, or 0.23 percent of total loans, at December 31, 2019. The increase was largely due to an increase in early stage delinquencies in commercial real estate category as well as approximately $11 million of accruing past due loans PCD loans reported at December 31, 2020.
Our lending strategy is based on underwriting standards designed to maintain high credit quality and we remain optimistic regarding the overall future performance of our loan portfolio. However, due to the potential for future credit deterioration caused by the downturn in economic conditions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a number of our borrowers performing under short-term forbearance agreements, management cannot provide assurance that our non-performing assets will not increase substantially from the levels reported at December 31, 2020. See the “Non-performing Assets” section below for further analysis of our asset quality.
Deposits and Other Borrowings. Our mix of total deposits at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 reflects the shift in customer preference for deposits without stated maturities resulting from the uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the low interest rates offered on our time deposits. Additionally, PPP loan originations were deposited into customers' checking accounts which increased the proportion of non-interest bearing deposits in our overall deposit mix. Average non-interest bearing deposits represented approximately 27 percent of total average deposits for the year ended December 31, 2020, whereas savings, NOW and money market accounts were 47 percent and time deposits were 26 percent of total average deposits for the year ended December 31, 2020. Average non-interest bearing deposits, savings, NOW and money market accounts, and time deposits were 25 percent, 45 percent, and 30 percent, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2019. Average total deposits for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 increased by $5.4 billion due, in large part, to the aforementioned PPP loan proceeds, as well as our continuous efforts to encourage new and existing loan borrowers to maintain deposit accounts at Valley, including government deposits. Ending balances of brokered deposits (consisting of both time and money market deposit accounts) were $3.1 billion and $4.1 billion at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
While we believe the current operating environment will likely continue to be favorable for Valley’s deposit gathering initiatives, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain deposit levels at or near those reported at December 31, 2020. Additionally, the vast majority of the PPP loan customers that are Valley depositors are expected to continue to use PPP funds for qualifying payroll and other costs over an 8 to 24 week total period to obtain loan forgiveness. The resulting outflow of funds for such expenditures may contribute to lower levels of deposit balances in 2021.
Average short-term borrowings decreased $448.7 million to $1.6 billion for 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to the success of our retail and government deposit gathering efforts and a moderate shift into long-term borrowings.
Average long-term borrowings increased $899.0 million to approximately $2.9 billion for 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to new FHLB borrowings and our $115.0 million, 5.25 percent fixed-to-floating subordinated notes issued in June
392020 Form 10-K


2020. For further discussion of our average interest bearing liabilities see the “Net Interest Income” section below, and for further discussion of our borrowed funds, see Note 10 to the consolidated financial statements.
Selected Performance Indicators. The following table presents our annualized performance ratios for the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:
 202020192018
Return on average assets0.96 %0.93 %0.86 %
Return on average assets, as adjusted0.99 0.98 0.93 
Return on average shareholders’ equity8.68 8.71 7.91 
Return on average shareholders’ equity, as adjusted8.93 9.19 8.55 
Return on average tangible shareholders’ equity (ROATE)12.82 13.05 12.21 
ROATE, as adjusted13.19 13.77 13.20 
Adjusted return on average assets, adjusted return on average shareholders' equity, ROATE and adjusted ROATE included in the table above are non-GAAP measures. Management believes these measures provide information useful to management and investors in understanding our underlying operational performance, business and performance trends, and that these measures facilitate comparisons of our prior performance with the performance of others in the financial services industry. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for or superior to financial measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures may also be calculated differently from similar measures disclosed by other companies. The non-GAAP measure reconciliations are presented below.
Adjusted net income for the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 was computed as follows:
202020192018
(in thousands)
Net income, as reported$390,606 $309,793 $261,428 
Add: Loss on extinguishment of debt (net of tax)8,649 22,992 — 
Add: Net impairment losses on securities (net of tax)— 2,104 — 
Add: (Gains) losses on securities transactions (net of tax)(377)108 1,677 
Add: Severance expense (net of tax) (1)
1,489 3,477 1,907 
Add: Tax credit investment impairment (net of tax) (2)
— 1,746 — 
Add: Branch related asset impairment (net of tax)— — 1,304 
Add: Legal expenses (litigation reserve impact only, net of tax)— — 8,726 
Add: Merger related expenses (net of tax) (3)
1,371 11,929 12,494 
Add: Income tax expense (benefit) (4)
— 31,123 (274)
Less: Gain on sale-leaseback transaction (net of tax) (5)
— (56,414)— 
Less: Gain on sale of Visa Class B shares (net of tax) (6)
— — (4,677)
Net income, as adjusted$401,738 $326,858 $282,585 
(1)    Severance expense is included in salary and employee benefits expense.
(2)    Impairment is included in the amortization of tax credit investments.
(3)    Merger related expenses are primarily within salary and employee benefits expense, professional and legal fees, and other non-interest expenses.
(4)    Income tax expense related to reserves for uncertain tax positions in 2019, and a net income tax benefit related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the USAB acquisition in 2018.
(5)    The gain on sale leaseback transactions is included in net gains on the sales of assets within other non-interest income.
(6)    The gain from the sale of non-marketable securities is included in other non-interest.
In addition to the items used to calculate net income, as adjusted, in the tables above, our net income is, from time to time, impacted by fluctuations in the level of net gains on sales of loans and swap fees recognized from commercial loan customer transactions. These amounts can vary widely from period to period due to, among other factors, the amount of residential mortgage loans originated for sale, bulk loan portfolio sales and commercial loan customer demand for certain products. See the “Non-Interest Income” section below for more details.
2020 Form 10-K40


Adjusted annualized return on average assets for the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 was computed by dividing adjusted net income by average assets, as follows:
202020192018
($ in thousands)
Net income, as adjusted$401,738$326,858$282,585
Average assets40,557,32633,442,73830,229,276
Return on average assets, as adjusted0.99 %0.98 %0.93 %
Adjusted annualized return on average shareholders' equity for the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 was computed by dividing adjusted net income by average shareholders' equity, as follows:
202020192018
($ in thousands)
Net income, as adjusted$401,738$326,858$282,585
Average shareholders' equity4,500,0673,555,4833,304,531
Return on average shareholders' equity, as adjusted8.93 %9.19 %8.55 %
ROATE and adjusted ROATE for the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 were computed by dividing net income and adjusted net income, respectively, by average shareholders’ equity less average goodwill and average other intangible assets, as follows:
 202020192018
 ($ in thousands)
Net income$390,606$309,793$261,428
Net income, as adjusted$401,738$326,858$282,585
Average shareholders’ equity$4,500,067$3,555,483$3,304,531
Less: Average goodwill and other intangible assets1,454,3491,182,1401,163,398
Average tangible shareholders’ equity$3,045,718$2,373,343$2,141,133
 ROATE12.82 %13.05 %12.21 %
 ROATE, as adjusted13.19 %13.77 %13.20 %
Net Interest Income
Net interest income consists of interest income and dividends earned on interest earning assets less interest expense on interest bearing liabilities and represents the main source of income for Valley. The net interest margin on a fully tax equivalent basis is calculated by dividing tax equivalent net interest income by average interest earning assets and is a key measurement used in the banking industry to measure income from interest earning assets.
Annual Period 2020. Net interest income on a tax equivalent basis increased by $220.2 million to $1.1 billion for 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase was mainly driven by interest income related to a $5.6 billion increase in average loan balances, including the impact of $3.4 billion of loans acquired from Oritani on December 1, 2019, and an 85 basis point reduction in the cost of our total interest bearing liabilities due to the lower interest rate environment in 2020. The changes in our average interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities are discussed further below.
The net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis was 3.03 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020 and increased 8 basis points as compared to 2019. However, the yield on average interest earning assets decreased 59 basis points mainly attributable to decreased yield on average loans and average taxable investments. The yield on average loans decreased 53 basis points to 4.04 percent for 2020 as compared to 4.57 percent in 2019 largely due to new and refinanced loan originations at lower market interest rates, loan prepayments, and interest rates resetting on adjustable rate loans throughout 2020. Our average taxable investment portfolio yield decreased 54 basis points during 2020 as compared to the prior year due to the combination of principal repayments on higher yielding residential mortgage-backed securities, a $10.2 million increase in net premium amortization and lower yielding new investments purchased in 2020. More than offsetting the decrease in the yield on average interest earning assets, the cost of average interest bearing liabilities decreased 85 basis points to 0.99 percent for 2020 as compared to the prior year. The decrease in the overall cost as compared to 2019 was mainly due to significantly lower rates paid on our deposits products and a customer shift from higher cost maturing time deposits to deposits without stated maturities, as well as lower rates on short-term borrowings following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of funds was largely influenced by decreases which occurred in March 2020 totaling 150 basis points in the daily effective federal funds rate to a
412020 Form 10-K


target range of between zero and 0.25 percent for the remainder of 2020. The average daily effective federal funds rate was 2.16 percent in 2019.
Average interest earning assets totaling $37.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 increased $6.4 billion, or 21.0 percent, as compared to 2019. Average loan balances increased $5.6 billion to $31.8 billion in 2020 and was the major driver in the $62.1 million increase in interest income on a tax equivalent basis for loans as compared to 2019. The growth in average loans during 2020 was due, in large part, to the $3.4 billion in loans acquired from Oritani, SBA PPP loans with average balances of $1.5 billion during the year ended December 31, 2020 and strong loan demand for commercial loans. These items were partially offset by principal repayments that outpaced new loan originations held for investment in the residential mortgage and consumer loan categories. The new commercial loan production in 2020 came from a blend of new and existing customer relationships with significant geographic and product diversification across our primary markets.
Average interest bearing liabilities increased $3.9 billion to $26.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 from the same period in 2019 mainly due to $2.9 billion of deposits assumed in the Oritani acquisition and higher retail and government deposit balances within our branch network. The average non-interest bearing deposits and savings, NOW and money market account balances increased by $1.9 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively, largely due to deposits from PPP loan customers, higher savings rates amongst our customers and increased customer preference for deposits without stated maturities driven by the combination of the uncertainties of the pandemic and the low rates offered on our time deposit products. Average time deposits increased $604.5 million to $8.1 billion for 2020 as compared to 2019 mainly due to $1.2 billion of time deposits acquired from Oritani, partially offset by the normal run off of maturing retail CDs. Average balances for retail CDs increased by $424.6 million to $4.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the prior year. Average short-term and long-term borrowings decreased $448.7 million and increased $899.0 million in 2020, respectively, as compared to 2019 due, in part, to our ability to lock in lower rates on long-term FHLB advances to fund new loan activities. See the "Fourth Quarter 2020" section below for more information regarding changes in our interest bearing liabilities during 2020.
Fourth Quarter 2020. Net interest income on a tax equivalent basis totaling $288.8 million for the fourth quarter 2020 increased $4.7 million and $49.2 million as compared to the third quarter 2020 and fourth quarter 2019, respectively. The increase compared to the third quarter 2020 was mainly due to lower rates on our deposit products combined with a shift in customer preference towards deposits without stated maturities, as well as a reduction in average short-term and long-term borrowings funded by excess liquidity. Interest expense of $46.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 decreased $8.1 million as compared to the third quarter 2020. Overall, average interest-bearing liabilities decreased $354.6 million and average non-interest bearing deposits increased $323.1 million in the fourth quarter 2020 as compared to the third quarter 2020. Interest income on a tax equivalent basis decreased $3.4 million to $335.0 million for the fourth quarter 2020 as compared to the third quarter 2020 mainly due to a 3 basis point decrease in the yield on average loans, as well as a moderate decline in interest and dividends from investment securities. The decrease was mostly attributable to principal repayments on securities, and a decline in our reinvestment activity within the available for sale investment securities portfolio largely due to the low interest rate environment.
The net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis of 3.06 percent for the fourth quarter 2020 increased 5 basis points as compared to 3.01 percent for the third quarter 2020, and increased 10 basis points from 2.96 percent for the fourth quarter 2019. The yield on average interest earning assets decreased by 4 basis points on a linked quarter basis mostly due to the impact of the lower interest rate environment. The yield on average loans decreased to 3.86 percent for the fourth quarter 2020 from 3.89 percent for the third quarter 2020 largely due to the continued repayment of higher yielding loans, partially offset by a $2.2 million increase in interest and fees from PPP loans. The increase in interest and fees on PPP loans was mostly caused by a moderate level of loan forgiveness activity and acceleration of net unamortized deferred loan fees during the fourth quarter 2020. The overall cost of average interest-bearing liabilities decreased by 11 basis points to 0.69 percent for the fourth quarter 2020 as compared to the linked third quarter 2020 due to the lower rates offered on deposit products and the shift to lower cost deposits as well as lower average short- and long-term borrowing balances with repayments funded by excess liquidity. This includes our prepayment of $534 million in higher cost long-term borrowings during December 2020 that is expected to positively impact our average cost of funds in the first quarter 2021. Our cost of total average deposits was 0.33 percent for the fourth quarter 2020 as compared to 0.41 percent for the third quarter 2020.
Looking forward, we expect ongoing interest rate pressures on the level of our net interest margin for the first quarter 2021 and beyond due to lower market rate driven yields on our overall mix of new and refinanced loan originations. However, we are encouraged by the opportunity to reprice stated maturity deposits and borrowings maturing over the 12-month period. We have over $4 billion of retail CDs maturing at an average cost of approximately 80 basis points during the first nine months of 2021.

2020 Form 10-K42


The following table reflects the components of net interest income for each of the three years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:

ANALYSIS OF AVERAGE ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY AND
NET INTEREST INCOME ON A TAX EQUIVALENT BASIS
 
 202020192018
 Average
Balance
InterestAverage
Rate
Average
Balance
InterestAverage
Rate
Average
Balance
InterestAverage
Rate
 ($ in thousands)
Assets
Interest earning assets:
Loans (1)(2)
$31,785,859 $1,284,807 4.04 %$26,235,253 $1,198,908 4.57 %$23,340,330 $1,033,996 4.43 %
Taxable investments (3)
3,446,670 81,893 2.38 3,394,397 98,949 2.92 3,409,687 100,515 2.95 
Tax-exempt investments (1)(3)
549,204 18,434 3.36 647,178 22,051 3.41 733,956 27,220 3.71 
Interest bearing deposits with banks1,229,200 2,556 0.21 298,702 5,723 1.92 218,938 3,236 1.48 
Total interest earning assets37,010,933 1,387,690 3.75 30,575,530 1,325,631 4.34 27,702,911 1,164,967 4.21 
Allowance for loan losses(295,131)(157,562)(136,775)
Cash and due from banks309,539 275,619 278,181 
Other assets3,495,464 2,762,478 2,431,537 
Unrealized losses on securities available for sale, net36,521 (13,327)(46,578)
Total assets$40,557,326 $33,442,738 $30,229,276 
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity
Interest bearing liabilities:
Savings, NOW and money market deposits$14,280,137 $76,169 0.53 %$11,406,073 $145,177 1.27 %$11,093,136 $108,394 0.98 %
Time deposits8,125,869 106,067 1.31 7,521,338 166,693 2.22 5,131,167 81,959 1.60 
Total interest bearing deposits22,406,006 182,236 0.81 18,927,411 311,870 1.65 16,224,303 190,353 1.17 
Short-term borrowings1,621,581 11,372 0.70 2,070,258 47,862 2.31 2,187,998 45,930 2.10 
Long-term borrowings (4)
2,850,213 71,207 2.50 1,951,203 63,220 3.24 2,116,619 65,762 3.11 
Total interest bearing liabilities26,877,800 264,815 0.99 22,948,872 422,952 1.84 20,528,920 302,045 1.47 
Non-interest bearing deposits8,284,376 6,364,986 6,193,839 
Other liabilities895,083 573,397 201,986 
Shareholders’ equity4,500,067 3,555,483 3,304,531 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$40,557,326 $33,442,738 $30,229,276 
Net interest income/interest rate spread (5)
1,122,875 2.76 %902,679 2.50 %862,922 2.74 %
Tax equivalent adjustment(3,971)(4,631)(5,719)
Net interest income, as reported$1,118,904 $898,048 $857,203 
Net interest margin (6)
3.02 %2.94 %3.09 %
Tax equivalent effect0.01 0.01 0.02 %
Net interest margin on a fully tax equivalent basis (6)
3.03 %2.95 %3.11 %
(1)Interest income is presented on a tax equivalent basis using a 21 percent federal tax rate.
(2)Loans are stated net of unearned income and include non-accrual loans.
(3)The yield for securities that are classified as available for sale is based on the average historical amortized cost.
(4)Includes junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts which are presented separately on the consolidated statements of condition.
(5)Interest rate spread represents the difference between the average yield on interest earning assets and the average cost of interest bearing liabilities and is presented on a fully tax equivalent basis.
(6)Net interest income as a percentage of total average interest earning assets.

432020 Form 10-K


The following table demonstrates the relative impact on net interest income of changes in the volume of interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities and changes in rates earned and paid by Valley on such assets and liabilities. Variances resulting from a combination of changes in volume and rates are allocated to the categories in proportion to the absolute dollar amounts of the change in each category.

CHANGE IN NET INTEREST INCOME ON A TAX EQUIVALENT BASIS
 
 2020 Compared to 20192019 Compared to 2018
 Change
Due to
Volume
Change
Due to
Rate
Total
Change
Change
Due to
Volume
Change
Due to
Rate
Total
Change
 (in thousands)
Interest income:
Loans*$234,704 $(148,805)$85,899 $131,473 $33,439 $164,912 
Taxable investments1,502 (18,558)(17,056)(449)(1,117)(1,566)
Tax-exempt investments*(3,293)(324)(3,617)(3,063)(2,106)(5,169)
Federal funds sold and other interest bearing deposits5,471 (8,638)(3,167)1,372 1,115 2,487 
Total increase (decrease) in interest income238,384 (176,325)62,059 129,333 31,331 160,664 
Interest expense:
Savings, NOW and money market deposits30,152 (99,160)(69,008)3,137 33,646 36,783 
Time deposits12,497 (73,123)(60,626)46,254 38,480 84,734 
Short-term borrowings(8,658)(27,832)(36,490)(2,558)4,490 1,932 
Long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures24,674 (16,687)7,987 (5,282)2,740 (2,542)
Total increase (decrease) in interest expense58,665 (216,802)(158,137)41,551 79,356 120,907 
Increase (decrease) in net interest income$179,719 $40,477 $220,196 $87,782 $(48,025)$39,757 
*    Interest income is presented on a tax equivalent basis using a 21 percent federal tax rate.
Non-Interest Income
Non-interest income represented 11.7 percent and 14.0 percent of total interest income plus non-interest income for 2020 and 2019, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2020, non-interest income decreased $31.5 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 largely due to the gain on the sale of several Valley properties recognized in 2019. See further details below.
2020 Form 10-K44


The following table presents the components of non-interest income for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018: 
 202020192018
 (in thousands)
Trust and investment services$12,415 $12,646 $12,633 
Insurance commissions7,398 10,409 15,213 
Service charges on deposit accounts18,257 23,636 26,817 
Gains (losses) on securities transactions, net524 (150)(2,342)
Net impairment losses on securities recognized in earnings— (2,928)— 
Fees from loan servicing10,352 9,794 9,319 
Gains on sales of loans, net42,251 18,914 20,515 
(Losses) gains on sales of assets, net(1,891)78,333 (2,401)
Bank owned life insurance10,083 8,232 8,691 
Other83,643 55,634 45,607 
Total non-interest income$183,032 $214,520 $134,052 
Insurance commissions decreased $3.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 from $10.4 million in 2019 mainly due to lower volumes of business generated by the Bank's insurance agency subsidiary.
Service charges on deposit accounts decreased $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 mostly due to waived fees related to COVID-19 customer relief efforts in 2020.
Net impairment losses on securities totaling $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 relate to one special revenue bond in default of its contractual payments. See the “Investment Securities Portfolio” section of this MD&A and Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for further details on our investment securities impairment analysis.
Fees from loan servicing increased $558 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2020 from $9.8 million in 2019 mainly due to additional fees from mortgage servicing rights of loans originated and sold by us during the year ended December 31, 2020. The aggregate principal balances of residential mortgage loans serviced by us for others increased approximately $123 million to $3.5 billion, at December 31, 2020 from $3.4 billion at December 31, 2019.
Net gains on sales of loans increased $23.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to higher spreads (or margins) on individual loan sales despite a slightly higher volume of residential mortgage loans sold during 2020. During 2020, we sold $1.0 billion of residential mortgages as compared to $935 million of residential mortgage loans sold during 2019, including $30 million and $436 million of pre-existing loans sold from our residential mortgage loan portfolio, respectively. Our net gains on sales of loans for each period are comprised of both gains on sales of residential mortgages and the net change in the mark to market gains and losses on our loans held for sale carried at fair value at each period end. The net gains in the fair value of loans held for sale totaled $13.5 million and $1.0 million in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Residential mortgage loan originations (including both new and refinanced loans) increased 22.3 percent to $1.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $1.6 billion in 2019. See further discussions of our residential mortgage loan origination activity under “Loans” in the "Executive Summary" section of this MD&A above and Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements for details about the fair value methodology.
Net gains on sales of assets decreased $80.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 primarily due to a $78.5 million gain on the sale (and leaseback) of 26 bank properties recognized during the first quarter 2019.
Other non-interest income increased $28.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 mainly due to a $25.6 million increase in fee income related to derivative interest rate swaps executed with commercial lending customers. Swap fee income totaled $59.0 million and $33.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. A decline in commercial loan activity in 2021, as well as several other factors, could have a significant negative impact on our ability to generate swap fee income at or near the fees realized in 2020.

452020 Form 10-K


Non-Interest Expense
Non-interest expense increased $14.6 million to $646.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The following table presents the components of non-interest expense for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018: 
 202020192018
  (in thousands) 
Salary and employee benefits expense$333,221 $327,431 $333,816 
Net occupancy and equipment expense129,002 118,191 108,763 
FDIC insurance assessment18,949 21,710 28,266 
Amortization of other intangible assets24,645 18,080 18,416 
Professional and legal fees32,348 20,810 34,141 
Loss on extinguishment of debt12,036 31,995 — 
Amortization of tax credit investments13,335 20,392 24,200 
Telecommunication expense10,737 9,883 12,102 
Other71,875 63,063 69,357 
Total non-interest expense$646,148 $631,555 $629,061 
Salary and employee benefits expense increased $5.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase was largely due to additional salaries related to Bank branch and other operational staff retained from the Oritani acquisition, higher cash incentive compensation (including $2.2 million of special bonuses paid to hourly and part-time employees to reward them for their efforts and contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic) and increased medical expenses. These additional expenses were partially offset by cost reductions from our ongoing branch transformation efforts and other operational improvements during the year ended December 31, 2020 and lower merger related charges. Change in control, severance and retention expenses related to bank acquisitions was $13.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. Severance costs related to operational restructuring efforts and our branch transformation strategy totaled $2.1 million and $4.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Net occupancy and equipment expenses increased $10.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to higher rental expenses resulting from a sale leaseback transaction completed near the end of the first quarter 2019 and higher depreciation expense related to computer equipment and new data centers placed into service in fourth quarter 2019. In addition, during 2020, we incurred higher equipment and certain other COVID-19 pandemic related expenses which included additional cleaning services for facilities to maintain employee and customer safety. During 2020, we also incurred additional costs associated with branches and other facilities acquired from Oritani, which were partially offset by costs savings from branch closures during 2020 as compared to 2019.
The FDIC insurance assessment decreased in 2020 largely due to the Bank's improved capital position following the Oritani acquisition and retained earnings resulting from a stronger 2020 performance.
Amortization of other intangibles increased $6.6 million to $24.6 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to higher amortization expense of loan servicing rights and core deposit intangible, as well as $818 thousand of net impairment charges of loan servicing rights for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to net recoveries of impairment charges totaling $36 thousand in 2019. The increase in amortization of core deposits intangibles was primarily due to intangibles generated in the Oritani acquisition. See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.
Professional and legal fees increased $11.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase was mainly due to higher costs from technology transformation consulting services, as well as remote work readiness costs largely incurred in the second quarter 2020.
Loss on extinguishment of debt totaling $12.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 reflects prepayment penalties related to the prepayments of $584.3 million of long-term borrowings primarily consisting of FHLB advances prepaid in the fourth quarter. These debt prepayments were funded by excess cash liquidity. See Note 10 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.
Amortization of tax credit investments decreased $7.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 partly due to a decline in impairment. The year ended December 31, 2019 included a $2.4 million impairment charge related to investments in three federal renewable energy tax credit funds sponsored by DC Solar (See Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information). The remainder of the variance from 2019 was mainly due to
2020 Form 10-K46


differences in the timing and amount of such investments and recognition of the related tax credits. Tax credit investments, while negatively impacting the level of our operating expenses and efficiency ratio, directly reduce our income tax expense and effective tax rate.
Other non-interest expense increased $8.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. This increase was largely due to higher data processing costs, certain PPP loan and other COVID-19 related costs, as well as incrementally higher operating expenses in several categories due to the expansion of our operations both organically and through the acquisition of Oritani in the fourth quarter 2019. Net gains on the sale of OREO properties included in other non-interest expense decreased $674 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The negative impact of these times was partially offset by moderate decreases in several other significant components of other expense, such as travel, entertainment and business meals expense during 2020 as compared to 2019.
Efficiency Ratio. The efficiency ratio measures total non-interest expense as a percentage of net interest income plus total non-interest income. We believe this non-GAAP measure provides a meaningful comparison of our operational performance and facilitates investors’ assessments of business performance and trends in comparison to our peers in the banking industry. Our overall efficiency ratio, and its comparability to some of our peers, is negatively impacted primarily by the amortization of tax credit investments, as well as infrequent charges within non-interest income and expense, including, but not limited to the loss on extinguishment of debt, merger expenses and the net gain on sale-leaseback transactions.
The following table presents our efficiency ratio and a reconciliation of the efficiency ratio adjusted for such items during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018: 
 202020192018
 ($ in thousands)
Total non-interest expense, as reported$646,148 $631,555 $629,061 
Less: Loss on extinguishment of debt (pre-tax)12,036 31,995 — 
Less: Amortization of tax credit investments (pre-tax)13,335 20,392 24,200 
Less: Merger related expenses (pre-tax)(1)
1,907 16,579 17,445 
Less: Severance expense (mainly branch transformation, pre-tax)(2)
2,072 4,838 2,662 
Less: Legal expenses (litigation reserve impact only, pre-tax)— — 12,184 
Total non-interest expense, as adjusted616,798 557,751 572,570 
Net interest income1,118,904 898,048 857,203 
Total non-interest income, as reported183,032 214,520 134,052 
Add: Net impairment losses on securities (pre-tax)— 2,928 — 
Add: Branch related asset impairment (pre-tax)(3)
— — 1,821 
Add: Losses on securities transactions, net (pre-tax)(524)150 2,342 
Less: Gain on the sale of Visa Class B shares (pre-tax)(4)
— — 6,530 
Less: Gain on sale leaseback transaction (pre-tax)(5)
— 78,505 — 
Total non-interest income, as adjusted$182,508 $139,093 $131,685 
Gross operating income, as adjusted$1,301,412 $1,037,141 $988,888 
Efficiency ratio49.63 %56.77 %63.46 %
Efficiency ratio, adjusted47.39 %53.78 %57.90 %
(1)Merger related expenses are primarily within salary and employee benefits expense, professional and legal fees, and other expense.
(2)Severance expenses are included in salary and employee benefits.
(3)Branch related asset impairment is included in net losses on sale of assets within non-interest income.
(4)The gain from the sale of non-marketable securities is included in other non-interest income.
(5)The gain on sale leaseback transactions is included in gains on the sales of assets within other non-interest income.
Management continuously monitors its expenses in an effort to optimize Valley's performance. Based upon these efforts and our revenue goals, we achieved an adjusted efficiency ratio (as shown in the table above) of 47.39 percent for 2020 that exceeded our previously announced goal of 51 percent or lower for the year. We can provide no assurance that our adjusted efficiency ratio will remain at the level reported for 2020.

472020 Form 10-K


Income Taxes
Income tax expense was $139.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, reflecting an effective tax rate of 26.3 percent, as compared to $147.0 million for the year ended 2019, reflecting an effective tax rate of 32.2 percent. The decline in the effective tax rate in 2020 as compared to 2019 was mainly due to a $31.1 million increase in the provision for income taxes related to uncertain tax liability positions during 2019. However, income tax expense declined by only $7.5 million as compared to 2019 largely due to an increase in taxable income for the year ended December 31, 2020. At December 31, 2020 and 2019, our uncertain tax liability positions relate to renewable energy tax credits and other tax benefits previously recognized from our investments in mobile generators sold and leased back by DC Solar and its affiliates.
The CARES Act did not have a material impact on our reported income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2020.
U.S. GAAP requires that any change in judgment or change in measurement of a tax position taken in a prior annual period be recognized as a discrete event in the quarter in which it occurs, rather than being recognized as a change in effective tax rate for the current year. Our adherence to these tax guidelines may result in volatile effective income tax rates in future quarterly and annual periods. Factors that could impact management’s judgment include changes in income, tax laws and regulations, and tax planning strategies.
See additional information regarding our income taxes under our “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” section above, as well as Note 13 to the consolidated financial statements.
Business Segments
We have four business segments that we monitor and report on to manage our business operations. These segments are consumer lending, commercial lending, investment management, and corporate and other adjustments. Our reportable segments have been determined based upon Valley’s internal structure of operations and lines of business. Each business segment is reviewed routinely for its asset growth, contribution to income before income taxes and return on average interest earning assets and impairment (if events or circumstances indicate a possible inability to realize the carrying amount). Expenses related to the branch network, all other components of retail banking, along with the back office departments of the Bank are allocated from the corporate and other adjustments segment to each of the other three business segments. Interest expense and internal transfer expense (for general corporate expenses) are allocated to each business segment utilizing a transfer pricing methodology, which involves the allocation of operating and funding costs based on each segment's respective mix of average earning assets and/or liabilities outstanding for the period. The financial reporting for each segment contains allocations and reporting in line with our operations, which may not necessarily be comparable to any other financial institution. The accounting for each segment includes internal accounting policies designed to measure consistent and reasonable financial reporting and may result in income and expense measurements that differ from amounts under U.S. GAAP. Furthermore, changes in management structure or allocation methodologies and procedures may result in changes in reported segment financial data.
Consumer lending. The consumer lending segment represented 21.4 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020, and was mainly comprised of residential mortgage loans and automobile loans, and to a lesser extent, home equity loans, secured personal lines of credit and other consumer loans (including credit card loans). The duration of the residential mortgage loan portfolio (which represented 13.0 percent of our total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020) is subject to movements in the market level of interest rates and forecasted prepayment speeds. The weighted average life of the automobile loans portfolio (representing 4.2 percent of total loans at December 31, 2020) is relatively unaffected by movements in the market level of interest rates. However, the average life may be impacted by new loans as a result of the availability of credit within the automobile marketplace and consumer demand for purchasing new or used automobiles. The consumer lending segment also includes the Wealth Management and Insurance Services Division, comprised of trust, asset management, and insurance services.
Average interest earning assets in this segment increased $269.3 million to $7.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase was largely due to $255 million of loans acquired from Oritani on December 1, 2019, loan growth from residential mortgage loan originations for investment during the first quarter 2020 (prior to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic).
Income before income taxes generated by the consumer lending segment increased $46.6 million to $124.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $77.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 largely due to increases of $28.5 million and $23.5 million in net interest income and non-interest income, respectively. The increase in net interest income was mostly driven by the lower cost of funding and increase in average loans, partially offset by lower yields on loans in the consumer segment. The increase in non-interest income was primarily attributable to higher net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The positive impact of the aforementioned items
2020 Form 10-K48


was partially offset by increases of $4.8 million and $1.5 million in the provision for loan losses and non-interest expense, respectively. The increase in the provision for loan losses for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 was mainly due to the adverse economic forecast caused by COVID-19 pandemic included in our estimate of lifetime expected credit losses for this segment, as well as additional qualitative management adjustments to reflect the potential for higher levels of credit stress related to borrowers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. See further details in the "Allowance for Credit Losses" section of this MD&A.
The net interest margin on the consumer lending portfolio increased 29 basis points to 2.92 percent for the year ended 2020 as compared to 2019 due to a 66 basis point decrease in the costs associated with our funding sources, partially offset by a 37 basis point decrease in the yield on average loans. The decrease in our funding costs was mainly due to both deposits and borrowings continuing to reprice at lower interest rates and the prepayment of the $635 million high cost FHLB advances in December 2019. The 37 basis point decrease in loan yield was largely due to lower yielding new loan volumes. See the "Executive Summary" and the "Net Interest Income" sections above for more details on our loans, deposits and other borrowings.
The return on average interest earning assets before income taxes for the consumer lending segment was 1.73 percent for 2020 compared to 1.12 percent for 2019.
Commercial lending. The commercial lending segment is mainly comprised of floating rate and adjustable rate commercial and industrial loans and construction loans, as well as fixed rate owner occupied and commercial real estate loans. Due to the portfolio’s interest rate characteristics, commercial lending is Valley’s business segment that is most sensitive to movements in market interest rates. Commercial and industrial loans totaled approximately $6.9 billion and represented 21.3 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. Commercial real estate loans and construction loans totaled $18.5 billion and represented 57.3 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2020.
Average interest earning assets in this segment increased $5.3 billion to $24.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase was primarily due to organic loan growth from $2.2 billion of PPP loans originated in 2020, as well as $3.1 billion of commercial loans acquired from Oritani on December 1, 2019.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, income before income taxes for the commercial lending segment increased $79.4 million to $448.6 million as compared to 2019. Net interest income increased $195.1 million to $863.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 mainly due to the combined effect of a $101.5 million increase in interest income driven by higher average loans balances and a $93.6 million decrease in interest expense caused by the reduction in our cost of funds. Non-interest income increased $23.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 primarily due to fee income related to derivative interest rate swaps executed with commercial loan customers which totaled $59.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $33.4 million in 2019. The positive impact of the aforementioned items was partially offset by a $96.1 million increase in the provision for credit losses to $113.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. The increase in the provision for loan losses for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 was mainly due to the adverse economic forecast lifetime expected credit losses during 2020, higher specific reserves for tax medallion loans and qualitative adjustments for potential credit stress related to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the "Allowance for Credit Losses" section below for further details. Internal transfer expense increased $46.5 million to $267.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019.
The net interest margin for this segment increased 4 basis points to 3.5 percent during 2020 as compared to 2019 due to a 66 basis point decrease in the cost of our funding sources, mostly offset by a 62 basis point decrease in the yield on average loans.
The return on average interest earning assets before income taxes for this segment was 1.82 percent for 2020 compared to 1.91 percent for the prior year period.

Investment management. The investment management segment generates a large portion of our income through investments in various types of securities and interest-bearing deposits with other banks. These investments are mainly comprised of fixed rate securities and, depending on our liquid cash position, federal funds sold and interest-bearing deposits with banks (primarily the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) as part of our asset/liability management strategies. The fixed rate investments are one of Valley’s least sensitive assets to changes in market interest rates. However, a portion of the investment portfolio is invested in shorter-duration securities to maintain the overall asset sensitivity of our balance sheet. See the “Asset/Liability Management” section below for further analysis.
Average interest earning assets increased $884.8 million to $5.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 primarily due to a $930.5 million increase in average interest bearing deposits with banks, partially offset by a $45.7 million decline in average investment securities. The increase in average overnight interest bearing deposits with banks
492020 Form 10-K


was mainly due to our higher levels of excess liquidity levels that were maintained in the 2020 period in response to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease in average investment securities was mainly driven by principal repayments on securities with slower reinvestment activity caused by the low interest rate environment.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, income before income taxes for the investment management segment decreased $7.4 million to $19.6 million as compared to 2019 mainly due to increases in internal transfer expense and provision for credit losses for debt securities held to maturity totaling $7.1 million and $635 thousand, respectively.
The net interest margin for this segment decreased 29 basis points to 1.30 percent during the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 due to a 95 basis point decrease in the yield on average investments, partially offset by a 66 basis point decrease in costs associated with our funding sources. The decrease in the yield on average investments during 2020 as compared to one year ago was largely driven by repayment and prepayment of higher yield residential mortgage-backed securities, as well as calls and maturities of state and municipal bonds. Additionally, we have recorded a higher premium amortization expense related to the increased prepayment of mortgage-backed securities and purchased lower yielding investment securities during 2020. The increase in average overnight investments with banks at low yields also contributed to the decline in the net interest margin for the investment management segment.
The return on average interest earning assets before income taxes for this segment was 0.37 percent for 2020 compared to 0.62 percent for 2019.
Corporate and other adjustments. The amounts disclosed as “corporate and other adjustments” represent income and expense items not directly attributable to a specific segment, including net securities gains and losses not reported in the investment management segment above, interest expense related to subordinated notes, amortization and impairment of tax credit investments, as well as non-core items, including the loss on extinguishment of debt and merger expenses.
The pre-tax net loss for the corporate segment totaled $62.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $17.0 million in 2019. The negative change of $45.2 million was mainly due to a decrease in non-interest income coupled with an increase in non-interest expense, partially offset by higher internal transfer income.
Non-interest income decreased $79.9 million to $26.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 from 2019 primarily due to a $78.5 million net gain on the sale (and leaseback) of several bank locations recognized during 2019. Non-interest expense increased $16.2 million to $468.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 largely due to increases in net occupancy and equipment expense, salaries and employee benefits expenses, loss on extinguishment of debt, and professional and legal fees. See further details in the "Non-Interest Expense" section in this MD&A. Internal transfer income increased $52.7 million to $402.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the prior year largely due to general increases related to our growth.

ASSET/LIABILITY MANAGEMENT
Interest Rate Sensitivity
Our success is largely dependent upon our ability to manage interest rate risk. Interest rate risk can be defined as the exposure of our interest rate sensitive assets and liabilities to the movement in interest rates. Our Asset/Liability Management Committee is responsible for managing such risks and establishing policies that monitor and coordinate our sources and uses of funds. Asset/Liability management is a continuous process due to the constant change in interest rate risk factors. In assessing the appropriate interest rate risk levels for us, management weighs the potential benefit of each risk management activity within the desired parameters of liquidity, capital levels and management’s tolerance for exposure to income fluctuations. Many of the actions undertaken by management utilize fair value analysis and attempts to achieve consistent accounting and economic benefits for financial assets and their related funding sources. We have predominately focused on managing our interest rate risk by attempting to match the inherent risk and cash flows of financial assets and liabilities. Specifically, management employs multiple risk management activities such as optimizing the level of new residential mortgage originations retained in our mortgage portfolio through increasing or decreasing loan sales in the secondary market, product pricing levels, the desired maturity levels for new originations, the composition levels of both our interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities, as well as several other risk management activities.
We use a simulation model to analyze net interest income sensitivity to movements in interest rates. The simulation model projects net interest income based on various interest rate scenarios over a 12-month and 24-month period. The model is based on the actual maturity and re-pricing characteristics of rate sensitive assets and liabilities. The model incorporates certain assumptions which management believes to be reasonable regarding the impact of changing interest rates and the prepayment assumptions of certain assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2020. The model assumes changes in interest rates without any proactive change in the composition or size of the balance sheet by management. In the model, the forecasted shape of the yield
2020 Form 10-K50


curve remains static as of December 31, 2020. The impact of interest rate derivatives, such as interest rate swaps, is also included in the model.
Our simulation model is based on market interest rates and prepayment speeds prevalent in the market as of December 31, 2020. Although the size of Valley’s balance sheet is forecasted to remain static as of December 31, 2020, in our model, the composition is adjusted to reflect new interest earning assets and funding originations coupled with rate spreads utilizing our actual originations during 2020. The model utilizes an immediate parallel shift in the market interest rates at December 31, 2020.
The assumptions used in the net interest income simulation are inherently uncertain. Actual results may differ significantly from those presented in the table above, due to the frequency and timing of changes in interest rates, and changes in spreads between maturity and re-pricing categories. Overall, our net interest income is affected by changes in interest rates and cash flows from our loan and investment portfolios. We actively manage these cash flows in conjunction with our liability mix, duration and interest rates to optimize the net interest income, while structuring the balance sheet in response to actual or potential changes in interest rates. Additionally, our net interest income is impacted by the level of competition within our marketplace. Competition can negatively impact the level of interest rates attainable on loans and increase the cost of deposits, which may result in downward pressure on our net interest margin in future periods. Other factors, including, but not limited to, the slope of the yield curve and projected cash flows will impact our net interest income results and may increase or decrease the level of asset sensitivity of our balance sheet.
Convexity is a measure of how the duration of a financial instrument changes as market interest rates change. Potential movements in the convexity of bonds held in our investment portfolio, as well as the duration of the loan portfolio may have a positive or negative impact on our net interest income in varying interest rate environments. As a result, the increase or decrease in forecasted net interest income may not have a linear relationship to the results reflected in the table below. Management cannot provide any assurance about the actual effect of changes in interest rates on our net interest income.
    The following table reflects management’s expectations of the change in our net interest income over the next 12-month period considering the aforementioned assumptions. While an instantaneous and severe shift in interest rates was used in this simulation model, we believe that any actual shift in interest rates would likely be more gradual and would therefore have a more modest impact than shown in the table below. 
 Estimated Change in
Future Net Interest Income
Changes in Interest RatesDollar
Change
Percentage
Change
(in basis points)($ in thousands)
+200$39,132 3.47 %
+10021,769 1.93 
- 100(36,059)(3.19)
- 200(39,083)(3.46)
As noted in the table above, a 100 basis point immediate increase in interest rates combined with a static balance sheet where the size, mix, and proportions of assets and liabilities remain unchanged is projected to increase net interest income over the next 12-month period by 1.93 percent as compared to December 31, 2019 (which projected an increase of 0.81 percent in net interest income over a 12-month period). Management believes the interest rate sensitivity remains within an acceptable tolerance range at December 31, 2020. However, the level of net interest income sensitivity may increase or decrease in the future as a result of several factors, including, but not limited to potential changes in secondary mortgage loan sales, deposit and borrowings strategies, the slope of the yield curve and projected cash flows.

512020 Form 10-K


The following table sets forth the amounts of interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities that were outstanding at December 31, 2020 and their associated fair values. The expected cash flows are categorized based on each financial instrument’s anticipated maturity or interest rate reset date in each of the future periods presented.
INTEREST RATE SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS
Rate20212022202320242025ThereafterTotal
Balance
Fair
Value
 ($ in thousands)
Interest sensitive assets:
Interest bearing deposits with banks0.10 %$1,071,360 $— $— $— $— $— $1,071,360 $1,071,360 
Equity securities2.79 29,378 — — — — — 29,378 29,378 
Investment securities available for sale2.26 427,937 301,174 146,051 93,599 93,774 276,938 1,339,473 1,339,473 
Investment securities held to maturity2.25 411,734 417,771 309,740 164,189 145,511 724,066 2,173,011 2,227,612 
Loans held for sale, at fair value3.07 301,427 — — — — — 301,427 301,427 
Loans3.81 8,778,292 5,403,499 3,303,992 2,296,397 1,676,110 10,758,822 32,217,112 31,635,060 
Total interest sensitive assets3.55 %$11,020,128 $6,122,444 $3,759,783 $2,554,185 $1,915,395 $11,759,826 $37,131,761 $36,604,310 
Interest sensitive liabilities:
Deposits:
Savings, NOW and money market0.15 %$16,015,658 $— $— $— $— $— $16,015,658 $16,015,658 
Time0.75 5,877,581 502,743 167,077 59,719 38,229 69,329 6,714,678 6,639,022 
Short-term borrowings0.39 1,147,958 — — — — — 1,147,958 1,151,478 
Long-term borrowings2.75 860,124 29,377 553,164 300,000 378,000 175,000 2,295,665 2,405,345 
Junior subordinated debentures2.68 — — — — — 56,065 56,065 57,779 
Total interest sensitive liabilities0.55 %$23,901,321 $532,120 $720,241 $359,719 $416,229 $300,394 $26,230,024 $26,269,282 
Interest sensitivity gap$(12,881,193)$5,590,324 $3,039,542 $2,194,466 $1,499,166 $11,459,432 $10,901,737 $10,335,028 
Ratio of interest sensitive assets to interest sensitive liabilities0.46:111.51:15.22:17.10:24.60:139.15:11.42:11.39:1
The above table provides an approximation of the projected re-pricing of assets and liabilities at December 31, 2020 based on the contractual maturities, adjusted for anticipated prepayments of principal (including anticipated call dates on long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures), and scheduled rate adjustments. The prepayment experience reflected herein is based on historical experience combined with market consensus expectations derived from independent external sources. The actual repayments of these instruments could vary substantially if future prepayments differ from historical experience or current market expectations. While all non-maturity deposit liabilities are reflected in the 2021 column in the table above, management controls the re-pricing of the vast majority of the interest-bearing instruments within these liabilities.
Our cash flow derivatives are designed to protect us from upward movement in interest rates on certain deposits and other borrowings. The interest rate sensitivity table reflects the sensitivity at current interest rates. As a result, the notional amount of our derivatives is not included in the table. We use various assumptions to estimate fair values. See Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of fair value measurements.
The total gap re-pricing within one year as of December 31, 2020 was a negative $12.9 billion, representing a ratio of interest sensitive assets to interest sensitive liabilities of 0.46:1. The total gap re-pricing position, as reported in the table above, reflects the projected interest rate sensitivity of our principal cash flows based on market conditions as of December 31, 2020. As the market level of interest rates and associated prepayment speeds move, the total gap re-pricing position will change accordingly, but not likely in a linear relationship. Management does not view our one-year gap position as of December 31, 2020 as presenting an unusually high risk potential, although no assurances can be given that we are not at risk from interest rate increases or decreases.
2020 Form 10-K52



Liquidity and Cash Requirements
Bank Liquidity. Liquidity measures the ability to satisfy current and future cash flow needs as they become due. A bank’s liquidity reflects its ability to meet loan demand, to accommodate possible outflows in deposits and to take advantage of interest rate opportunities in the marketplace. Liquidity management is carefully performed and reported by our Treasury Department to two Board committees. Among other actions, Treasury reviews historical funding requirements, current liquidity position, sources and stability of funding, marketability of assets, options for attracting additional funds, and anticipated future funding needs, including the level of unfunded commitments. Our goal is to maintain sufficient liquidity to cover current and potential funding requirements.
The Bank has no required regulatory liquidity ratios to maintain; however, it adheres to an internal liquidity policy. The current policy requires that we may not have a ratio of loans to deposits in excess of 110 percent or reliance on wholesale funding greater than 25 percent of total funding. The Bank was in compliance with the foregoing policies at December 31, 2020.
At December 31, 2020, the Bank had various contractual obligations totaling $7.9 billion and $10.1 billion of maturing liabilities due in 12 months or less and greater than 1 year, respectively.
The following table summarized maturities of contractual obligations of the Bank at December 31, 2020:
One Year
or Less
One to
Three Years
Three to
Five Years
Over Five
Years
Total
(in thousands)
Time deposits$5,877,581 $669,820 $97,948 $69,329 $6,714,678 
Short-term borrowings1,147,958 — — — 1,147,958 
Long-term borrowings852,519 457,540 579,635 — 1,889,694 
Lease obligations35,944 62,856 55,027 122,848 276,675 
Capital expenditures22,744 — — — 22,744 
Other purchase obligations 39,793 1,657 712 — 42,162 
Total$7,976,539 $1,191,873 $733,322 $192,177 $10,093,911 
In the ordinary course of operations, the Bank enters into various financial obligations, including contractual obligations that may require future cash payments. As a financial services provider, we routinely enter into commitments to extend credit, including loan commitments, standby and commercial letters of credit. Such commitments are subject to the same credit policies and approval process accorded to loans made by the Bank. We enter into forward commitments for the future delivery of residential mortgage loans when interest rate lock commitments are entered into in order to economically hedge the effect of future changes in interest rates on Bank's commitments to fund the loans, as well as on its portfolio of mortgage loans held for sale. Commitments to extend credit and standby letters of credit are subject to change since many of these commitments are expected to expire unused or only partially used based upon our historical experience, the total amounts of these commitments do not necessarily reflect future cash requirements. At December 31, 2020 our off-balance sheet commitments totaled $7.8 billion, inclusive of commitments of $2.9 billion due in 12 months or less. See Note 16 to the consolidated financial statements for further details.
Management believes the Bank has the ability to generate and obtain adequate amounts of cash to meet its short-term and long-term obligations as they come due by utilizing various cash resources described below.
On the asset side of the balance sheet, the Bank has numerous sources of liquid funds in the form of cash and due from banks, interest bearing deposits with banks (including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), investment securities held to maturity that are maturing within 90 days or would otherwise qualify as maturities if sold (i.e., 85 percent of original cost basis has been repaid), investment securities available for sale, loans held for sale, and, from time to time, federal funds sold and receivables related to unsettled securities transactions. Liquid assets totaled approximately $3.1 billion, representing 8.3 percent of earning assets, at December 31, 2020 and $2.2 billion, representing 6.4 percent of earning assets, at December 31, 2019. Of the $3.1 billion of liquid assets at December 31, 2020, approximately $789.0 million of various investment securities were pledged to counterparties to support our earning asset funding strategies. We anticipate the receipt of approximately $926.0 million in principal from securities in the total investment portfolio over the next 12-month period due to normally scheduled principal repayments and expected prepayments of certain securities, primarily residential mortgage-backed securities.
532020 Form 10-K


Additional liquidity is derived from scheduled loan payments of principal and interest, as well as prepayments received. Loan principal payments (including loans held for sale at December 31, 2020) are projected to be approximately $8.9 billion over the next 12-month period. As a contingency plan for significant funding needs, liquidity could also be derived from the sale of conforming residential mortgages from our loan portfolio, or from the temporary curtailment of lending activities.
On the liability side of the balance sheet, we utilize multiple sources of funds to meet liquidity needs, including retail and commercial deposits, brokered and municipal deposits, and short-term and long-term borrowings. Our core deposit base, which generally excludes fully insured brokered deposits and both retail and brokered certificates of deposit over $250 thousand, represents the largest of these sources. Average core deposits totaled approximately $25.8 billion and $20.4 billion for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, representing 69.8 percent and 66.8 percent of average earning assets at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The level of interest bearing deposits is affected by interest rates offered, which is often influenced by our need for funds and the need to match the maturities of assets and liabilities.
The following table lists, by maturity, all certificates of deposit of $250 thousand and over at December 31, 2020: 
 2020
 (in thousands)
Less than three months$602,581 
Three to six months382,060 
Six to twelve months272,531 
More than twelve months138,114 
Total$1,395,286 
Additional funding may be provided through deposit gathering networks and in the form of federal funds purchased obtained through our well established relationships with several correspondent banks. While these lending lines are uncommitted, management believes that we could borrow approximately $1.5 billion for a short time from these banks on a collective basis. The Bank is also a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and has the ability to borrow from them in the form of FHLB advances secured by pledges of certain eligible collateral, including but not limited to U.S. government and agency mortgage-backed securities and a blanket assignment of qualifying first lien mortgage loans, consisting of both residential mortgage and commercial real estate loans. Additionally, Valley's collateral pledged to the FHLB may be used to obtain Municipal Letters of Credit (MULOC) to collateralize certain municipal deposits held by Valley. At December 31, 2020, Valley had $700 million of MULOCs outstanding for this purpose. Furthermore, we are able to obtain overnight borrowings from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York via the discount window as a contingency for additional liquidity. At December 31, 2020, our borrowing capacity (excluding added capacity available to us by pledging PPP loans), under the Federal Reserve Bank's discount window was approximately $1.6 billion.
We also have access to other short-term and long-term borrowing sources to support our asset base, such as repos (i.e., securities sold under agreements to repurchase). Short-term borrowings (consisting of FHLB advances, repos, and from time to time, federal funds purchased) increased $55.0 million to $1.1 billion at December 31, 2020 from December 31, 2019 largely due to an increase of $60 million in FHLB advances.
Average short-term FHLB advances exceeded 30 percent of total shareholders' equity at December 31, 2019. The following table sets forth information regarding Valley’s short-term FHLB advances at the date and for the year ended December 31, 2019:
2019
 ($ in thousands)
FHLB advances:
Average balance outstanding$1,681,844 
Maximum outstanding at any month-end during the period2,510,000 
Balance outstanding at end of period940,000 
Weighted average interest rate during the period1.88 %
Weighted average interest rate at the end of the period1.85 

2020 Form 10-K54


Corporation Liquidity. Valley's long-term cash requirements included obligations under subordinated debt and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trust totaling $400 million and $60.8 million at December 31, 2020, respectively. Valley’s recurring cash requirements primarily consist of dividends to preferred and common shareholders and interest expense on subordinated notes and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts. As part of our on-going asset/liability management strategies, Valley could also use cash to repurchase shares of its outstanding common stock under its share repurchase program or redeem its callable junior subordinated debentures. These cash needs are routinely satisfied by dividends collected from the Bank. Projected cash flows from the Bank are expected to be adequate to pay preferred and common dividends, if declared, and interest expense payable to subordinated note holders and capital trusts, given the current capital levels and current profitable operations of the bank subsidiary. In addition to dividends received from the Bank, Valley can satisfy its cash requirements by utilizing its own cash and potential new funds borrowed from outside sources or capital issuances. Valley also has the right to defer interest payments on the junior subordinated debentures, and therefore distributions on its trust preferred securities for consecutive quarterly periods up to five years, but not beyond the stated maturity dates, and subject to other conditions.
Investment Securities Portfolio
The primary purpose of the investment portfolio is to provide a source of earnings, be a source of liquidity, and serve as a tool for managing interest rate risk. The decision to purchase or sell securities is based upon the current assessment of long and short-term economic and financial conditions, including the interest rate environment and other statement of financial condition components. See additional information under "Interest Rate Sensitivity", "Liquidity" and "Capital Adequacy" sections elsewhere in this MD&A.
As of December 31, 2020, our investment portfolio was comprised of equity securities (mainly consisting of a money market mutual fund and investments in public and private Community Reinvestment Act funds), U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. government agency securities, taxable and tax-exempt issues of states and political subdivisions, residential mortgage-backed securities, single-issuer trust preferred securities principally issued by bank holding companies and high quality corporate bonds. Among other securities, our available for sale debt securities such as bank issued and other corporate bonds, as well as municipal special revenue bonds, that may pose a higher risk of future impairment charges to us as a result of the uncertain economic environment and its potential negative effect on the future performance of the security issuers.
There were no securities in the name of any one issuer exceeding 10 percent of shareholders’ equity, except for residential mortgage-backed securities issued by Ginnie Mae and Fannie Mae. Certain securities with limited marketability and/or restrictions, such as Federal Home Loan Bank and Federal Reserve Bank stocks, are carried at cost and are included in other assets.

552020 Form 10-K


Investment securities at December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 were as follows: 
202020192018
 (in thousands)
Equity securities$29,378 $41,410 $— 
Available for sale debt securities
U.S. Treasury securities51,393 50,943 49,306 
U.S. government agency securities26,157 29,243 36,277 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions:
Obligations of states and state agencies41,799 78,573 97,113 
Municipal bonds38,151 91,478 99,979 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions79,950 170,051 197,092 
Residential mortgage-backed securities1,090,022 1,254,786 1,429,782 
Corporate and other debt securities91,951 61,778 37,087 
Total available for sale debt securities1,339,473 1,566,801 1,749,544 
Total investment securities (fair value)$1,368,851 $1,608,211 $1,749,544 
Held to maturity debt securities
U.S. Treasury securities$68,126 $138,352 $138,517 
U.S. government agency securities6,222 7,345 8,721 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions:
Obligations of states and state agencies262,762 297,454 341,702 
Municipal bonds207,497 203,251 243,954 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions470,259 500,705 585,656 
Residential mortgage-backed securities1,550,306 1,620,119 1,266,770 
Trust preferred securities37,348 37,324 37,332 
Corporate and other debt securities40,750 32,250 31,250 
Total investment securities held to maturity (amortized cost)$2,173,011 $2,336,095 $2,068,246 
Total investment securities$3,541,862 $3,944,306 $3,817,790 
As of December 31, 2020, total investments decreased $402.4 million or 10.2 percent as compared to 2019 largely due to (i) a combined net decrease of $234.6 million in residential mortgage-backed securities within both the held to maturity and available for sale categories mainly driven by a higher level of prepayments during 2020, (ii) a combined $120.5 million decrease in obligations of states and state agencies within both the held to maturity and available for sale categories mainly due to normal maturities, sales, calls, and paydowns, and (iii) a $70.2 million decrease in held to maturity U.S. Treasury securities.
At December 31, 2020, we had $1.6 billion and $1.1 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities classified as held to maturity and available for sale, respectively. Approximately 66 percent and 56 percent of these residential mortgage-backed securities, respectively, were issued and guaranteed by Ginnie Mae. The remainder of our outstanding residential mortgage-backed security balances at December 31, 2020 were issued by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.


2020 Form 10-K56


The following table presents the remaining contractual maturities (unadjusted for any expected prepayments) with the corresponding weighted-average yields of held to maturity and available for sale debt securities at December 31, 2020:
 0-1 year1-5 years5-10 yearsOver 10 yearsTotal
 Amount
(1)
Yield
(2)
Amount
(1)
Yield
(2)
Amount
(1)
Yield
(2)
Amount
(1)
Yield
(2)
Amount
(1)
Yield
(2)
 ($ in thousands)
Available for sale debt securities
U.S. Treasury securities$— — %$51,393 2.01 %$— — %$— — %$51,393 2.01 %
U.S. government agency securities28 3.08 2,030 2.79 — 24,099 2.72 26,157 2.73 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions: (3)
Obligations of states and state agencies1,245 2.46 4,606 4.44 12,716 6.97 23,232 4.12 41,799 4.97 
Municipal bonds13,282 0.99 7,379 3.17 9,732 5.21 7,758 4.59 38,151 3.22 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions14,527 1.12 11,985 3.66 22,448 6.21 30,990 4.23 79,950 4.14 
Residential mortgage-backed securities (4)
1,335 0.18 17,236 2.00 90,303 2.50 981,148 1.94 1,090,022 1.99 
Corporate and other debt securities— — 19,771 3.41 72,180 4.66 — 91,951 4.39 
Total$15,890 1.04 %$102,415 2.49 %$184,931 3.79 %$1,036,237 2.03 %$1,339,473 2.29 %
Held to maturity debt securities
U.S. Treasury securities$— — %$68,126 3.74 %$— — %$— — %$68,126 3.74 %
U.S. government agency securities— — — 6,222 2.54 6,222 2.54 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions: (3)
Obligations of states and state agencies3,035 3.37 43,449 4.49 105,985 5.19 110,293 3.65 262,762 4.41 
Municipal bonds23,140 3.34 97,067 3.53 30,521 3.97 56,769 4.24 207,497 3.77 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions26,175 3.34 140,516 3.83 136,506 4.92 167,062 3.85 470,259 4.13 
Residential mortgage-backed securities (4)
— 13,477 3.04 5,796 2.82 1,531,033 1.69 1,550,306 1.71 
Trust preferred securities— — 1,353 8.23 35,995 2.30 37,348 2.51 
Corporate and other debt securities2,000 3.06 25,750 3.64 13,000 4.49 — 40,750 3.88 
Total$28,175 3.32 %$247,869 3.74 %$156,655 4.83 %$1,740,312 1.91 %$2,173,011 2.35 %
(1)Held to maturity debt securities amounts are presented at amortized costs, stated at cost less principal reductions, if any, and adjusted for accretion of discounts and amortization of premiums. Available for sale amounts are presented at fair value.
(2)Average yields are calculated on a yield-to-maturity basis.
(3)Average yields on obligations of states and political subdivisions are generally tax-exempt and calculated on a tax-equivalent basis using a statutory federal income tax rate of 21 percent.
(4)Residential mortgage-backed securities are shown using stated final maturity.
The residential mortgage-backed securities portfolio is a significant source of our liquidity through the monthly cash flow of principal and interest. Mortgage-backed securities, like all securities, are sensitive to change in the interest rate environment, increasing and decreasing in value as interest rates fall and rise. As interest rates fall, the potential increase in prepayments can reduce the yield on the mortgage-backed securities portfolio, and reinvestment of the proceeds will be at lower yields. Conversely, rising interest rates may reduce cash flows from prepayments and extend anticipated duration of these assets. We monitor the changes in interest rates, cash flows and duration, in accordance with our investment policies. Management seeks out investment securities with an attractive spread over our cost of funds.
Allowance for Credit Losses and Impairment Analysis
Effective January 1, 2020, Valley adopted ASU No. 2016-13, "Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments", which requires an estimate of lifetime expected credit losses for held to maturity debt securities established as an allowance for credit losses and replaces the other-than-temporarily impaired model for available for sale debt securities.

Available for sale debt securities. The new guidance in ASC Topic 326-30 requires credit losses to be presented as an allowance, rather than as a write-down if management does not intend to sell an available for sale debt security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. Available for sale debt securities in unrealized loss positions are evaluated for impairment related to
572020 Form 10-K


credit losses at least quarterly. In assessing whether a credit loss exists, we compare the present value of cash flows expected to be collected from the security with the amortized cost basis of the security. If the present value of cash flows expected to be collected is less than the amortized cost basis for the security, a credit loss exists and an allowance for credit losses is recorded, limited to the amount the fair value is less than amortized cost basis. Declines in fair value that have not been recorded through an allowance for credit losses, such as declines due to changes in market interest rates, are recorded through other comprehensive income, net of applicable taxes.

We have evaluated all available for sale debt securities that are in an unrealized loss position as of December 31, 2020 and determined that the declines in fair value are mainly attributable to changes in market volatility, due to factors such as interest rates and spread factors, but not attributable to credit quality or other factors. Based on a comparison of the present value of expected cash flows to the amortized cost, management recognized no impairment charges during the year ended December 31, 2020 and, as a result, there was no allowance for credit losses for available for sale debt securities at December 31, 2020.
During 2019, Valley recognized a $2.9 million impairment charge under the other-than-temporary impairment model on one special revenue bond classified as available for sale included in obligations of states and state agencies category. At December 31, 2020, the impaired security had an adjusted amortized cost and fair value of $680 thousand and $815 thousand, respectively. There was no impairment recognized in earnings during the year ended December 31, 2018.
Held to maturity debt securities. As discussed further in Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements, Valley has a zero loss expectation for certain securities within the held to maturity portfolio, including, U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. agency securities, residential mortgage-backed securities issued by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and collateralized municipal bonds. To measure the expected credit losses on held to maturity debt securities that have loss expectations, Valley estimates the expected credit losses using a discounted cash flow model developed by a third party. Assumptions used in the model for pools of securities with common risk characteristics include the historical lifetime probability of default and severity of loss in the event of default, with the model incorporating several economic cycles of loss history data to calculate expected credit losses given default at the individual security level. At December 31, 2020, held to maturity debt securities were carried net of allowance for credit losses totaling $1.4 million. The provision totaled $635 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2020 driven mainly by our negative economic forecast incorporated within the allowance model since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no net charge-offs of debt securities during 2020.
Investment grades. The investment grades in the table below reflect the most current independent analysis performed by third parties of each security as of the date presented and not necessarily the investment grades at the date of our purchase of the securities. For many securities, the rating agencies may not have performed an independent analysis of the tranches owned by us, but rather an analysis of the entire investment pool. For this and other reasons, we believe the assigned investment grades may not accurately reflect the actual credit quality of each security and should not be viewed in isolation as a measure of the quality of our investment portfolio.
2020 Form 10-K58


The following table presents the held to maturity and available for sale debt investment securities portfolios by investment grades at December 31, 2020.
 December 31, 2020
 Amortized
Cost
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
Fair Value
 (in thousands)
Available for sale investment grades:*
AAA Rated$1,152,291 $43,476 $(786)$1,194,981 
AA Rated26,640 672 (32)27,280 
A Rated7,558 206 — 7,764 
BBB Rated31,047 840 (18)31,869 
Non-investment grade11,839 19 (69)11,789 
Not rated64,131 1,673 (14)65,790 
Total debt securities available for sale$1,293,506 $46,886 $(919)$1,339,473 
Held to maturity investment grades:*
AAA Rated$1,821,431 $54,035 $(254)$1,875,212 
AA Rated183,391 6,537 — 189,928 
A Rated14,527 429 — 14,956 
BBB Rated5,000 512 — 5,512 
Non-investment grade5,650 — (105)5,545 
Not rated143,012 813 (7,366)136,459 
Total debt securities held to maturity$2,173,011 $62,326 $(7,725)$2,227,612 
*    Rated using external rating agencies. Ratings categories include entire range. For example, “A Rated” includes A+, A, and A-. Split rated securities with two ratings are categorized at the higher of the rating levels.
The debt securities held to maturity portfolio included $143.0 million in investments not rated by the rating agencies with aggregate unrealized losses of $7.4 million at December 31, 2020 related to four single-issuer bank trust preferred issuances with a combined amortized cost of $36.0 million.
See Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our investment securities portfolio.

592020 Form 10-K


Loan Portfolio
The following table reflects the composition of the loan portfolio for the years indicated.
 At December 31,
 20202019201820172016
 ($ in thousands)
Commercial and industrial$4,709,569 $4,825,997 $4,331,032 $2,741,425 $2,638,195 
Commercial and industrial PPP loans2,152,139 — — — — 
Total Commercial and industrial6,861,708 4,825,997 4,331,032 2,741,425 2,638,195 
Commercial real estate:
Commercial real estate16,724,998 15,996,741 12,407,275 9,496,777 8,719,667 
Construction1,745,825 1,647,018 1,488,132 851,105 824,946 
Total commercial real estate18,470,823 17,643,759 13,895,407 10,347,882 9,544,613 
Residential mortgage4,183,743 4,377,111 4,111,400 2,859,035 2,867,918 
Consumer:
Home equity431,553 487,272 517,089 446,280 469,009 
Automobile1,355,955 1,451,623 1,319,571 1,208,902 1,139,227 
Other consumer913,330 913,446 860,970 728,056 577,141 
Total consumer loans2,700,838 2,852,341 2,697,630 2,383,238 2,185,377 
Total loans *
$32,217,112 $29,699,208 $25,035,469 $18,331,580 $17,236,103 
As a percent of total loans:
Commercial and industrial21.3 %16.2 %17.3 %15.0 %15.3 %
Commercial real estate57.3 59.5 55.5 56.4 55.4 
Residential mortgage13.0 14.7 16.4 15.6 16.6 
Consumer loans8.4 9.6 10.8 13.0 12.7 
Total100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %
*    Includes net unearned discount and deferred loan fees of $95.8 million at December 31, 2020, and net unearned premiums and deferred loan fees of $12.6 million, $21.5 million, $22.2 million, and $15.3 million at December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively. Net unearned discounts and deferred loans fees at December 31, 2020 include the non-credit discount on purchased credit deteriorated (PCD) loans and $43.2 million of net unearned fees related to PPP loans.
Total loans increased by $2.5 billion, or 8.5 percent to $32.2 billion at December 31, 2020 from December 31, 2019 mainly due to approximately $2.2 billion of SBA PPP loans within commercial and industrial loans, as well as continued annual growth in our commercial real estate loan portfolio. Upon our adoption of the CECL standard on January 1, 2020, we recorded a $61.6 million gross-up for PCD loans (mainly commercial and industrial and commercial real estate loans) that increased the amortized cost basis of loans with a corresponding increase to the allowance for credit losses. During 2020, Valley also originated $1.2 billion of residential mortgage loans for sale rather than investment. Loans held for sale totaled $301.4 million and $76.1 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. See additional information regarding our residential mortgage loan activities below.
Commercial and industrial loans totaled $6.9 billion at December 31, 2020 and increased $2.0 billion from December 31, 2019 mainly due to PPP loan originations. Excluding the PPP loans, commercial and industrial loans decreased $116.4 million largely due to our selective underwriting and tempered loan demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the New Jersey and New York markets during the fourth quarter 2020, and our existing small to middle market lending relationships becoming more strategic with new capital expenditures due to the economic uncertainty. Commercial and industrial loans included PPP loans of approximately $2.2 billion, net of unearned net deferred fees totaling $43.2 million at December 31, 2020. Valley expects the majority of these borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness under the guidelines of the SBA program. During 2021, PPP loan forgiveness and the unknown full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could likely weigh on Valley's ability to grow the commercial and industrial loan portfolio.
Commercial real estate loans (excluding construction loans) increased $728.3 million to $16.7 billion at December 31, 2020 from December 31, 2019. The increase was mainly due to strong loan volumes within our loan commitment pipeline, including many pre-existing, longstanding borrowers, an active refinance market driven by low interest rates as well as some slower repayment activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction loans totaled $1.7 billion at December 31, 2020 and increased $98.8 million from December 31, 2019, mainly driven by loan advances on new and existing construction
2020 Form 10-K60


projects, partially offset by the run-off of completed existing projects, and, to a lesser extent, migration of such completed projects to permanent financing during 2020. Construction demand in our Florida markets, which have mostly reopened during the current COVID-19 pandemic, remains robust as compared to the Northeast and we intend to be strategically competitive for the strongest borrowers and projects in that market.
Residential mortgage loans totaled $4.2 billion at December 31, 2020 and decreased by $193.4 million from December 31, 2019 largely due to loan principal repayment and refinance activity and higher levels of residential mortgage loans originated for sale due to current interest rate risk management strategies. Our new and refinanced residential mortgage loan originations increased 22.3 percent to $1.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $1.6 billion in 2019. Of the $1.9 billion in total originations, $367 million represented Florida residential mortgage loans. During 2020, we sold $1.0 billion of residential mortgages as compared to $934.5 million of residential mortgage loans sold during 2019, including $30 million and $436 million of pre-existing loans sold from our residential mortgage loan portfolio, respectively. We retain mortgage originations based on credit criteria and loan to value levels, the composition of our interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities and our ability to manage the interest rate risk associated with certain levels of these instruments. From time to time, we purchase residential mortgage loans originated by, and sometimes serviced by, other financial institutions based on several factors, including current loan origination volumes, market interest rates, excess liquidity, CRA and other asset/liability management strategies. Purchased residential mortgage loans are generally selected using Valley’s normal underwriting criteria at the time of purchase and are sometimes partially or fully guaranteed by third parties or insured by government agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration. Valley purchased approximately $24.3 million and $35 million of 1-4 family loans, qualifying for CRA purposes during 2020 and 2019, respectively. We may continue to sell a large portion of our new fixed rate residential mortgage loan originations during 2021 based upon normal management of the interest rate risk and mix of the interest earning assets on our balance sheet.
Consumer loans totaled $2.7 billion at December 31, 2020 and decreased $151.5 million from December 31, 2019 mainly due to decreases in automobile and home equity loan portfolios. Automobile loans decreased $95.7 million or 6.6 percent to $1.4 billion at December 31, 2020 from December 31, 2019 as our new indirect auto loan volumes did not keep pace with the normal portfolio repayment and refinance activity during 2020. New loan originations have declined since the beginning of the second quarter 2020 mostly due to a combination of tightening our underwriting policies and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2020, our Florida dealership network contributed $84.6 million in auto loan originations, representing approximately 17 percent of Valley's total new auto loan production for 2020 as compared to $169 million, or 23 percent, of total originations in 2019. Home equity loans decreased $55.7 million in 2020 from $487.3 million at December 31, 2019. New home equity loan volumes and customer usage of existing home equity lines of credit continue to be modest and outpaced by repayment activity, despite the favorable low interest rate environment. Other consumer loans totaled $913.3 million at December 31, 2020 and remained relatively unchanged as compared to 2019 mainly due to both tempered usage and demand within our collateralized personal lines of credit portfolio.
Most of our lending is in northern and central New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, and Florida, with the exception of smaller auto and residential mortgage loan portfolios derived primarily from other neighboring states of New Jersey, which could present a geographic and credit risk due to the recent economic downturn within these regions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertain path forward to restart the U.S. economy. To mitigate our geographic risks, we make efforts to maintain a diversified portfolio as to type of borrower and loan to guard against a potential downward turn in any one economic sector.
For 2021, we remain cautiously optimistic about overall loan growth, exclusive of PPP loans. In the early stages of the first quarter 2021, our loan origination pipelines remain robust and organic growth opportunities, especially in Florida, appear to have returned to closer to pre-pandemic levels. However, there can be no assurance that those positive trends will continue, or balances will not decline from December 31, 2020 given the potential for unforeseen changes in consumer confidence, the economy, and other market conditions. In addition, while difficult to accurately predict, we believe that many of our SBA PPP loans will become eligible for forgiveness in 2021 in accordance with the rules of this program and is highly likely to result in a large reduction in these loan balances.
612020 Form 10-K


The following table reflects the contractual maturity distribution of the commercial and industrial and construction loans within our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2020: 
One Year or
Less
One to
Five Years
Over Five
Years
Total
 (in thousands)
Commercial and industrial—fixed-rate$1,884,762 $629,218 $1,030,907 $3,544,887 
Commercial and industrial—adjustable-rate626,965 1,591,237 1,098,619 3,316,821 
Construction—fixed-rate217,919 147,489 86,750 452,158 
Construction—adjustable-rate839,709 348,675 105,283 1,293,667 
$3,569,355 $2,716,619 $2,321,559 $8,607,533 
We may renew loans at maturity when requested by a customer. In such instances, we generally conduct a review which includes an analysis of the borrower’s financial condition and, if applicable, a review of the adequacy of collateral via a new appraisal from an independent, bank approved, certified or licensed property appraiser or readily available market resources. A rollover of the loan at maturity may require a principal reduction or other modified terms.
Non-performing Assets
Prior to our adoption of the CECL standard on January 1, 2020, our past due loans and non-accrual loans discussed further below excluded those loans which were classified as purchased credit impaired (PCI) loans. Under previous U.S. GAAP, the PCI loans (acquired at a discount that is due, in part, to credit quality) were accounted for on a pool basis and were not subject to delinquency classification in the same manner as loans originated by Valley. Under the CECL standard, Valley's former PCI loan pools are accounted for as PCD loans on a loan level basis and, if applicable, are reported in our past due and non-accrual loans at December 31, 2020.
Non-performing assets (NPAs) include non-accrual loans, other real estate owned (OREO), other repossessed assets (which consist of automobiles and taxi medallions) and non-accrual debt securities at December 31, 2020. Loans are generally placed on non-accrual status when they become past due in excess of 90 days as to payment of principal or interest. Exceptions to the non-accrual policy may be permitted if the loan is sufficiently collateralized and in the process of collection. OREO is acquired through foreclosure on loans secured by land or real estate. OREO and other repossessed assets are reported at the lower of cost or fair value, less cost to sell. Non-performing assets totaling $194.6 million at December 31, 2020 increased $90.1 million, or 86.3 percent, from December 31, 2019 (as shown in the table below) mainly due to higher non-accrual loans in most loan categories, including approximately $45 million of non-accrual PCD loans (largely in the commercial loan categories) reported at December 31, 2020. The increase in non-accruals within non-PCD loans was mainly due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. NPAs as a percentage of total loans and NPAs totaled 0.60 percent and 0.35 percent at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We believe our total NPAs has remained relatively low as a percentage of the total loan portfolio over the past five years, despite the uptick in 2020 related to non-accrual PCD loans (not required to be reported as non-performing in prior periods) and borrowers impacted by COVID-19. The level of NPAs is reflective of our consistent approach to the loan underwriting criteria for both Valley originated loans and loans purchased from third parties. For additional details, see the "Credit quality indicators" section in Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements.
Our lending strategy is based on underwriting standards designed to maintain high credit quality and we remain optimistic regarding the overall future performance of our loan portfolio. However, due to the potential for future credit deterioration caused by the uncertain economic recovery from the COVID -19 pandemic recession, lack of, or inadequate additional federal stimulus and a number of our borrowers that are performing under short-term forbearance agreements, management cannot provide assurance that our non-performing assets will not increase substantially from the levels reported at December 31, 2020.
2020 Form 10-K62


The following table sets forth by loan category, accruing past due and non-performing assets on the dates indicated in conjunction with our asset quality ratios:
 At December 31,
 20202019201820172016
 ($ in thousands)
Accruing past due loans*
30 to 59 days past due
Commercial and industrial$6,393 $11,700 $13,085 $3,650 $6,705 
Commercial real estate35,030 2,560 9,521 11,223 5,894 
Construction315 1,486 2,829 12,949 6,077 
Residential mortgage17,717 17,143 16,576 12,669 12,005 
Total Consumer10,257 13,704 9,740 8,409 4,197 
Total 30 to 59 days past due69,712 46,593 51,751 48,900 34,878 
60 to 89 days past due
Commercial and industrial2,252 2,227 3,768 544 5,010 
Commercial real estate1,326 4,026 530 — 8,642 
Construction— 1,343 — 18,845 — 
Residential mortgage10,351 4,192 2,458 7,903 3,564 
Total Consumer1,823 2,527 1,386 1,199 1,147 
Total 60 to 89 days past due15,752 14,315 8,142 28,491 18,363 
90 or more days past due
Commercial and industrial9,107 3,986 6,156 — 142 
Commercial real estate993 579 27 27 474 
Construction— — — — 1,106 
Residential mortgage3,170 2,042 1,288 2,779 1,541 
Total Consumer271 711 341 284 209 
Total 90 or more days past due13,541 7,318 7,812 3,090 3,472 
Total accruing past due loans$99,005 $68,226 $67,705 $80,481 $56,713 
Non-accrual loans*
Commercial and industrial$106,693 $68,636 $70,096 $20,890 $8,465 
Commercial real estate46,879 9,004 2,372 11,328 15,079 
Construction84 356 356 732 715 
Residential mortgage25,817 12,858 12,917 12,405 12,075 
Total Consumer5,809 2,204 2,655 1,870 1,174 
Total non-accrual loans185,282 93,058 88,396 47,225 37,508 
Other real estate owned (OREO)5,118 9,414 9,491 9,795 9,612 
Other repossessed assets3,342 1,276 744 441 384 
Non-accrual debt securities815 680 — — 1,935 
Total non-performing assets (NPAs)$194,557 $104,428 $98,631 $57,461 $49,439 
Performing troubled debt restructured loans$57,367 $73,012 $77,216 $117,176 $85,166 
Total non-accrual loans as a % of loans0.58 %0.31 %0.35 %0.26 %0.22 %
Total NPAs as a % of loans and NPAs0.60 0.35 0.39 0.31 0.29 
Total accruing past due and non-accrual loans as a % of loans0.88 0.54 0.62 0.70 0.55 
Allowance for loan losses as a % of non-accrual loans183.64 173.83 171.79 255.92 305.05 
*Past due loans and non-accrual loans presented at December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively, exclude PCI loans. Prior to January 1, 2020, PCI loans were accounted for on a pool basis under U.S. GAAP and were not subject to delinquency classification.
632020 Form 10-K


Loans past due 30 to 59 days increased $23.1 million to $69.7 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to $46.6 million at December 31, 2019 partially due to a $12.3 million matured commercial real estate loan and two commercial real estate loan relationships with a combined total of $16.8 million reported in this delinquency category at December 31, 2020. While one of these loans is internally classified as substandard, management believes it is well secured and in the process of collection.
Loans past due 60 to 89 days increased $1.4 million to $15.8 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 mostly due to higher residential mortgage loan delinquencies caused by a few larger borrowers.
Loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing increased $6.2 million to $13.5 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 mainly due to higher commercial and industrial loan delinquencies. Residential mortgage loan delinquencies increased $1.1 million as compared to 2019 primarily due to one large loan included in this category at December 31, 2020. All the loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing are considered to be well secured and in the process of collection.
Non-accrual loans increased $92.2 million to $185.3 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019. Commercial and industrial non-accrual loans increased $38.1 million mainly due to the reclassification of $34.2 million of previously accruing taxi medallion loans to non-accrual status during the first quarter of 2020 and $12.7 million of non-accrual PCD loans included at December 31, 2020. See further discussion of our taxi medallion loan portfolio below. The $37.9 million increase in non-accrual commercial real estate loans was largely due to six loan relationships totaling $20.8 million and $22.1 of non-accrual PCD included at December 31, 2020.
Although the timing of collection is uncertain, management believes that most of the non-accrual loans at December 31, 2020, are well secured and largely collectible based on, in part, our quarterly review of collateral dependent loans and the valuation of the underlying collateral, if applicable. If interest on non-accrual loans had been accrued in accordance with the original contractual terms, such interest income would have amounted to approximately $6.2 million, $2.5 million and $3.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively; none of these amounts were included in interest income during these periods. 
During 2020, we continued to closely monitor the performance of our New York City and Chicago taxi medallion loans totaling $90.6 million and $6.9 million, respectively, within the commercial and industrial loan portfolio at December 31, 2020. Due to continued negative trends in estimated fair valuations of the underlying taxi medallion collateral, a weak operating environment for ride services and uncertain borrower performance, the remainder of our previously accruing taxi medallion loans were placed on non-accrual status during the first quarter 2020. At December 31, 2020, non-accrual taxi medallion loans totaling $97.5 million had related reserves of $66.4 million, or 68.1 percent of such loans, within the allowance for loan losses as compared to $63.3 million with related reserves of $25.0 million December 31, 2019.
Valley's historical taxi medallion lending criteria was conservative in regard to capping the loan amounts in relation to the prevailing market valuations, as well as obtaining personal guarantees and other collateral in certain instances. However, the severe decline in the market valuation of taxi medallions over the last several years has adversely affected the estimated fair valuation of these loans and, as a result, increased the level of our allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2020 (See the "Allowance for Credit Losses" section below). Potential further declines in the market valuation of taxi medallions and the stressed operating environment within both New York City and Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic could also negatively impact the future performance of this portfolio. For example, a 25 percent further decline in our current estimated market value of the taxi medallions would require additional allocated reserves of $5.5 million within the allowance for loan losses based upon taxi medallion loan balances at December 31, 2020.
OREO (which consisted of 25 commercial and residential properties) decreased to $5.1 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to $9.4 million at December 31, 2019. During 2020, we transferred 14 properties totaling $4.0 million and sold 19 properties for total proceeds of $9.0 million. The sales of OREO properties resulted in net gains of $674 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to net gains of $1.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. See Notes 1 and 3 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding OREO and other repossessed assets, including our foreclosed asset activity.
TDRs represent loan modifications for customers experiencing financial difficulties where a concession has been granted. Performing TDRs (i.e., TDRs not reported as loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing or as non-accrual loans) decreased $15.6 million to $57.4 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to $73.0 million at December 31, 2019 mainly due to paydowns of several commercial and industrial loans during 2020. Performing TDRs consisted of 87 loans and 119 loans (primarily in the commercial and industrial loan and commercial real estate portfolios) at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. On an aggregate basis, the $57.4 million in performing TDRs at December 31, 2020 had a modified weighted
2020 Form 10-K64


average interest rate of approximately 4.68 percent as compared to a pre-modification weighted average interest rate of 4.94 percent. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for additional disclosures regarding our TDRs.
Loan Forbearance. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact to certain customers, Valley implemented short-term loan modifications such as payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms, or delays in payment that are insignificant, when requested by customers. Generally, the modification terms allow for a deferral of payments for up to 90 days, which Valley may extend for an additional 90 days. Any extensions beyond this period were done in accordance with applicable regulatory guidance.
The following table presents the outstanding loan balances and number of loans in an active payment deferral period under short-term modifications as of December 31, 2020:
December 31, 2020
 AmountNumber of loans
 ($ in thousands)
Commercial and industrial$12,835 53 
Commercial real estate299,874 55 
Residential mortgage38,615 95 
Consumer9,937 407 
Total$361,261 610 
During the fourth quarter 2020, active loan forbearances decreased from approximately 1,400 loans with total outstanding balances of $1.1 billion remaining as of September 30, 2020.
Higher Risk COVID-19 Credit Exposures. Valley has identified certain borrower industries as being potentially exposed to the effects of economic shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following table presents non-PPP loans and active deferrals in the COVID-19 exposure industries at December 31, 2020:
December 31, 2020
Non-PPP loan balance% of non-PPP loansActive deferrals% of total industry loans
 
 ($ in thousands)
Doctors and surgery$510,772 1.7 %$4,609 0.9 %
Retail trade596,015 2.0 15,974 2.7 
Hotels and hospitality504,571 1.7 — — 
Restaurants and food service328,838 1.1 25,973 7.9 
Entertainment and recreation215,695 0.7 3,564 1.7 
Total$2,155,891 7.2 %$50,120 2.3 %
As of December 31, 2020, Valley had approximately $2.2 billion, or 7.2 percent of total loans (excluding PPP loans), that were made to borrowers in these industries. Active deferrals in this category totaled approximately $50 million, or 2.3 percent of total loans in COVID-19 exposed industries at December 31, 2020, as compared to $158 million, or 7.1 percent of total loans at September 30, 2020. Approximately 90 percent of total loan balances within the higher risk industries were pass-rated under Valley’s internal risk rating system as of December 31, 2020.
Potential Problem Loans
Although we believe that substantially all risk elements at December 31, 2020 have been disclosed in the categories presented above, it is possible that for a variety of reasons, including economic conditions, certain borrowers may be unable to comply with the contractual repayment terms on certain real estate and commercial loans. As part of the analysis of the loan portfolio, management determined that there were approximately $258.8 million and $91.7 million in potential problem loans at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase from 2019 was mainly due to many of the risk rating downgrades resulting from the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic had on borrowers, as well as inclusion of PCD loans, which were previously excluded and were accounted for under ASC Subtopic 310-30. Potential problem loans were not classified as non-accrual loans in the non-performing asset table above. Potential problem loans are defined as performing loans for which management has concerns about the ability of such borrowers to comply with the loan repayment terms and which may result in a non-performing loan. Our decision to include performing loans in potential problem loans does not necessarily mean that management expects losses to occur, but rather that management recognizes potential problem loans carry a higher probability of default. At December 31, 2020, the potential problem loans consisted of various types of performing commercial loan
652020 Form 10-K


credits, including industries highlighted in the "Higher Risk COVID-19 Credit Exposures" table above, that are internally risk rated substandard because the loans exhibited well-defined weaknesses and required additional attention by management. See further discussion regarding our internal loan classification system at Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements. There can be no assurance that Valley has identified all of its potential problem loans at December 31, 2020.

Asset Quality and Risk Elements
Lending is one of the most important functions performed by Valley and, by its very nature, lending is also the most complicated, risky and profitable part of our business. For our commercial loan portfolio, comprised of commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, and construction loans, a separate credit department is responsible for risk assessment and periodically evaluating overall creditworthiness of a borrower. Additionally, efforts are made to limit concentrations of credit to minimize the impact of a downturn in any one economic sector. We believe our loan portfolio is diversified as to type of borrower and loan. However, loans collateralized by real estate represent approximately 72 percent of total loans at December 31, 2020. Most of the loans collateralized by real estate are in northern and central New Jersey, New York City and Florida presenting a geographical credit risk if there was a further significant broad-based deterioration in economic conditions within these regions impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. See Item 1A. Risk Factors -"Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic".
Consumer loans are comprised of residential mortgage loans, home equity loans, automobile loans and other consumer loans. Residential mortgage loans are secured by 1-4 family properties mostly located in New Jersey, New York and Florida. We do provide mortgage loans secured by homes beyond this primary geographic area; however, lending outside this primary area has generally consisted of loans made in support of existing customer relationships, as well as targeted purchases of certain loans guaranteed by third parties. Our mortgage loan originations are comprised of both jumbo (i.e., loans with balances above conventional conforming loan limits) and conventional loans based on underwriting standards that generally comply with Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac requirements. The weighted average loan-to-value ratio of all residential mortgage originations in 2020 was 68 percent while FICO® (independent objective criteria measuring the creditworthiness of a borrower) scores averaged 757. Home equity and automobile loans are secured loans and are made based on an evaluation of the collateral and the borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition to our primary markets, automobile loans are mostly originated in several other contiguous states. Due to the level of our underwriting standards applied to all loans, management believes the out of market loans generally present no more risk than those made within the market. However, each loan or group of loans made outside of our primary markets poses different geographic risks based upon the economy of that particular region.
Management realizes that some degree of risk must be expected in the normal course of lending activities. Allowances are maintained to absorb such lifetime expected credit losses inherent in the portfolio.
Allowance for Credit Losses
The allowance for credit losses (ACL) includes the allowance for loan losses and the reserve for unfunded commercial letters of credit. Effective January 1, 2020, we adopted the new CECL standard, which is based on lifetime expected credit losses rather than incurred losses. Periods prior to 2020 have been reported in accordance with previously applicable GAAP, which followed the incurred credit losses methodology. See the table below and Notes 1 and 5 to the consolidated financial statements for further details on the impact of the Day 1 CECL adoption and the incurred credit losses methodology.
Under CECL, our methodology to establish the allowance for loan losses has two basic components: (1) a collective reserve component for estimated expected credit losses for pools of loans that share common risk characteristics and (2) an individual reserve component for loans that do not share risk characteristics, consisting of collateral dependent, TDR, and expected TDR loans. Valley also maintains a separate allowance for unfunded credit commitments mainly consisting of undisbursed non-cancellable lines of credit, new loan commitments and commercial letters of credit.
Valley estimated the collective ACL using a current expected credit losses methodology which is based on relevant information about historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the loan balances. In estimating the component of the allowance on a collective basis we use a transition matrix model which calculates an expected life of loan loss percentage for each loan pool by generating probability of default and loss given default metrics. The metrics are based on the migration of loans from performing to loss by credit quality rating or delinquency categories using historical life-of-loan analysis periods for each loan portfolio pool and the severity of loss based on the aggregate net lifetime losses. The model's expected losses based on loss history are adjusted for qualitative factors. Among other things, these adjustments include and account for differences in: (i) the impact of the reasonable and supportable economic forecast, relative probability weightings and reversion period, (ii) other asset specific risks to the extent they do not exist in the historical loss information, and (iii) net expected recoveries of charged off loan balances. These adjustments are based on qualitative factors not reflected in the quantitative model but are likely to impact the measurement of estimated credit
2020 Form 10-K66


losses. The expected lifetime loss rate is the life of loan loss percentage from the transition matrix model plus the impact of the adjustments for qualitative factors. The expected credit losses are the product of multiplying the model’s expected lifetime loss rate by the exposure at default at period end on an undiscounted basis.
Valley utilizes a two-year reasonable and supportable forecast period followed by a one-year period over which estimated losses revert to historical loss experience for the remaining life of the loan on a straight-line basis. The forecasts consist of a multi-scenario economic forecast model to estimate future credit losses and is governed by a cross-functional committee. The committee meets each quarter to determine which economic scenarios developed by Moody's will be incorporated into the model, as well as the relative probability weightings of the selected scenarios, based upon all readily available information. The model projects economic variables under each scenario based on detailed statistical analyses. We have identified and selected key variables that most closely correlated to our historical credit performance, which include: GDP, unemployment and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
During the fourth quarter 2020, we continued to incorporate a probability weighted three-scenario economic forecast, including Moody's Baseline, S-3 and S-4 scenarios. At December 31, 2020, Valley maintained a higher combined weighting on the S-3 and S-4 alternative downside scenarios as compared to the Moody's Baseline scenario to reflect downside risk factors, including, but not limited to the unknown effect of the latest federal economic stimulus to promote a strong economic recovery, loan customers with payment deferrals, increasing COVID-19 infection rates in many locales and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and the timing of the vaccine distribution across the U.S. Each of these risk factors may affect the performance of Valley’s loan portfolio over time.
The S-4 forecast is the most severe economic scenario and included the following assumptions at December 31, 2020:

The COVID-19 pandemic will persist and meaningfully impact the economy;
The national unemployment rate will remain elevated throughout 2021 and 2022, with a peak at 11.5 percent in the third quarter 2022;
An overall decline in spending on a wide range of products and services;
A prolonged economic downturn will persist until the fourth quarter 2021 with real GDP growth resuming by mid-year 2022; and
The target federal funds interest rate will remain at or near zero for the foreseeable future.
The allowance for credit losses for loans methodology and accounting policy are fully described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements.

672020 Form 10-K


The following table summarizes the relationship among loans, loans charged-off, loan recoveries, the provision for credit losses and the allowance for credit losses for the years indicated:
 Years Ended December 31,
 20202019201820172016
 ($ in thousands)
Average loans outstanding$31,785,859$26,235,253$23,340,330$17,819,003$16,400,745
Beginning balance—Allowance for credit losses for loans$164,604$156,295$124,452$116,604$108,367
Impact of ASU No. 2016-13 adoption on January 1, 2020 (1)
37,989
Allowance for purchased credit deteriorated (PCD) loans (1)
61,643
Beginning balance, adjusted264,236156,295124,452116,604108,367
Loans charged-off: (2)
Commercial and industrial(34,630)(13,260)(2,515)(5,421)(5,990)
Commercial real estate(767)(158)(348)(559)(650)
Residential mortgage(598)(126)(223)(530)(866)
Total Consumer(9,294)(8,671)(4,977)(4,564)(3,463)
Total charge-offs(45,289)(22,215)(8,063)(11,074)(10,969)
Charged-off loans recovered:
Commercial and industrial1,9562,3974,6234,7362,852
Commercial real estate1,0541,2374175522,047
Construction45287310
Residential mortgage670662721,016774
Total Consumer3,1882,6062,0931,8031,654
Total recoveries7,3206,3067,4058,9807,337
Net charge-offs(37,969)(15,909)(658)(2,094)(3,632)
Provision charged for credit losses125,08724,21832,5019,94211,869
Ending balance—Allowance for credit losses for loans$351,354$164,604$156,295$124,452$116,604
Components of allowance for credit losses for loans:
Allowance for loan losses$340,243$161,759$151,859$120,856$114,419
Allowance for unfunded credit commitments11,1112,8454,4363,5962,185
Allowance for credit losses for loans$351,354$164,604$156,295$124,452$116,604
Components of provision for credit losses for loans:
Provision for credit losses for loans$123,922$25,809$31,661$8,531$11,873
Provision for unfunded credit commitments (3)
1,165(1,591)8401,411(4)
Provision for credit losses for loans$125,087$24,218$32,501$9,942$11,869
Annualized ratio of net charge-offs during the period to average loans outstanding0.12 %0.06 %0.00 %0.01 %0.02 %
(1)    The adjustment represents an increase in the allowance for credit losses for loans as a result of the adoption of ASU 2016-13 effective January 1, 2020.
(2)     Charge-offs and recoveries presented for periods prior to January 1, 2020 exclude loans formerly accounting for as PCI loans.
(3)    Periods prior to January 1, 2020 represent the allowance and provision for unfunded letters of credit only.
Our net loan charge-offs increased $22.1 million to $38.0 million in 2020 as compared to $15.9 million in 2019 mainly due to higher gross charge-offs in the commercial and industrial loan category. The higher level of commercial and industrial loan charge-offs in 2020 was largely driven by taxi medallion partial loan charge-offs totaling $12.5 million for the year ended
2020 Form 10-K68


December 31, 2020 (as compared to $6.5 million for 2019) and the partial and full charge-offs of two loans totaling $7.8 million and $6.0 million, respectively.
While net charge-offs increased largely due to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, they have remained within management's expectations for the credit quality of Valley's loan portfolio and its underwriting standards. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2020, our net charge-offs were at a high of 0.12 percent of average loans during 2020 and near zero during 2018. While we have a positive outlook for the future performance of the loan portfolio, there can be no assurance that our levels of net charge-offs will not deteriorate in 2021, especially given the uncertain course of the economic recovery, labor markets and the number of our COVID-19 impacted borrowers that remained in active deferral of contractual payments at December 31, 2020.
The following table summarizes the allocation of the allowance for credit losses to specific loan portfolio categories for the past five years ended December 31,: 
 20202019201820172016
 Allowance
Allocation*
Percent of Loan Category to total loansAllowance
Allocation*
Percent of Loan Category to total loansAllowance
Allocation*
Percent of Loan Category to total loansAllowance
Allocation*
Percent of Loan Category to total loansAllowance
Allocation*
Percent of Loan Category to total loans
 ($ in thousands)
Loan Category:
Commercial and industrial$131,070 21.3 %$104,059 16.2 %$90,956 17.3 %$57,232 15.0 %$50,820 15.3 %
Commercial real estate:
Commercial real estate146,009 51.9 20,019 53.9 26,482 49.6 36,293 51.8 36,405 50.6 
Construction18,104 5.4 25,654 5.6 23,168 5.9 18,661 4.6 19,446 4.8 
Total commercial real estate164,113 57.3 45,673 59.5 49,650 55.5 54,954 56.4 55,851 55.4 
Residential mortgage28,873 13.0 5,060 14.7 5,041 16.4 3,605 15.6 3,702 16.6 
Total Consumer16,187 8.4 6,967 9.6 6,212 10.8 5,065 13.0 4,046 12.7 
Total allowance for loan losses340,243 100.0 %161,759 100.0 %151,859 100.0 %120,856 100.0 %114,419 100.0 %
Allowance for unfunded credit commitments11,111 2,845 4,436 3,596 2,185 
Total allowance for credit losses for loans$351,354 $164,604 $156,295 $124,452 $116,604 
* CECL was adopted January 1, 2020. Prior periods reflect the allowance for credit losses for loans under the incurred loss model.
The allowance for credit losses for loans, comprised of our allowance for loan losses and unfunded credit commitments (including letters of credit), as a percentage of total loans was 1.09 percent at December 31, 2020 and 0.55 percent at December 31, 2019. The allowance for credit losses for loans increased $186.8 million at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 largely due to Valley's Day 1 CECL adoption adjustment of $99.6 million recorded on January 1, 2020 and the reserve build under CECL during 2020. The reserve build in 2020 reflected several factors, including deterioration in Valley's macroeconomic outlook since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, additional qualitative management adjustments to reflect the potential for higher levels of credit stress related to borrowers negatively impacted by the pandemic, the impact of lower valuations of collateral securing our non-performing taxi medallion loan portfolio and additional quantitative reserves, based upon expected and actual transitions in the credit quality of our loan portfolio. As a result, the provision for credit losses increased $100.9 million to $125.1 million in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Loan Repurchase Contingencies
We engage in the origination of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market. Our loan sales totaled approximately $1.0 billion, $935 million and $676 million for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. During 2020 and 2019, loan sales increased significantly from 2018 as new loan originations and refinance activity strengthened due to a favorably low interest rate environment complemented, from time to time, by sales from the held for investment portfolio.
In connection with loan sales, we make representations and warranties, which, if breached, may require us to repurchase such loans, substitute other loans or indemnify the purchasers of such loans for actual losses incurred due to such loans. However, the performance of our loans sold has been historically strong due to our strict underwriting standards and procedures. Over the past several years, we have experienced a nominal amount of repurchase requests, only a few of which have actually resulted in repurchases by Valley (only two loan repurchases in 2020 and four loan repurchases in 2019). None of the loan repurchases resulted in material loss. Accordingly, no reserves pertaining to loans sold were established on our consolidated financial statements at December 31, 2020 and 2019. See Item 1A. Risk Factors - "We may incur future losses in
692020 Form 10-K


connection with repurchases and indemnification payments related to mortgages that we have sold into the secondary market” of this report for additional information.
Capital Adequacy
A significant measure of the strength of a financial institution is its shareholders’ equity. At December 31, 2020 and 2019, shareholders’ equity totaled approximately $4.6 billion and $4.4 billion, or 11.3 percent and 11.7 percent of total assets, respectively. During 2020, total shareholders’ equity increased by $207.9 million primarily due to (i) net income of $390.6 million, (ii) an increase in other comprehensive income of $24.5 million, and (iii) a $13.0 million increase attributable to the effect of share issuances under our stock incentive plan. These positive changes were partially offset by (i) cash dividends declared on common and preferred stock totaling a combined $192.0 million and (ii) a $28.2 million net cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings for the adoption of new accounting guidance as of January 1, 2020.
Valley and Valley National Bank are subject to the regulatory capital requirements administered by the Federal Reserve Bank and the OCC. Quantitative measures established by regulation to ensure capital adequacy require Valley and Valley National Bank to maintain minimum amounts and ratios of common equity Tier 1 capital, total and Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets, and Tier 1 capital to average assets, as defined in the regulations.
We are required to maintain common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 4.5 percent, Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of 6.0 percent, ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets of 8.0 percent, and minimum leverage ratio of 4.0 percent, plus a 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer added to the minimum requirements for capital adequacy purposes. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, Valley and Valley National Bank exceeded all capital adequacy requirements. See Note 17 to the consolidated financial statements for Valley’s and Valley National Bank’s regulatory capital positions and capital ratios at December 31, 2020 and 2019.
For regulatory capital purposes, in connection with the Federal Reserve Board’s final interim rule as of April 3, 2020, 100 percent of the CECL Day 1 impact to shareholders' equity equaling $28.2 million after-tax will be deferred for a two-year period ending January 1, 2022, at which time it will be phased in on a pro-rata basis over a three-year period ending January 1, 2025. Additionally, 25 percent of the reserve build (i.e., provision for credit losses less net charge-offs) for the year ended December 31, 2020 will be phased in over the same time frame.
Typically, our primary source of capital growth is through retention of earnings. Our rate of earnings retention is derived by dividing undistributed earnings per common share by earnings (or net income available to common shareholders) per common share. Our retention ratio was 52.7 percent and 49.4 percent for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Cash dividends declared amounted to $0.44 per common share for both years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. The Board is committed to examining and weighing relevant facts and considerations, including its commitment to shareholder value, each time it makes a cash dividend decision. The Federal Reserve has cautioned all bank holding companies about distributing dividends which may reduce the level of capital or not allow capital to grow considering the increased capital levels as required under the Basel III rules. Prior to the date of this filing, Valley has received no objection or adverse guidance from the FRB or the OCC regarding the current level of its quarterly common stock dividend. However, the FRB recently reiterated its long-standing guidance that banking organizations should consult them before declaring dividends in excess of earnings for the corresponding quarter. The renewed guidance was largely due to the increased risk of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting the future level of bank earnings. See Item 1A. Risk Factors of this report for additional information.
Valley maintains an effective shelf registration statement with the SEC that allows us to periodically offer and sell in one or more offerings, individually or in any combination, our common stock, preferred stock and other non-equity securities. The shelf registration statement provides Valley with capital raising flexibility and enables Valley to promptly access the capital markets in order to pursue growth opportunities that may become available in the future and permits Valley to comply with any changes in the regulatory environment that call for increased capital requirements. Valley’s ability, and any decision to issue and sell securities pursuant to the shelf registration statement, is subject to market conditions and Valley’s capital needs at such time. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing shareholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Such offerings may be necessary in the future due to several reasons beyond management’s control, including numerous external factors that could negatively impact the strength of the U.S. economy or our ability to maintain or increase the level of our net income. See Note 18 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information on Valley’s preferred stock issuances.


2020 Form 10-K70


Item 7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Information regarding Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk is discussed in the "Interest Rate Sensitivity" section contained in Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and it is incorporated herein by reference.
712020 Form 10-K


Item 8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION 
 December 31,
 20202019
(in thousands except for share data)
Assets
Cash and due from banks$257,845 $256,264 
Interest bearing deposits with banks1,071,360 178,423 
Investment securities:
Equity securities29,378 41,410 
Available for sale debt securities1,339,473 1,566,801 
Held to maturity debt securities (net of allowance for credit losses of $1,428 at December 31, 2020)2,171,583 2,336,095 
Total investment securities3,540,434 3,944,306 
Loans held for sale, at fair value301,427 76,113 
Loans32,217,112 29,699,208 
Less: Allowance for loan losses(340,243)(161,759)
Net loans31,876,869 29,537,449 
Premises and equipment, net319,797 334,533 
Lease right of use assets252,053 285,129 
Bank owned life insurance535,209 540,169 
Accrued interest receivable106,230 105,637 
Goodwill1,382,442 1,373,625 
Other intangible assets, net70,449 86,772 
Other assets971,961 717,600 
Total Assets$40,686,076 $37,436,020 
Liabilities
Deposits:
Non-interest bearing$9,205,266 $6,710,408 
Interest bearing:
Savings, NOW and money market16,015,658 12,757,484 
Time6,714,678 9,717,945 
Total deposits31,935,602 29,185,837 
Short-term borrowings1,147,958 1,093,280 
Long-term borrowings2,295,665 2,122,426 
Junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts56,065 55,718 
Lease liabilities276,675 309,849 
Accrued expenses and other liabilities381,991 284,722 
Total Liabilities36,093,956 33,051,832 
Shareholders’ Equity
Preferred stock, 0 par value; authorized 50,000,000 shares:
Series A (4,600,000 shares issued at December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019)111,590 111,590 
Series B (4,000,000 shares issued at December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019)98,101 98,101 
Common stock (0 par value, authorized 650,000,000 shares; issued 403,881,488 shares at December 31, 2020 and 403,322,773 shares at December 31, 2019)141,746 141,423 
Surplus3,637,468 3,622,208 
Retained earnings611,158 443,559 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(7,718)(32,214)
Treasury stock, at cost (22,490 common shares at December 31, 2020 and 44,383 common shares at December 31, 2019)(225)(479)
Total Shareholders’ Equity4,592,120 4,384,188 
Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity$40,686,076 $37,436,020 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
2020 Form 10-K72


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 Years Ended December 31,
 202020192018
 (in thousands, except for share data)
Interest Income
Interest and fees on loans$1,284,707 $1,198,908 $1,033,993 
Interest and dividends on investment securities:
Taxable70,249 86,926 87,306 
Tax-exempt14,563 17,420 21,504 
Dividends11,644 12,023 13,209 
Interest on federal funds sold and other short-term investments2,556 5,723 3,236 
Total interest income1,383,719 1,321,000 1,159,248 
Interest Expense
Interest on deposits:
Savings, NOW and money market76,169 145,177 108,394 
Time106,067 166,693 81,959 
Interest on short-term borrowings11,372 47,862 45,930 
Interest on long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures71,207 63,220 65,762 
Total interest expense264,815 422,952 302,045 
Net Interest Income1,118,904 898,048 857,203 
Provision for credit losses for held to maturity securities635 
Provision for credit losses for loans125,087 24,218 32,501 
Net Interest Income After Provision for Credit Losses993,182 873,830 824,702 
Non-Interest Income
Trust and investment services12,415 12,646 12,633 
Insurance commissions7,398 10,409 15,213 
Service charges on deposit accounts18,257 23,636 26,817 
Gains (losses) on securities transactions, net524 (150)(2,342)
Other-than-temporary impairment losses on securities(2,928)
Fees from loan servicing10,352 9,794 9,319 
Gains on sales of loans, net42,251 18,914 20,515 
(Losses) gains on sales of assets, net(1,891)78,333 (2,401)
Bank owned life insurance10,083 8,232 8,691 
Other83,643 55,634 45,607 
Total non-interest income183,032 214,520 134,052 
Non-Interest Expense
Salary and employee benefits expense333,221 327,431 333,816 
Net occupancy and equipment expense129,002 118,191 108,763 
FDIC insurance assessment18,949 21,710 28,266 
Amortization of other intangible assets24,645 18,080 18,416 
Professional and legal fees32,348 20,810 34,141 
Loss on extinguishment of debt12,036 31,995 
Amortization of tax credit investments13,335 20,392 24,200 
Telecommunication expenses10,737 9,883 12,102 
Other71,875 63,063 69,357 
Total non-interest expense646,148 631,555 629,061 
Income Before Income Taxes530,066 456,795 329,693 
Income tax expense139,460 147,002 68,265 
Net Income390,606 309,793 261,428 
Dividends on preferred stock12,688 12,688 12,688 
Net Income Available to Common Shareholders$377,918 $297,105 $248,740 
732020 Form 10-K


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME—(Continued)
Years Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands, except for share data)
Earnings Per Common Share:
Basic$0.94 $0.88 $0.75 
Diluted0.93 0.87 0.75 
Cash Dividends Declared Per Common Share0.44 0.44 0.44 
Weighted Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding:
Basic403,754,356 337,792,270 331,258,964 
Diluted405,046,207 340,117,808 332,693,718 


See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
2020 Form 10-K74


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
 
 Years Ended December 31,
 202020192018
 (in thousands)
Net income$390,606 $309,793 $261,428 
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:
Unrealized gains and losses on debt securities available for sale
Net gains (losses) arising during the period27,845 39,262 (22,932)
Less reclassification adjustment for net (gains) losses included in net income(377)119 2,237 
Total27,468 39,381 (20,695)
Unrealized gains and losses on derivatives (cash flow hedges)
Net (losses) gains on derivatives arising during the period(2,251)(989)1,874 
Less reclassification adjustment for net losses included in net income2,074 1,291 2,494 
Total(177)302 4,368 
Defined benefit pension plan
Net losses arising during the period(3,418)(2,561)(7,151)
Amortization of prior service (credit) cost(98)(93)146 
Amortization of actuarial net loss721 188 447 
Total(2,795)(2,466)(6,558)
Total other comprehensive income (loss)24,496 37,217 (22,885)
Total comprehensive income$415,102 $347,010 $238,543 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

752020 Form 10-K


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
Common StockAccumulated
Preferred StockSharesAmountSurplusRetained
Earnings
Other
Comprehensive
Loss
Treasury
Stock
Total
Shareholders’
Equity
 ($ in thousands)
Balance - December 31, 2017$209,691 264,469 $92,727 $2,060,356 $216,733 $(46,005)$(337)$2,533,165 
Reclassification due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-01— — — — 480 (480)— — 
Reclassification due to the adoption of ASU No. 2017-12— — — — 61 (61)— — 
Adjustment due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-16— — — — (17,611)— — (17,611)
Balance - January 1, 2018209,691 264,469 92,727 2,060,356 199,663 (46,546)(337)2,515,554 
Net income— — — — 261,428 — — 261,428 
Other comprehensive loss,  net of tax— — — — — (22,885)— (22,885)
Cash dividends declared:
Preferred stock, Series A, $1.56 per share— — — — (7,188)— — (7,188)
Preferred stock, Series B, $1.38 per share— — — — (5,500)— — (5,500)
Common Stock, $0.44 per share— — — — (146,346)— — (146,346)
Effect of stock incentive plan, net— 1,955 771 21,022 (2,415)— (2,198)17,180 
Common stock issued— 65,007 22,742 715,121 — — 348 738,211 
Balance - December 31, 2018$209,691 331,431 $116,240 $2,796,499 $299,642 $(69,431)$(2,187)$3,350,454 
Adjustment due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02— — — — 4,414 — — 4,414 
Adjustment due to the adoption of ASU No. 2017-08— — — — (1,446)— — (1,446)
Balance - January 1, 2019209,691 331,431 116,240 2,796,499 302,610 (69,431)(2,187)3,353,422 
Net income— — — — 309,793 — — 309,793 
Other comprehensive income, net of tax— — — — — 37,217 — 37,217 
Cash dividends declared:
Preferred stock, Series A, $1.56 per share— — — — (7,188)— — (7,188)
Preferred stock, Series B, $1.38 per share— — — — (5,500)— — (5,500)
Common Stock, $0.44 per share— — — — (154,689)— — (154,689)
Effect of stock incentive plan, net— 726 291 15,346 (1,467)— 1,708 15,878 
Common stock issued— 71,121 24,892 810,363 — — — 835,255 
Balance - December 31, 2019$209,691 403,278 $141,423 $3,622,208 $443,559 $(32,214)$(479)$4,384,188 
2020 Form 10-K76


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY—(Continued)
Common StockAccumulated
Preferred StockSharesAmountSurplusRetained
Earnings
Other
Comprehensive
Loss
Treasury
Stock
Total
Shareholders’
Equity
($ in thousands)
Balance - December 31, 2019$209,691 403,278 $141,423 $3,622,208 $443,559 $(32,214)$(479)$4,384,188 
Adjustment due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-13— — — — (28,187)— — (28,187)
Balance - January 1, 2020209,691 403,278 141,423 3,622,208 415,372 (32,214)(479)4,356,001 
Net income— — — — 390,606 — — 390,606 
Other comprehensive income, net of tax— — — — — 24,496 — 24,496 
Cash dividends declared:
Preferred stock, Series A, $1.56 per share— — — — (7,188)— — (7,188)
Preferred stock, Series B, $1.38 per share— — — — (5,500)— — (5,500)
Common Stock, $0.44 per share— — — — (179,277)— — (179,277)
Effect of stock incentive plan, net— 581 323 15,260 (2,855)— 254 12,982 
Balance - December 31, 2020$209,691 403,859 $141,746 $3,637,468 $611,158 $(7,718)$(225)$4,592,120 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

772020 Form 10-K


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
 
 Years Ended December 31,
 202020192018
 (in thousands)
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net income$390,606 $309,793 $261,428 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization57,615 53,317 27,554 
Stock-based compensation16,154 14,726 19,472 
Provision for credit losses125,722 24,218 32,501 
Net amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts on securities and borrowings38,315 29,512 38,454 
Amortization of other intangible assets24,645 18,080 18,416 
(Gains) losses on securities transactions, net(524)150 2,342 
Proceeds from sales of loans held for sale1,019,841 509,448 398,350 
Gains on sales of loans, net(42,251)(18,914)(20,515)
Net impairment losses on securities recognized in earnings2,928 
Originations of loans held for sale(1,211,227)(537,985)(406,087)
Losses (gains) on sales of assets, net1,891 (78,333)2,401 
Net deferred income tax (benefit) expense(5,060)15,228 (11,780)
Net change in:
Cash surrender value of bank owned life insurance(10,083)(8,232)(8,691)
Accrued interest receivable(593)1,440 (9,183)
Other assets(311,760)(163,330)(33,144)
Accrued expenses and other liabilities58,234 57,882 (7,562)
Net cash provided by operating activities151,525 229,928 303,956 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Net loan originations and purchases(2,490,937)(2,538,909)(3,257,939)
Equity securities:
Purchases(8,337)(14,776)
Sales28,439 24,748 
Held to maturity debt securities:
Purchases(682,509)(701,879)(264,721)
Maturities, calls and principal repayments824,477 424,475 241,077 
Available for sale debt securities:
Purchases(333,971)(30,392)(289,554)
Sales30,020 271,901 44,377 
Maturities, calls and principal repayments555,589 316,024 255,031 
Death benefit proceeds from bank owned life insurance15,043 9,560 4,220 
Proceeds from sales of real estate property and equipment19,111 109,043 7,786 
Proceeds from sales of loans held for investments30,020 1,234,022 289,633 
Purchases of real estate property and equipment(24,607)(23,375)(26,440)
Cash and cash equivalents acquired in acquisitions22,239 156,612 
Net cash used in investing activities$(2,037,662)$(897,319)$(2,839,918)
2020 Form 10-K78


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS—(Continued)
Years Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands)
Cash flows from financing activities:
Net change in deposits$2,749,765 $1,808,148 $2,734,669 
Net change in short-term borrowings54,678 (1,036,134)720,307 
Proceeds from issuance of long-term borrowings, net838,388 950,000 
Repayments of long-term borrowings(667,739)(890,000)(750,682)
Cash dividends paid to preferred shareholders(12,688)(12,688)(15,859)
Cash dividends paid to common shareholders(177,965)(146,537)(138,857)
Purchase of common shares to treasury(5,374)(1,805)(3,801)
Common stock issued, net2,202 2,957 2,704 
Other, net(612)(492)
Net cash provided by financing activities2,780,655 673,449 2,548,481 
Net change in cash and cash equivalents894,518 6,058 12,519 
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year434,687 428,629 416,110 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year$1,329,205 $434,687 $428,629 
Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information:
Cash payments for:
Interest on deposits and borrowings$279,042 $415,649 $290,444 
Federal and state income taxes148,383 106,336 53,587 
Supplemental schedule of non-cash investing activities:
Transfer of loans to other real estate owned$4,040 $5,100 $743 
Loans transferred to loans held for sale30,020 1,234,022 289,633 
Lease right of use assets obtained in exchange for operating lease liabilities16,062 312,143 
Acquisition:
Non-cash assets acquired:
Equity securities$$51,382 $
Investment securities available for sale335,894 308,385 
Investment securities held to maturity4,877 214,217 
Loans3,378,358 3,736,984 
Premises and equipment23,585 62,066 
Bank owned life insurance101,896 49,052 
Accrued interest receivable11,781 12,123 
Goodwill297,777 394,028 
Other intangible assets20,690 45,906 
Other assets50,873 100,059 
Total non-cash assets acquired$$4,277,113 $4,922,820 
Liabilities assumed:
Deposits$$2,924,716 $3,564,843 
Short-term borrowings10,500 649,979 
Long-term borrowings430,130 87,283 
Junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts13,249 
Accrued expenses and other liabilities98,751 26,848 
Total liabilities assumed$$3,464,097 $4,342,202 
Net non-cash assets acquired$$813,016 $580,618 
Net cash and cash equivalents acquired in acquisition$$22,239 $156,612 
Common stock issued in acquisition$$835,255 $737,230 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
792020 Form 10-K


VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (Note 1)
Business
Valley National Bancorp, a New Jersey Corporation (Valley), is a bank holding company whose principal wholly-owned subsidiary is Valley National Bank (the “Bank”), a national banking association providing a full range of commercial, retail and trust and investment services largely through its offices and ATM network throughout northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. The Bank is subject to intense competition from other financial service providers and is subject to the regulation of certain federal and state agencies and undergoes periodic examinations by certain regulatory authorities.
Valley National Bank’s subsidiaries are all included in the consolidated financial statements of Valley. These subsidiaries include, but are not limited to:
an insurance agency offering property and casualty, life and health insurance;
an asset management adviser that is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
a title insurance agency in New York, which also provides services in New Jersey;
subsidiaries which hold, maintain and manage investment assets for the Bank;
a subsidiary which specializes in health care equipment lending and other commercial equipment leases; and
a subsidiary which owns and services New York commercial loans.
The Bank’s subsidiaries also include real estate investment trust subsidiaries (the “REIT” subsidiaries) which own real estate related investments and a REIT subsidiary which owns some of the real estate utilized by the Bank and related real estate investments. Except for Valley’s REIT subsidiaries and its insurance agency (10% of which is owned by the insurance agency's co-CEOs), all subsidiaries mentioned above are directly or indirectly wholly-owned by the Bank. Because each REIT subsidiary must have 100 or more shareholders to qualify as a REIT, each REIT subsidiary has issued less than 20 percent of its outstanding non-voting preferred stock to individuals, most of whom are current and former Bank employees. The Bank owns the remaining preferred stock and all the common stock of the REITs.
Basis of Presentation
The consolidated financial statements of Valley include the accounts of its commercial bank subsidiary, Valley National Bank and all of Valley’s direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. All inter-company transactions and balances have been eliminated. The accounting and reporting policies of Valley conform to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) and general practices within the financial services industry. In accordance with applicable accounting standards, Valley does not consolidate statutory trusts established for the sole purpose of issuing trust preferred securities and related trust common securities. See Note 11 for more details. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current presentation.
Significant Estimates. In preparing the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP, management has made estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the consolidated statements of financial condition and results of operations for the periods indicated. Material estimates that require application of management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgment and are particularly susceptible to change include: the allowance for credit losses, the evaluation of goodwill and other intangible assets for impairment, and income taxes. Estimates and assumptions are reviewed periodically, and the effects of revisions are reflected in the consolidated financial statements in the period they are deemed necessary. While management uses its best judgment, actual amounts or results could differ significantly from those estimates. The current economic environment has increased the degree of uncertainty inherent in these material estimates. Actual results may differ from those estimates. Also, future amounts and values could differ materially from those estimates due to changes in values and circumstances after the balance sheet date.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
For purposes of reporting cash flows, cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, amounts due from banks, interest bearing deposits in other banks (including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) and, from time to time, overnight federal funds sold. The Bank is required to maintain reserve balances in cash or on deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank based on a
2020 Form 10-K80


percentage of deposits. These reserve balances totaled $896.1 million and $114.4 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Investment Securities
Debt securities are classified at the time of purchase based on management’s intention, as securities available-for-sale or securities held-to-maturity. Investment securities classified as held-to-maturity are those that management has the positive intent and ability to hold until maturity. Investment securities held-to-maturity are carried at amortized cost, adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts using the level-yield method over the contractual term of the securities, adjusted for actual prepayments, or to call date if the security was purchased at premium. Investment securities classified as available-for-sale are carried at fair value with unrealized holding gains and losses reported as a component of other comprehensive income or loss, net of tax. Realized gains or losses on the available-for-sale securities are recognized by the specific identification method and are included in net gains and losses on securities transactions. Equity securities are stated at fair value with any unrealized and realized gains and losses reported in non-interest income. Investments in Federal Home Loan Bank and Federal Reserve Bank stock, which have limited marketability, are carried at cost in other assets. Security transactions are recorded on a trade-date basis.
Interest income on investments includes amortization of purchase premiums and discounts. Valley discontinues the recognition of interest on debt securities if the securities meet both of the following criteria: (i) regularly scheduled interest payments have not been paid or have been deferred by the issuer, and (ii) full collection of all contractual principal and interest payments is not deemed to be the most likely outcome.
Allowance for Credit Losses for Held to Maturity Debt Securities
On January 1, 2020, Valley adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-13, which requires us to estimate and recognize an allowance for credit losses for held to maturity debt securities using the current expected credit loss methodology (CECL).
Valley's CECL model includes a zero loss expectation for certain securities within the held to maturity portfolio, and therefore Valley is not required to estimate an allowance for credit losses related to these securities. After an evaluation of qualitative factors, Valley identified the following securities types which it believes qualify for this exclusion: U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. agency securities, residential mortgage-backed securities issued by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and collateralized municipal bonds commonly referred to as Tax Exempt Mortgage Securities (TEMS).
To measure the expected credit losses on held to maturity debt securities that have loss expectations, Valley estimates the expected credit losses using a discounted cash flow model developed by a third-party. Assumptions used in the model for pools of securities with common risk characteristics include the historical lifetime probability of default and severity of loss in the event of default, with the model incorporating several economic cycles of loss history data to calculate expected credit losses given default at the individual security level. The model is adjusted for a probability weighted multi-scenario economic forecast to estimate future credit losses. Valley uses a two-year reasonable and supportable forecast period, followed by a one-year period over which estimated losses revert to historical loss experience for the remaining life of the investment security. The economic forecast methodology and governance for debt securities is aligned with Valley's economic forecast used for the loan portfolio. Accrued interest receivable is excluded from the estimate of credit losses.
See the "New Authoritative Accounting Guidance" section below and Note 4 for more details regarding our adoption of ASU No. 2016-13 and the allowance for credit losses for held to maturity securities.
Impairment of Available for Sale Debt Securities
The impairment model for available for sale debt securities differs from the CECL methodology applied to held to maturity debt securities because the available for sale debt securities are measured at fair value rather than amortized cost. Available for sale debt securities in unrealized loss positions are evaluated for impairment related to credit losses on a quarterly basis. In performing an assessment of whether any decline in fair value is due to a credit loss, Valley considers the extent to which the fair value is less than the amortized cost, changes in credit ratings, any adverse economic conditions, as well as all relevant information at the individual security level, such as credit deterioration of the issuer or collateral underlying the security. In assessing the impairment, Valley compares the present value of cash flows expected to be collected with the amortized cost basis of the security. If it is determined that the decline in fair value was due to credit losses, an allowance for credit losses is recorded, limited to the amount the fair value is less than amortized cost basis. The non-credit related decrease in the fair value, such as a decline due to changes in market interest rates, is recorded in other comprehensive income, net of tax. Valley also assesses the intent to sell the securities (as well as the likelihood of a near-term recovery). If Valley intends to sell
812020 Form 10-K


an available for sale debt security or it is more likely than not that Valley will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis, the debt security is written down to its fair value and the write down is charged to the debt security’s fair value at the reporting date with any incremental impairment reported in earnings. See Note 4 for additional information.
Prior to January 1, 2020, Valley evaluated its investment securities classified as held to maturity and available for sale for other-than temporary impairment. Valley's evaluation of other-than-temporary impairment considered factors that included, among others, the causes of the decline in fair value, such as credit problems, interest rate fluctuations, or market volatility; and the severity and duration of the decline. Valley also assessed the intent and ability to hold the securities (as well as the likelihood of a near-term recovery), and the intent to sell the securities and whether it is more likely than not that Valley was required to sell the securities before the recovery of their amortized cost basis. Once a debt security was deemed to be other-than-temporarily impaired, it was written down to fair value with the estimated credit related component was recognized as an other-than-temporary impairment charge in non-interest income. The non-credit related component was recorded as an adjustment to accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax.
Loans Held for Sale
Loans held for sale generally consist of residential mortgage loans originated and intended for sale in the secondary market and are carried at their estimated fair value on an instrument-by-instrument basis as permitted by the fair value option election under U.S. GAAP. Changes in fair value are recognized in non-interest income in the accompanying consolidated statements of income as a component of net gains on sales of loans. Origination fees and costs related to loans originated for sale (and carried at fair value) are recognized as earned and as incurred. Loans held for sale are generally sold with loan servicing rights retained by Valley. Gains recognized on loan sales include the value assigned to the rights to service the loan. See the “Loan Servicing Rights” section below.
Loans and Loan Fees
Loans are reported at their outstanding principal balance net of any unearned income, charge-offs, unamortized deferred fees and costs on originated loans and premium or discounts on purchased loans, except for purchased credit deteriorated (PCD) loans recorded at the purchase price, including non-credit discounts, plus the allowance for credit losses expected at the time of acquisition. Loan origination and commitment fees, net of related costs are deferred and amortized as an adjustment of loan yield over the estimated life of the loans approximating the effective interest method.
Loans are deemed to be past due when the contractually required principal and interest payments have not been received as they become due. Loans are placed on non-accrual status generally, when they become 90 days past due and the full and timely collection of principal and interest becomes uncertain. When a loan is placed on non-accrual status, interest accruals cease and uncollected accrued interest is reversed and charged against current income. Cash collections from non-accrual loans are generally credited to the loan balance, and no interest income is recognized on these loans until the principal balance has been determined to be fully collectible. A loan in which the borrowers’ obligation has not been released in bankruptcy courts may be restored to an accruing basis when it becomes well secured and is in the process of collection, or all past due amounts become current under the loan agreement and collectability is no longer doubtful.
Allowance for Credit Losses for Loans
As noted previously, Valley adopted ASU No. 2016-13 on January 1, 2020, and thus 2020 follows the current expected credit losses methodology. Prior periods have been reported in accordance with previously applicable GAAP, which followed the incurred credit losses methodology. The following policies noted are under the current expected credit losses methodology. A summary of Valley’s previous policies under the incurred credit losses methodology follows at the end of this section.
The allowance for credit losses (ACL) is a valuation account that is deducted from the amortized cost basis to present the net amount expected to be collected on the loans. Loans are charged off against the allowance when management believes the uncollectibility of a loan balance is confirmed. Provisions for credit losses for loans and recoveries on loan previously charged-off by Valley are added back to the allowance.
Under CECL, Valley's methodology to establish the allowance for credit losses for loans has two basic components: (1) a collective reserve component for estimated lifetime expected credit losses for pools of loans that share common risk characteristics and (2) an individual reserve component for loans that do not share common risk characteristics. Previously, an allowance for loan losses was recognized based on probable incurred losses.
Reserves for loans that share common risk characteristics. Valley estimated the collective ACL using a current expected credit losses methodology which is based on relevant information about historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the loan balances. In estimating the component of the
2020 Form 10-K82


allowance on a collective basis, Valley uses a transition matrix model which calculates an expected life of loan loss percentage for each loan pool by generating probability of default and loss given default metrics. The metrics are based on the migration of loans from performing to loss by credit quality rating or delinquency categories using historical life-of-loan analysis periods for each loan portfolio pool, and the severity of loss, based on the aggregate net lifetime losses. The model's expected losses based on loss history are adjusted for qualitative factors. Among other things, these adjustments include and account for differences in: (i) the impact of the reasonable and supportable economic forecast, probability weightings and reversion period, (ii) other asset specific risks to the extent they do not exist in the historical loss information, and (iii) net expected recoveries of charged off loan balances. These adjustments are based on qualitative factors not reflected in the quantitative model but are likely to impact the measurement of estimated credit losses. The expected lifetime loss rate is the life of loan loss percentage from the transition matrix model plus the impact of the adjustments for qualitative factors. The expected credit losses are the product of multiplying the model’s expected lifetime loss rate by the exposure at default at period end on an undiscounted basis.
Valley utilizes a two-year reasonable and supportable forecast period followed by a one-year period over which estimated losses revert to historical loss experience for the remaining life of the loan on a straight-line basis. The forecasts consist of a multi-scenario economic forecast model to estimate future credit losses that is governed by a cross-functional committee. The committee meets each quarter to determine which economic scenarios developed by Moody's will be incorporated into the model, as well as the relative probability weightings of the selected scenarios, based upon all readily available information. The model projects economic variables under each scenario based on detailed statistical analyses. Valley has identified and selected key variables that most closely correlated to its historical credit performance, which include: GDP, unemployment and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
The loan credit quality data utilized in the transition matrix model is based on an internal credit risk rating system for the commercial and industrial loan and commercial real estate loan portfolio segments and delinquency aging status for the residential and consumer loan portfolio segments. Loans are risk-rated based on an internal credit risk grading process that evaluates, among other things: (i) the obligor’s ability to repay; (ii) the underlying collateral, if any; and (iii) the economic environment and industry in which the borrower operates. This analysis is performed at the relationship manager level for all commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans, and evaluated by the Loan Review Department on a test basis. Loans with a grade that is below “Pass” grade are adversely classified. Once a loan is adversely classified, the assigned relationship manager and/or a special assets officer in conjunction with the Credit Risk Management Department analyzes the loan to determine whether the loan is a collateral dependent asset (i.e., repayment is expected to be provided substantially through the sale or operation of the collateral) and the need to specifically assign a specific valuation allowance for loan losses to the loan, as discussed further below.
Reserves for loans that that do not share common risk characteristics. Valley measures specific reserves for individual loans that do not share common risk characteristics with other loans, consisting of collateral dependent, troubled debt restructured (TDR) loans, and expected TDR loans, based on the amount of lifetime expected credit losses calculated on those loans and charge-offs of those amounts determined to be uncollectible. Factors considered by Valley in measuring the extent of expected credit loss include payment status, collateral value, borrower financial condition, guarantor support and the probability of collecting scheduled principal and interest payments when due. Collateral dependent loan balances are written down to the estimated current fair value (less estimated selling costs) of each loan’s underlying collateral resulting in an immediate charge-off to the allowance, excluding any consideration for personal guarantees that may be pursued in the Bank’s collection process. If repayment is based upon future expected cash flows, the present value of the expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s original effective interest rate is compared to the carrying value of the loan, and any shortfall is recorded as the allowance for credit losses. The effective interest rate used to discount expected cash flows is adjusted to incorporate expected prepayments, if applicable.

Valley elected to exclude accrued interest on loans from the amortized cost of loans held for investment. The accrued interest is presented separately in the consolidated statements of financial condition.

Loans charge-offs. Loans rated as "loss" within Valley's internal rating system are charged-off. Commercial loans are generally assessed for full or partial charge-off to the net realizable value for collateral dependent loans when a loan is between 90 or 120 days past due or sooner if it is probable that a loan may not be fully collectable. Residential loans and home equity loans are generally charged-off to net realizable value when the loan is 120 days past due (or sooner when the borrowers’ obligation has been released in bankruptcy). Automobile loans are fully charged-off when the loan is 120 days past due or partially charged-off to the net realizable value of collateral, if the collateral is recovered prior to such time. Unsecured consumer loans are generally fully charged-off when the loan is 150 days past due.
Under the incurred credit losses methodology utilized in the prior periods, the allowance for credit losses was maintained at a level estimated to absorb probable credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio, as well as other credit risk related charge-offs. The allowance is based on ongoing evaluations of the probable estimated losses inherent in the non-purchase credit impaired
832020 Form 10-K


(PCI) loan portfolio and off-balance sheet unfunded letters of credit, as well as reserves for impairment of PCI loans subsequent to their acquisition date. Valley had no allowance reserves related to PCI loans at December 31, 2019.
The Bank’s methodology for evaluating the appropriateness of the allowance included grouping the loan portfolio into loan segments based on common risk characteristics, tracking the historical levels of classified loans and delinquencies, estimating the appropriate loss look-back and loss emergence periods related to historical losses for each loan segment, providing specific reserves on impaired loans, and assigning incremental reserves where necessary based upon qualitative and economic outlook factors including numerous variables, such as the nature and trends of recent loan charge-offs. Additionally, the volume of non-performing loans, concentration risks by size, type, and geography, new markets, collateral adequacy, credit policies and procedures, staffing, underwriting consistency, loan review and economic conditions are taken into consideration.
The allowance for loan losses consists of four elements: (i) specific reserves for individually impaired credits, (ii) reserves for adversely classified, or higher risk rated, loans that are not impaired, (iii) reserves for other loans based on historical loss factors (using the appropriate loss look-back and loss emergence periods) adjusted for both internal and external qualitative risk factors to Valley, including the aforementioned factors, as well as changes in both organic and purchased loan portfolio volumes, the composition and concentrations of credit, new market initiatives, and the impact of competition on loan structuring and pricing, and (iv) an allowance for PCI loan pools impaired subsequent to the acquisition date, if applicable.
The allowances established for probable losses on specific loans are based on a regular analysis and evaluation of the loans. Loans are evaluated based on an internal credit risk rating system for the commercial and industrial loan and commercial real estate loan portfolio segments and non-performing loan status for the residential and consumer loan portfolio segments. Loans are risk-rated based on an internal credit risk grading process that evaluates, among other things: (i) the obligor’s ability to repay; (ii) the underlying collateral, if any; and (iii) the economic environment and industry in which the borrower operates.
The allowance allocations for other loans (i.e., risk rated loans that are not adversely classified and loans that are not risk rated) are calculated by applying historical loss factors for each loan portfolio segment to the applicable outstanding loan portfolio balances. Loss factors are calculated using statistical analysis supplemented by management judgment. The statistical analysis considers historical default rates, historical loss severity in the event of default, and the average loss emergence period for each loan portfolio segment. The management analysis includes an evaluation of loan portfolio volumes, the composition and concentrations of credit, credit quality and current delinquency trends.
Allowance for Unfunded Credit Commitments
The allowance for unfunded credit commitments consists of undisbursed non-cancellable lines of credit, new loan commitments and commercial letters of credit valued using a similar CECL methodology as used for loans. Management's estimate of expected losses inherent in these off-balance sheet credit exposures also incorporates estimated utilization rate over the commitment's contractual period or an expected pull-through rate for new loan commitments. The allowance for unfunded credit commitments is included in accrued expenses and other liabilities on the consolidated statements of financial condition.
See Note 5 for a discussion of Valley’s loan credit quality and additional allowance for credit losses.
Leases
Lessor Arrangements. Valley's lessor arrangements primarily consist of direct financing and sales-type leases for equipment included in the commercial and industrial loan portfolio. Lease agreements may include options to renew and for the lessee to purchase the leased equipment at the end of the lease term.
Lessee Arrangements. Valley's lessee arrangements predominantly consist of operating and finance leases for premises and equipment. The majority of the operating leases include one or more options to renew that can significantly extend the lease terms. Valley’s leases have a wide range of lease expirations through the year 2062. 
Operating and finance leases are recognized as right of use (ROU) assets and lease liabilities in the consolidated statements of financial position. The ROU assets represent the right to use underlying assets for the lease terms and lease liabilities represent Valley’s obligations to make lease payments arising from the lease. The ROU assets include any prepaid lease payments and initial direct costs, less any lease incentives. At the commencement dates of leases, ROU assets and lease liabilities are initially recognized based on their net present values with the lease terms including options to extend or terminate the lease when Valley is reasonably certain that the options will be exercised to extend. ROU assets are amortized into net occupancy and equipment expense over the expected lives of the leases.
2020 Form 10-K84


Lease liabilities are discounted to their net present values on the balance sheet based on incremental borrowing rates as determined at the lease commencement dates using quoted interest rates for readily available borrowings, such as fixed rate FHLB borrowings, with similar terms as the lease obligations. Lease liabilities are reduced by actual lease payments.
See Note 6 for additional information on Valley's lease related assets and obligations.
Premises and Equipment, Net
Premises and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets. Estimated useful lives range from 3 years for capitalized software to up to 40 years for buildings. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the term of the lease or estimated useful life of the asset, whichever is shorter. Major improvements are capitalized, while repairs and maintenance costs are charged to operations as incurred. Upon retirement or disposition, any gain or loss is credited or charged to operations. See Note 7 for further details.
Bank Owned Life Insurance
Valley owns bank owned life insurance (BOLI) to help offset the cost of employee benefits. BOLI is recorded at its cash surrender value. Valley’s BOLI is invested primarily in U.S. Treasury securities and residential mortgage-backed securities issued by government sponsored enterprises and Ginnie Mae. The majority of the underlying investment portfolio is managed by one independent investment firm. The change in the cash surrender value is included as a component of non-interest income and is exempt from federal and state income taxes as long as the policies are held until the death of the insured individuals.
Other Real Estate Owned
Valley acquires other real estate owned (OREO) through foreclosure on loans secured by real estate. OREO is reported at the lower of cost or fair value, as established by a current appraisal (less estimated costs to sell) and it is included in other assets. Any write-downs at the date of foreclosure are charged to the allowance for loan losses. Expenses incurred to maintain these properties, unrealized losses resulting from valuation write-downs after the date of foreclosure, and realized gains and losses upon sale of the properties are included in other non-interest expense. OREO totaled $5.1 million and $9.4 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. OREO included foreclosed residential real estate properties totaling $1.0 million and $2.1 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Residential mortgage and consumer loans secured by residential real estate properties for which formal foreclosure proceedings are in process totaled $1.9 million and $2.8 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Goodwill
Intangible assets resulting from acquisitions under the acquisition method of accounting consist of goodwill and other intangible assets (see “Other Intangible Assets” below). Goodwill represents the excess of the cost of businesses acquired over the fair value of the net assets acquired and is not amortized. The initial recording of goodwill and other intangible assets requires subjective judgments concerning estimates of the fair value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities. Goodwill is subject to annual tests for impairment or more often, if events or circumstances indicate it may be impaired.
Prior to January 1, 2020, goodwill impairment was determined using a two-step quantitative test. On January 1, 2020, Valley adopted ASU No. 2017-04, which simplified the impairment test by eliminating the step two requirement to calculate the implied fair value of goodwill to measure a goodwill impairment charge. Instead, an impairment loss is recognized if the carrying value of the net assets assigned to the reporting unit exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit, with the impairment loss not to exceed the amount of goodwill allocated to the unit (formerly step one of the two-step test). Goodwill is allocated to Valley's reporting unit, which is a business segment or one level below, at the date goodwill is recorded. Under current accounting guidance, Valley may choose to perform an optional qualitative assessment to determine whether it is necessary to perform the single-step quantitative goodwill impairment test for one or more reporting units each annual period.
Valley reviews goodwill for impairment annually during the second quarter using a quantitative test, or more frequently if a triggering event indicates impairment may have occurred. Our determination of whether or not goodwill is impaired requires us to make judgments, and use significant estimates and assumptions regarding estimated future cash flows. If we change our strategy or if market conditions shift, our judgments may change, which may result in adjustments to the recorded goodwill balance.
Other Intangible Assets
Other intangible assets primarily consist of loan servicing rights (largely generated from loan servicing retained by the Bank on residential mortgage loan originations sold in the secondary market to government sponsored enterprises), core
852020 Form 10-K


deposits (the portion of an acquisition purchase price which represents value assigned to the existing deposit base) and, to a much lesser extent, customer lists obtained through acquisitions. Other intangible assets are amortized using various methods over their estimated lives and are periodically evaluated for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable from future undiscounted cash flows. If impairment is deemed to exist, an adjustment is recorded to earnings in the current period for the difference between the fair value of the asset and its carrying amount. See further details regarding loan servicing rights below.
Loan Servicing Rights
Loan servicing rights are recorded when originated mortgage loans are sold with servicing rights retained, or when servicing rights are purchased. Valley initially records the loan servicing rights at fair value. Subsequently, the loan servicing rights are carried at the lower of unamortized cost or market (i.e., fair value). The fair values of the loan servicing rights for each risk-stratified group of loan servicing rights are calculated using a fair value model from a third party vendor that uses various inputs and assumptions, including but not limited to, prepayment speeds, internal rate of return (“discount rate”), servicing cost, ancillary income, float rate, tax rate, and inflation. The prepayment speed and the discount rate are considered two of the most significant inputs in the model.
Unamortized costs associated with acquiring loan servicing rights, net of any valuation allowances, are included in other intangible assets in the consolidated statements of financial condition and are accounted for using the amortization method. Valley amortizes the loan servicing assets in proportion to and over the period of estimated net servicing revenues. On a quarterly basis, Valley stratifies its loan servicing assets into groupings based on risk characteristics and assesses each group for impairment based on fair value. A valuation allowance is established through an impairment charge to earnings to the extent the unamortized cost of a stratified group of loan servicing rights exceeds its estimated fair value. Increases in the fair value of impaired loan servicing rights are recognized as a reduction of the valuation allowance, but not in excess of such allowance. The amortization of loan servicing rights is recorded in non-interest income.
Stock-Based Compensation
Compensation expense for restricted stock units, restricted stock and stock option awards (i.e., non-vested stock awards) is based on the fair value of the award on the date of the grant and is recognized ratably over the service period of the award. Beginning in 2019, Valley's long-term incentive compensation plan was amended to include a service period requirement for award grantees who are eligible for retirement pursuant to which an award will vest at one-twelfth per month after the grant date, which requires the grantees to continue service with Valley for one year in order for the award to fully vest. Compensation expense for these awards is amortized monthly over a one year period after the grant date. Prior to 2019, award grantees who were eligible for retirement did not have a service period requirement. Compensation expense for these awards is recognized immediately in earnings. The service period for non-retirement eligible employees is the shorter of the stated vesting period of the award or the period until the employee’s retirement eligibility date. The fair value of each option granted is estimated using a binomial option pricing model. The fair value of restricted stock units and awards is based upon the last sale price reported for Valley’s common stock on the date of grant or the last sale price reported preceding such date, except for performance-based stock awards with a market condition. The grant date fair value of a performance-based stock award that vests based on a market condition is determined by a third party specialist using a Monte Carlo valuation model. See Note 12 for additional information.
Fair Value Measurements
In general, fair values of financial instruments are based upon quoted market prices, where available. When observable market prices and parameters are not fully available, management uses valuation techniques based upon internal and third party models requiring more management judgment to estimate the appropriate fair value measurements. Valuation adjustments may be made to ensure that financial instruments are recorded at fair value, including adjustments based on internal cash flow model projections that utilize assumptions similar to those incorporated by market participants. Other adjustments may include amounts to reflect counterparty credit quality and Valley’s creditworthiness, among other things, as well as unobservable parameters. Any such valuation adjustments are applied consistently over time. See Note 3 for additional information.
Revenue Recognition
Valley's revenue contracts generally have a single performance obligation, as the promise to transfer the individual goods or services is not separately identifiable, or distinct from other obligations within the contracts. Valley does not have a material amount of long-term customer agreements that include multiple performance obligations requiring price allocation and differences in the timing of revenue recognition. Valley has no customer contracts with variable fee agreements based upon performance. Valley's revenue within the scope of ASC Topic 606 includes: (i) trust and investment services income from investment management, investment advisory, trust, custody and other products; (ii) service charges on deposit accounts from
2020 Form 10-K86


checking accounts, savings accounts, overdrafts, insufficient funds, ATM transactions and other activities; and (iii) other income from fee income related to derivative interest rate swaps executed with commercial loan customers, and fees from interchange, wire transfers, credit cards, safe deposit box, ACH, lockbox and various other products and services-related income.
Income Taxes
Valley uses the asset and liability method to provide income taxes on all transactions recorded in the consolidated financial statements. This method requires that income taxes reflect the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets or liabilities for book and tax purposes. Accordingly, a deferred tax asset or liability for each temporary difference is determined based on the enacted tax rates that will be in effect when the underlying items of income and expense are expected to be realized.
Valley’s expense for income taxes includes the current and deferred portions of that expense. Deferred tax assets are recognized if, in management's judgment, their realizability is determined to be more likely than not. A valuation allowance is established to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount we expect to realize. Deferred income tax expense or benefit results from differences between assets and liabilities measured for financial reporting versus income-tax return purposes. The effect on deferred taxes of a change in tax rates is recognized in income tax expense in the period that includes the enactment date.
Valley maintains a reserve related to certain tax positions that management believes contain an element of uncertainty. An uncertain tax position is measured based on the largest amount of benefit that management believes is more likely than not to be realized. Periodically, Valley evaluates each of its tax positions and strategies to determine whether the reserve continues to be appropriate.
Comprehensive Income
Comprehensive income or loss is defined as the change in equity of a business entity during a period due to transactions and other events and circumstances, excluding those resulting from investments by and distributions to shareholders. Comprehensive income consists of net income and other comprehensive income or loss. Valley’s components of other comprehensive income or loss, net of deferred tax, include: (i) unrealized gains and losses on securities available for sale; (ii) unrealized gains and losses on derivatives used in cash flow hedging relationships; and (iii) the pension benefit adjustment for the unfunded portion of its various employee, officer, and director pension plans. Income tax effects are released from accumulated other comprehensive income on an individual unit of account basis. Valley presents comprehensive income and its components in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income for all periods presented. See Note 19 for additional disclosures.
Earnings Per Common Share
In Valley's computation of the earnings per common share, the numerator of both the basic and diluted earnings per common share is net income available to common shareholders (which is equal to net income less dividends on preferred stock). The weighted average number of common shares outstanding used in the denominator for basic earnings per common share is increased to determine the denominator used for diluted earnings per common share by the effect of potentially dilutive common stock equivalents utilizing the treasury stock method.

The following table shows the calculation of both basic and diluted earnings per common share for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018: 
202020192018
 (in thousands, except for share data)
Net income available to common shareholders$377,918 $297,105 $248,740 
Basic weighted-average number of common shares outstanding403,754,356 337,792,270 331,258,964 
Plus: Common stock equivalents1,291,851 2,325,538 1,434,754 
Diluted weighted-average number of common shares outstanding405,046,207 340,117,808 332,693,718 
Earnings per common share:
Basic$0.94 $0.88 $0.75 
Diluted0.93 0.87 0.75 
872020 Form 10-K


Common stock equivalents represent the dilutive effect of additional common shares issuable upon the assumed vesting or exercise, if applicable, of restricted stock units and common stock options to purchase Valley’s common shares. Common stock options with exercise prices that exceed the average market price of Valley’s common stock during the periods presented may have an anti-dilutive effect on the diluted earnings per common share calculation and therefore are excluded from the diluted earnings per share calculation along with restricted stock units. Potential anti-dilutive weighted common shares totaled approximately 1.7 million, 288 thousand, and 2.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Preferred and Common Stock Dividends
Valley issued 4.6 million and 4.0 million shares of non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock in June 2015 and August 2017, respectively, which were initially recorded at fair value. See Note 18 for additional details on the preferred stock issuances. The preferred shares are senior to Valley common stock, whereas the current year dividends must be paid before Valley can pay dividends to its common shareholders. Preferred dividends declared are deducted from net income for computing income available to common shareholders and earnings per common share computations.
Cash dividends to both preferred and common shareholders are payable and accrued when declared by Valley's Board of Directors.
Treasury Stock
Treasury stock is recorded using the cost method and accordingly is presented as a reduction of shareholders’ equity.
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
As part of its asset/liability management strategies and to accommodate commercial borrowers, Valley has used interest rate swaps to hedge variability in cash flows or fair values caused by changes in interest rates. Valley also uses derivatives not designated as hedges for non-speculative purposes to (1) manage its exposure to interest rate movements related to a service for commercial lending customers, (2) share the risk of default on the interest rate swaps related to certain purchased or sold loan participations through the use of risk participation agreements and (3) manage the interest rate risk of mortgage banking activities with customer interest rate lock commitments and forward contracts to sell residential mortgage loans. Valley also has hybrid instruments, consisting of market linked certificates of deposit with an embedded swap contract. Valley records all derivatives including embedded derivatives as assets or liabilities at fair value on the consolidated statements of financial condition.
Derivatives used to hedge the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows, or other types of forecasted transactions, are considered cash flow hedges. Derivatives used to hedge the exposure to changes in the fair value of an asset, liability, or firm commitment attributable to a particular risk, such as interest rate risk, are considered fair value hedges. For derivatives designated as cash flow hedges, the effective portion of changes in the fair value of the derivative is initially reported in other comprehensive income or loss and subsequently reclassified to earnings when the hedged transaction affects earnings, and the ineffective portion of changes in the fair value of the derivative is recognized directly in earnings. For derivatives designated as fair value hedges, changes in the fair value of the derivative and the hedged item related to the hedged risk are recognized in earnings. On a quarterly basis, Valley assesses the effectiveness of each hedging relationship by comparing the changes in cash flows or fair value of the derivative hedging instrument with the changes in cash flows or fair value of the designated hedged item or transaction. If a hedging relationship is terminated due to ineffectiveness, and the derivative instrument is not re-designated to a new hedging relationship, the subsequent change in fair value of such instrument is charged directly to earnings. Derivatives not designated as hedges do not meet the hedge accounting requirements under U.S. GAAP. Changes in fair value of derivatives not designated in hedging relationships are recorded directly in earnings. Valley calculates the credit valuation adjustments to the fair value of derivatives designated as fair value hedges on a net basis by counterparty portfolio, as an accounting policy election.
New Authoritative Accounting Guidance
New Accounting Guidance Adopted in 2020. ASU No. 2016-13, "Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments" amends the accounting guidance on the impairment of financial instruments. The FASB issued an amendment to replace the incurred loss impairment methodology under prior accounting guidance with a new CECL model.

Valley adopted ASU No. 2016-13 on January 1, 2020 using the modified retrospective approach for all financial assets measured at amortized cost (except for PCD loans) and off-balance sheet credit exposures. At adoption, Valley recorded a $100.4 million increase to its allowance for credit losses, including reserves of $92.5 million, $7.1 million and $793 thousand
2020 Form 10-K88


related to loans, unfunded credit commitments and held to maturity debt securities, respectively. Of the $92.5 million in loan reserves, $61.6 million represents PCD loan related reserves which were recognized through a gross-up that increased the amortized cost basis of loans with a corresponding increase to the allowance for credit losses, and therefore resulted in no impact to shareholders' equity. The remaining non-credit discount of $97.7 million related to PCD loans is accreted into interest income over the life of the loans at the effective interest rate effective January 1, 2020. Valley elected the prospective transition approach for PCD loans that were previously classified as purchased-credit impaired (PCI) loans. Under this guidance, Valley was not required to reassess whether PCI loans met the PCD loans criteria as of the date of the date of adoption. The non-PCD loan related increase to the allowance for credit losses of $38.8 million, including the reserves for unfunded loan commitments and held to maturity debt securities, was offset in shareholders' equity and deferred tax assets. See Notes 4 and 5 for allowance for credit losses required disclosures. Reporting periods prior to the adoption date are presented in accordance with previously applicable GAAP.

ASU No. 2017-04, "Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment" eliminates the requirement to calculate the implied fair value of goodwill (i.e., Step 2 of the current goodwill impairment test guidance) to measure a goodwill impairment charge. Instead, an entity will be required to record an impairment charge based on the excess of a reporting unit’s carrying amount over its fair value (i.e., measure the charge based on Step 1 of the current guidance). In addition, ASU No. 2017-04 eliminates the requirements for any reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount to perform a qualitative assessment and, if it fails that qualitative test, to perform Step 2 of the goodwill impairment test. However, an entity will be required to disclose the amount of goodwill allocated to each reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount of net assets. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative assessment for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. ASU No. 2017-04 was effective for Valley on January 1, 2020 and Valley applied this new guidance in its annual goodwill impairment test performed during the second quarter 2020.
New Accounting Guidance Issued in 2020. ASU No. 2020-04, "Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848)" provides optional expedients and exceptions for applying U.S. GAAP to contract modifications and hedging relationships that reference LIBOR or another reference rate expected to be discontinued, subject to meeting certain criteria. Under the new guidance, an entity can elect by accounting topic or industry subtopic to account for the modification of a contract affected by reference rate reform as a continuation of the existing contract, if certain conditions are met. In addition, the new guidance allows an entity to elect on a hedge-by-hedge basis to continue to apply hedge accounting for hedging relationships in which the critical terms change due to reference rate reform, if certain conditions are met. A one-time election to sell and/or transfer held to maturity debt securities that reference a rate affected by reference rate reform is also allowed. ASU No. 2020-04 became effective for all entities as of March 12, 2020 and can apply to all LIBOR reference rate modifications any time through December 31, 2022. Management is currently evaluating the impact of the ASU on Valley’s consolidated financial statements. Valley has established a working group to identify and prepare fall back language and replacement provisions. In addition, the working group is evaluating substitute indices for LIBOR and testing Valley's models and systems that currently use LIBOR to ensure reference rates change readiness.
New Accounting Guidance Adopted in the First Quarter 2021. ASU No. 2020-08, "Codification Improvements to Subtopic 310-20, Receivables—Nonrefundable Fees and Other Costs" provides clarification and affects the guidance previously issued by ASU No. 2017-08 “Receivables -Nonrefundable Fees and Other Costs (Subtopic 310-20): Premium Amortization on Purchased Callable Debt Securities.” ASU No. 2020-08 clarifies that an entity should reevaluate whether a debt security with multiple call dates is within the scope of paragraph 310-20-35-33. For each reporting period, to the extent that the amortized cost basis of an individual callable debt security exceeds the amount repayable by the issuer at the next call date, the premium should be amortized to the next call date, unless the guidance to consider estimated prepayments is applied. Valley adopted ASU No. 2020-08 on January 1, 2021. This new guidance is not expected to have a significant impact on Valley’s consolidated financial statements.

ASU No. 2021-01 "Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848)" extends some of Topic 848’s optional expedients to derivative contracts impacted by the discounting transition, including for derivatives that do not reference LIBOR or other reference rates that are expected to be discontinued. ASU No. 2021-01 is effective for all entities immediately upon issuance and may be elected retrospectively to eligible modifications as of any date from the beginning of the interim period that includes March 12, 2020, or prospectively to new modifications made on or after any date within the interim period including January 7, 2021. The ASU No. 2021-01 is not expected to have a significant impact on Valley’s consolidated financial statements.




892020 Form 10-K


BUSINESS COMBINATIONS (Note 2)

Oritani Financial Corp.
On December 1, 2019, Valley completed its acquisition of Oritani Financial Corp. ("Oritani") and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oritani Bank. Oritani had approximately $4.3 billion in assets, $3.4 billion in net loans and $2.9 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and a branch network of 26 locations. The acquisition represented a significant addition to Valley's New Jersey franchise, and meaningfully enhanced its presence in the Bergen County market. The common shareholders of Oritani received 1.60 shares of Valley common stock for each Oritani share that they owned prior to the merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $835.3 million, consisting of 71.1 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding Oritani stock-based awards.
Merger expenses totaled $1.9 million and $16.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, which primarily related to salary and employee benefits, as well as professional and legal, net occupancy and equipment, and other expenses. These expenses are included in non-interest expense on the consolidated statements of income.
During 2020, Valley revised the estimated fair values of the acquired assets as of the Oritani acquisition date due to additional information obtained that existed as of December 1, 2019. The adjustments mostly related to the fair value of certain loans, current taxes payable and the valuation of deferred tax assets as of the acquisition date. These adjustments resulted in an $8.8 million increase in goodwill (see Note 8 for amount of goodwill as allocated to Valley's business segments).
Had the acquisition of Oritani taken place on the beginning of the following annual periods presented, Valley’s revenues (defined as the sum of net interest income and non-interest income), net income, basic earnings per share, and diluted earnings per share would have equaled the amounts indicated in the following table for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018:
 20192018
(in thousands, except per share data)Unaudited
Revenues$1,219,887 $1,106,012 
Net income361,079 313,977 
Basic earnings per share0.86 0.75 
Diluted earnings per share0.85 0.75 

USAmeriBancorp, Inc.
On January 1, 2018, Valley completed its acquisition of USAmeriBancorp, Inc. (USAB) headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. USAB, largely through its wholly-owned subsidiary, USAmeriBank, had approximately $5.1 billion in assets, $3.7 billion in net loans and $3.6 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and maintained a branch network of 29 offices. The acquisition represented a significant addition to Valley’s Florida presence, primarily in the Tampa Bay market. The acquisition also brought Valley to the Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tallapoosa areas in Alabama, where USAB maintained 15 of its branches. The common shareholders of USAB received 6.1 shares of Valley common stock for each USAB share they owned prior to the merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $737 million, consisting of 64.9 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding USAB stock-based awards.
Merger expenses totaled $17.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, which primarily related to salary and employee benefits and other expenses are included in non-interest expense on the consolidated statements of income.
FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENT OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES (Note 3)
Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 820, “Fair Value Measurements” establishes a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1 measurements) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3 measurements). The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are described below:

Level 1 - Unadjusted exchange quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities, or identical liabilities traded as assets that the reporting entity has the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2 - Quoted prices in markets that are not active, or inputs that are observable either directly or indirectly (i.e., quoted prices on similar assets) for substantially the full term of the asset or liability.
Level 3 - Prices or valuation techniques that require inputs that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable (i.e., supported by little or no market activity).
2020 Form 10-K90



Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Recurring Basis and Non-Recurring Basis
The following tables present the assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring and non-recurring basis by level within the fair value hierarchy as reported on the consolidated statements of financial condition at December 31, 2020 and 2019. The assets presented under “non-recurring fair value measurements” in the table below are not measured at fair value on an ongoing basis but are subject to fair value adjustments under certain circumstances (e.g., when an impairment loss is recognized).
  Fair Value Measurements at Reporting Date Using:
 December 31,
2020
Quoted Prices
in Active Markets
for Identical Assets (Level 1)
Significant Other
Observable  Inputs
(Level 2)
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
(Level 3)
 (in thousands)
Recurring fair value measurements:
Assets
Investment securities:
Equity securities (1)
$26,379 $18,600 $$
Available for sale debt securities:
U.S. Treasury securities51,393 51,393 
U.S. government agency securities26,157 26,157 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions79,950 79,135 815 
Residential mortgage-backed securities1,090,022 1,090,022 
Corporate and other debt securities91,951 91,951 
Total available for sale debt securities1,339,473 51,393 1,287,265 815 
Loans held for sale (2)
301,427 301,427 
Other assets (3)