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Carver Bancorp Inc  (CARV)
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    Sector  Financial    Industry S&Ls Savings Banks
   Industry S&Ls Savings Banks
   Sector  Financial

Carver Bancorp Inc

Business Description


Carver Bancorp, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered savings bank. The Company is headquartered in New York, New York. The Company conducts business as a unitary savings and loan holding company, and the principal business of the Company consists of the operation of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Carver Federal. Carver Federal was founded in 1948 to serve African-American communities whose residents, businesses and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services. The Bank remains headquartered in Harlem, and predominantly all of its ten branches and four stand-alone 24/7 ATM centers are located in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. Many of these historically underserved communities have experienced unprecedented growth and diversification of incomes, ethnicity and economic opportunity, after decades of public and private investment.

Carver Federal is the largest African-American operated bank in the United States. The Bank remains dedicated to expanding wealth enhancing opportunities in the communities it serves by increasing access to capital and other financial services for consumers, businesses and non-profit organizations, including faith-based institutions. A measure of its progress in achieving this goal includes the Bank's third consecutive "Outstanding" rating, issued by the OCC following its most recent Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) examination in December 2012. As of December 2012, approximately 78% of newly originated loans were within Carver's assessment area, and the Bank has demonstrated excellent responsiveness to its assessment area's needs through its community development lending, investing and service activities.

Carver Federal engages in a wide range of consumer and commercial banking services. Carver Federal provides deposit products, including demand, savings and time deposits for consumers, businesses, and governmental and quasi-governmental agencies in its local market area within New York City. In addition to deposit products, Carver Federal offers a number of other consumer and commercial banking products and services, including debit cards, online banking, online bill pay and telephone banking. Carver Federal also offers a suite of products and services for unbanked and underbanked consumers, branded as Carver Community Cash. This includes check cashing, wire transfers, bill payment, reloadable prepaid cards and money orders.

Carver Federal offers loan products covering a variety of asset classes, including commercial, multifamily and residential mortgages, construction loans and business loans. The Bank finances mortgage and loan products through deposits or borrowings. Funds not used to originate mortgages and loans are invested primarily in U.S. government agency securities and mortgage-backed securities.

The Bank's primary market area for deposits consists of the areas served by its ten branches in the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens boroughs of New York City. The neighborhoods in which the Bank's branches are located have historically been low- to moderate-income areas. The Bank's primary lending market includes Kings, New York, Bronx and Queens Counties in New York City, and lower Westchester County, New York. Although the Bank's branches are primarily located in areas that were historically underserved by other financial institutions, the Bank faces significant competition for deposits and mortgage lending in its market areas. Management believes that this competition has become more intense as a result of increased examination emphasis by federal banking regulators on financial institutions' fulfillment of their responsibilities under the CRA and more recently due to the decline in demand for loans. Carver Federal's market area has a high density of financial institutions, many of which have greater financial resources, name recognition and market presence, and all of which are competitors to varying degrees. The Bank's competition for loans comes principally from commercial banks, savings institutions and mortgage banking companies. The Bank's most direct competition for deposits comes from commercial banks, savings institutions and credit unions. Competition for deposits also comes from money market mutual funds, corporate and government securities funds, and financial intermediaries such as brokerage firms and insurance companies. Many of the Bank's competitors have substantially greater resources and offer a wider array of financial services and products. This, combined with competitors' larger presence in the New York market, add to the challenges the Bank faces in expanding its current market share and growing its near-term profitability.

Carver Federal's more than 65 year history in its market area, its community involvement and relationships, targeted products and services and personal service consistent with community banking, help the Bank compete with competitors that have entered its market.

The Bank formalized its many community focused investments on August 18, 2005, by forming Carver Community Development Corporation ("CCDC"). CCDC oversees the Bank's participation in local economic development and other community-based initiatives, including financial literacy activities. CCDC coordinates the Bank's development of an innovative approach to reach the unbanked customer market in Carver Federal's communities. Importantly, CCDC spearheads the Bank's applications for grants and other resources to help fund these important community activities. In this connection, Carver Federal has successfully competed with large regional and global financial institutions in a number of competitions for government grants and other awards.The NMTC award is used to stimulate economic development in low- to moderate-income communities. The NMTC awards enable the Bank to invest with community and development partners in economic development projects with attractive terms including, in some cases, below market interest rates, which may have the effect of attracting capital to underserved communities and facilitating revitalization of the community, pursuant to the goals of the NMTC program. NMTC awards provide a credit to Carver Federal against Federal income taxes when the Bank makes qualified investments. The credits are allocated over seven years from the time of the qualified investment. Alternatively, the Bank can utilize the award in projects where another investor entity provides funding and receives the tax benefits of the award in exchange for the Bank receiving fee income.

Carver Federal's loan portfolio consists primarily of mortgage loans originated by the Bank's lending teams and secured by commercial real estate, multifamily and one-to-four family residential property and construction loans. Substantially all of the Bank's mortgage loans are secured by properties located within the Bank's market area. From time to time, the Bank may purchase loans that comply with the Bank's underwriting standards from other financial institutions or in contiguous market geographies to achieve loan growth objectives.

In recent years, Carver Federal has focused on the origination of commercial real estate loans and multifamily residential loans. These loans generally have higher yields and shorter maturities than one-to-four family residential properties, and include prepayment penalties that the Bank collects if the loans pay in full prior to the contractual maturity. The Bank's increased emphasis on portfolio management and monitoring of the commercial real estate and multifamily residential mortgage loans was required given the increase of the overall level of credit risk inherent in this market segment. Due to the overall improvement in the loan portfolio, the Bank has been able to recover provision for loan losses in years 2013 to 2015. However, the greater risk associated with commercial real estate and multifamily residential loans may require the Bank to increase its provisions for loan losses and could require the Bank to maintain an allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans in excess of the allowance currently maintained. Carver Federal continually reviews the composition of its mortgage loan portfolio and underwriting standards to manage the risk in the portfolio.




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