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Form 10-K Kentucky First Federal For: Jun 30

September 28, 2022 2:24 PM EDT

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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 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 June 30, 2022

 

or

 

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 0-51176

 

KENTUCKY FIRST FEDERAL BANCORP

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

United States   61-1484858
(State or Other Jurisdiction of   (I.R.S. Employer
Incorporation or Organization)   Identification No.)

 

655 Main Street, Hazard, Kentucky   41702
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (502) 223-1638

 

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

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share   KFFB   The 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 for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒   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 (Section 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.

 

  Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer
  Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
    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.

 

Indicate by a 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 common stock held by nonaffiliates was $19.2 million as of December 31, 2021.

 

Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of September 24, 2022: 8,154,695

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

The following lists the documents incorporated by reference and the Part of the Form 10-K into which the document is incorporated:

 

  1. Portions of the Annual Report to Stockholders for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022. (Part II)

 

  2. Portions of Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. (Part III)

 

 

 

 

 

INDEX

 

      PAGE
PART I     1
       
Item 1. Business   1
       
Item 1A. Risk Factors   17
       
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments   24
       
Item 2. Properties   24
       
Item 3. Legal Proceedings   24
       
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures   24
       
PART II     25
       
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   25
       
Item 6. [Reserved]   26
       
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   26
       
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   26
       
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   26
       
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   26
       
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures   26
       
Item 9B. Other Information   28
       
Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections   28
       
PART III     29
       
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance   29
       
Item 11. Executive Compensation   29
       
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   29
       
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   30
       
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services   30
       
PART IV     31
       
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules   31
       
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary   32
       
SIGNATURES   33

 

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PART I

 

Item 1. Business.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain statements contained in this report that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. When used herein, the terms “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “believes,” and similar expressions as they relate to Kentucky First Federal Bancorp or its management are intended to identify such forward looking statements. Kentucky First Federal Bancorp’s actual results, performance or achievements may materially differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause or contribute to such material differences include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, inflation and its impacts, prices for real estate in the Company’s market areas, interest rate environment, competitive conditions in the financial services industry, changes in law, governmental policies and regulations, rapidly changing technology affecting financial services, the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local and national economic environment, on our customers and on our operations (as well as any changes to federal, state and local government laws, regulations and orders in connection with the pandemic), the impacts related to or resulting from Russia’s military action in Ukraine, including the broader impacts to financial markets, and the other matters mentioned in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, the Company does not undertake the responsibility, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to release publicly the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events. Accordingly, actual results may differ from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, and the making of such statements should not be regarded as a representation by the Company or any other person that results expressed therein will be achieved.

 

General

 

References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Kentucky First, and where appropriate, collectively to Kentucky First, First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky.

 

Kentucky First Federal Bancorp. Kentucky First Federal Bancorp (“Kentucky First Federal” or the “Company”) was incorporated as a mid-tier holding company under the laws of the United States on March 2, 2005 upon the completion of the reorganization of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hazard (“First Federal of Hazard”) into a federal mutual holding company form of organization (the “Reorganization”). On that date, Kentucky First Federal also completed its minority stock offering and its concurrent acquisition of Frankfort First Bancorp, Inc. (“Frankfort First Bancorp”) and its wholly owned subsidiary First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky, Frankfort, Kentucky (“First Federal of Kentucky”) (the “Merger”). Following the Reorganization and Merger, the Company has operated First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky (collectively, the “Banks”) as two independent, community-oriented savings institutions.

 

On December 31, 2012, Kentucky First Federal acquired CFK Bancorp, Inc., the savings and loan holding company for Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered savings bank located in Danville, Kentucky. Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank was merged into First Federal of Kentucky and now operates as a division of First Federal of Kentucky under the name “Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank” through its two offices in Danville, Kentucky and its Lancaster, Kentucky branch. With the acquisition, the Company expanded its customer base in the central Kentucky area with an institution that shared its community banking orientation and thrift heritage and enjoyed a favorable reputation within the new Danville-Lancaster market area.

 

Kentucky First’s and First Federal of Hazard’s executive offices are located at 655 Main Street, Hazard, Kentucky, 41702 and the telephone number for investor relations is (888) 818-3372.

 

At June 30, 2022, Kentucky First had total assets of $328.1 million, deposits of $239.9 million and stockholders’ equity of $52.0 million. The discussion in this Annual Report on Form 10-K relates primarily to the businesses of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky, as Kentucky First’s operations consist primarily of operating the Banks and investing funds retained in the Reorganization.

 

First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are subject to examination and comprehensive regulation by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and their deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the Deposit Insurance Fund, which is administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Both of the Banks are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, which is one of the 11 regional banks in the FHLB System. See “Regulation and Supervision.”

 

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First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hazard. First Federal of Hazard was formed as a federally chartered mutual savings and loan association in 1960. First Federal of Hazard operates from a single office located at 655 Main Street, Hazard, Kentucky as a community-oriented savings and loan association offering traditional financial services to consumers in Perry and surrounding counties in eastern Kentucky. It engages primarily in the business of attracting deposits from the general public and using such funds to originate, when available, loans secured by first mortgages on owner-occupied, residential real estate and occasionally other loans secured by real estate. To the extent there is insufficient loan demand in its market area, and where appropriate under its investment policies, First Federal of Hazard has historically invested in mortgage-backed and investment securities, although since the reorganization, First Federal of Hazard has been purchasing whole loans and participations in loans originated at First Federal of Kentucky. At June 30, 2022, First Federal of Hazard had total assets of $84.2 million, net loans of $72.2 million, total mortgage-backed and other securities of $5.5 million, deposits of $48.2 million and total capital of $18.4 million.

 

First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky. First Federal of Kentucky is a federally chartered savings bank, which is primarily engaged in the business of attracting deposits from the general public and originating primarily adjustable-rate loans secured by first mortgages on owner-occupied and nonowner-occupied one- to four-family residences in Franklin, Boyle, Garrard and other counties in Kentucky. First Federal of Kentucky also originates, to a lesser extent, home equity loans and loans secured by churches, multi-family properties, professional office buildings and other types of property. At June 30, 2022, First Federal of Kentucky had total assets of $243.8 million, net loans of $202.3 million, total mortgage-backed and other securities of $5.3 million, deposits of $193.8 million and total capital of $31.0 million.

 

First Federal of Kentucky’s main office is located at 216 W. Main Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40602 and its main telephone number is (502) 223-1638.

 

Market Areas

 

First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky operate in three distinct market areas.

 

First Federal of Hazard’s market area consists of Perry County, where the business office is located, as well as the surrounding counties of Letcher, Knott, Breathitt, Leslie and Clay Counties in eastern Kentucky. The economy in its market area has been distressed in recent years. The local economy depends on the coal industry and other industries, such as health care and manufacturing. Still, the economy in First Federal of Hazard’s market area continues to lag behind the economies of Kentucky and the United States. In the most recent available data, using information from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Economic Development and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, median household income in Perry County is $28,287 compared to personal income of $48,182 in Kentucky and $67,862 in the United States. Total population in Perry County is approximately 28,000. However, as a regional economic center, Hazard tends to draw consumers and workers who commute from surrounding counties. Employment in the market area, particularly in Perry County, consists primarily of education and health services (26.0%), the trade, transportation and utilities industry (20.3%), professional and business services (7.8%), and financial activities (2.8%). During the last five years, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) has been higher than most regions, and in July 2022, was 5.4%, compared to 3.8% in Kentucky and 3.7% in the United States.

 

First Federal of Kentucky’s primary lending area includes the Kentucky counties of Franklin, Boyle, Garrard and surrounding counties, with the majority of lending originated on properties located in Franklin and Boyle Counties.

 

Franklin County has a population of approximately 52,000, of which approximately 27,000 live within the city of Frankfort, which serves as the capital of Kentucky. The primary employer in the area is public administration, which employs about 40.7% of the workforce followed by the education and health services sector (9.1%), followed by the retail (7.4%), and other services (6.1%.). The unemployment rate was 3.7% for July 2022. The median household income in Franklin County is $60,789.

 

Boyle County has a population of approximately 31,000. The sales sector, which employs about 12.7% of the work force, while office and administrative support and production workers represent the next largest job counts with approximately 12.6% and 8.3% of the workforce, respectively. Centre College is one of the larger employers in the community. The unemployment rate was 3.9% in July 2022, while the median household income in Boyle County is $51,765.

 

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Lending Activities

 

General. Our loan portfolio consists primarily of one- to four-family residential mortgage loans. As opportunities arise, we also offer loans secured by churches, commercial real estate, and multi-family real estate. We also offer loans secured by deposit accounts and home equity loans. Substantially all of our loans are made within the Banks’ respective market areas.

 

Residential Mortgage Loans. Our primary lending activity is the origination of mortgage loans to enable borrowers to purchase or refinance existing homes in the Banks’ respective market areas. At June 30, 2022, residential mortgage loans including construction loans and multi-family totaled $232.0 million, or 84.0%, of our total loan portfolio. We offer a mix of adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgage loans with terms up to 30 years. Adjustable-rate loans have an initial fixed term of one, three, five or seven years. After the initial term, the rate adjustments on most of our adjustable-rate loans are indexed to the MIRS Transition Index, formerly known as PMMS+ Index. The interest rates on these mortgages are adjusted once a year, with limitations on adjustments generally of one percentage point per adjustment period, and a lifetime cap of five percentage points. We determine loan fees charged, interest rates and other provisions of mortgage loans on the basis of our own pricing criteria and competitive market conditions. Some loans originated by the Banks have an additional advance clause which allows the borrower to obtain additional funds at prevailing interest rates, subject to managements’ approval.

 

At June 30, 2022, the Company’s loan portfolio included $205.1 million in adjustable-rate residential mortgage loans, or 88.4%, of the Company’s residential mortgage loan portfolio.

 

The retention of adjustable-rate loans in the portfolio helps reduce our exposure to increases in prevailing market interest rates. However, there are unquantifiable credit risks resulting from potential increases in costs to borrowers in the event of upward repricing of adjustable-rate loans. It is possible that during periods of rising interest rates, the risk of default on adjustable-rate loans may increase due to increases in interest costs to borrowers. Further, although adjustable-rate loans allow us to increase the sensitivity of our interest-earning assets to changes in interest rates, the extent of this interest sensitivity is limited by the initial fixed-rate period before the first adjustment and the periodic and lifetime interest rate adjustment limitations. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that yields on our adjustable-rate loans will fully adjust to compensate for increases in our cost of funds. Finally, adjustable-rate loans may decrease at a pace faster than decreases in our cost of funds, resulting in reduced net income.

 

While one- to four-family residential real estate loans are normally originated with up to 30-year terms, such loans typically remain outstanding for substantially shorter periods because borrowers often prepay their loans in full upon sale of the mortgaged property or upon refinancing the original loan. Therefore, average loan maturity is a function of, among other factors, the level of purchase and sale activity in the real estate market, prevailing interest rates and the interest rates payable on outstanding loans. As interest rates declined and remained low over the past few years, we have experienced high levels of loan repayments and refinancings.

 

The Banks offer various programs for the purchase and refinance of one- to four-family loans. Most of these loans have loan-to-value ratios of 80% or less, based on an appraisal provided by a state licensed or certified appraiser. For owner-occupied properties, the borrower may be able to borrow up to 95% of the value if they secure and pay for private mortgage insurance or they may be able to obtain a second mortgage (at a higher interest rate) in which they borrow up to 90% of the value. The Boards of Directors of the Banks may approve a loan above the 80% loan-to-value ratio without such enhancements.

 

Construction Loans. We originate loans for a term of one year or less to individuals to finance the construction of residential dwellings for personal use or for use as rental property. On a case-by-case basis we consider construction loans on other than owner-occupied, residential property. At June 30, 2022, construction loans totaled $1.4 million, or 0.5%, of our total loan portfolio. Our construction loans generally provide for the payment of interest only during the construction phase, which is usually less than one year. Loans generally can be made with a maximum loan to value ratio of 80% of the appraised value. Funds are disbursed as progress is made toward completion of the construction based on site inspections by qualified bank staff.

 

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Construction financing is generally considered to involve a higher degree of risk of loss than long-term financing on improved, occupied real estate. Risk of loss on a construction loan depends largely upon the accuracy of the initial estimate of the property’s value at completion of construction or development and the estimated cost (including interest) of construction. During the construction phase, a number of factors could result in delays and cost overruns. If the estimate of construction costs proves to be inaccurate, we may be required to advance funds beyond the amount originally committed to permit completion of the development. If the estimate of value proves to be inaccurate, we may be confronted, at or before the maturity of the loan, with a project having a value which is insufficient to assure full repayment. As a result of the foregoing, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If we are forced to foreclose on a project before or at completion due to a default, there can be no assurance that we will be able to recover the unpaid balance and accrued interest on the loan, as well as related foreclosure and holding costs.

 

Multi-Family Loans. We offer mortgage loans secured by multi-family property (residential real estate comprised of five or more units.) At June 30, 2022, multi-family loans totaled $14.3 million, or 5.2%, of our total loan portfolio. We originate multi-family real estate loans for terms of generally 25 years or less. Loan amounts generally do not exceed 80% of the appraised value and tend to range much lower.

 

Nonresidential Loans. As opportunities arise, we offer mortgage loans secured by nonresidential real estate, which is generally secured by commercial office buildings, churches, and properties used for other purposes. At June 30, 2022, nonresidential real estate loans totaled $31.4 million, or 11.4% of our total loan portfolio. We originate nonresidential real estate loans for terms of generally 25 years or less and loan amounts generally do not exceed 80% of the appraised value and tend to range much lower.

 

Loans secured by multi-family and nonresidential real estate generally have larger balances and involve a greater degree of risk than one- to four-family residential mortgage loans. Of primary concern in multi-family and nonresidential real estate lending is the borrower’s creditworthiness and the feasibility and cash flow potential of the project. Payments on loans secured by income properties often depend on successful operation and management of the properties. As a result, repayment of such loans may be subject to a greater extent than residential real estate loans to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the economy. To monitor cash flows on income properties, we require borrowers and/or loan guarantors to provide annual financial statements on larger multi-family and commercial real estate loans. In reaching a decision on whether to make a multi-family or nonresidential real estate loan, we consider the net cash flow of the project, the borrower’s expertise, credit history and the value of the underlying property.

 

Commercial Non-mortgage Loans. At June 30, 2022, commercial non-mortgage loans totaled $1.0 million, or 0.4%, of our total loan portfolio. We do not emphasize commercial non-mortgage loans, which may be secured by vehicles used in business or by inventory and equipment of the business or may be unsecured, although we do originate such loans on a limited basis and generally require a pre-existing relationship with the Bank. These loans are made only to businesses in our local market and we generally require personal guarantees of well-established individuals for these loans. Commercial loans involve an even greater degree of risk than real estate loans.

 

Consumer Lending. Our consumer loans include home equity lines of credit, loans secured by savings deposits, automobile loans and unsecured or personal loans. At June 30, 2022, our consumer loan balance totaled $9.2 million, or 3.3%, of our total loan portfolio. Of the consumer loan balance at June 30, 2022, $7.7 million were home equity loans, $891,000 were loans secured by savings deposits and $657,000 were automobile or unsecured loans. Our home equity loans are made on the security of residential real estate and have terms of up to 15 years. Most of our home equity loans are second mortgages subordinate only to first mortgages also held by the bank and do not exceed 80% of the estimated value of the property, less the outstanding principal of the first mortgage, although we do offer home equity loans up to 90% of the value less the balance of the first mortgage at a premium rate to qualified borrowers. These loans are not secured by private mortgage insurance. Our home equity loans require the monthly payment of 1.0% to 2.0% of the unpaid principal until maturity, when the remaining unpaid principal, if any, is due. Home equity loans bear variable rates of interest indexed to the prime rate for loans with 80% or less loan-to-value ratio, and 2% above the prime rate for loans with a loan-to-value ratio in excess of 80%. Interest rates on these loans can be adjusted monthly. At June 30, 2022, the total outstanding home equity loans amounted to 3.0% of the Company’s total loan portfolio.

 

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Loans secured by savings are originated for up to 90% of the depositor’s savings account balance. The interest rate is varying percentage points above the rate paid on the savings account, and the account must be pledged as collateral to secure the loan. At June 30, 2022, loans on savings accounts totaled 0.3% of the Company’s total loan portfolio.

 

Consumer loans generally entail greater risk than do residential mortgage loans, particularly in the case of consumer loans which are unsecured or secured by rapidly depreciable assets. Automobile and unsecured loans at June 30, 2022, totaled 0.3% of the Company’s total loan portfolio.

 

Loan Originations, Purchases and Sales. Loan originations come from a number of sources. The primary source of loan originations are our in-house loan originators, and to a lesser extent, advertising and referrals from customers and real estate agents. First Federal of Kentucky sells fixed-rate loans with longer maturities to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (“FHLB-Cincinnati”). We earn income on the loans sold through fees we charge on the origination, interest spread premiums earned when we sell the loans, and loan servicing fees on an on-going basis, because servicing rights are retained on such loans. At June 30, 2022, $23.2 million in loans were being serviced by First Federal of Kentucky for the FHLB-Cincinnati.

 

Loan Approval Procedures and Authority. Our lending activities follow written, nondiscriminatory, underwriting standards and loan origination procedures established by each Bank’s Board of Directors and management. Each Bank’s loan committee can approve or deny loans on one- to four-family properties totaling $500,000 or less. First Federal of Hazard’s loan committee consists of its two senior officers, while First Federal of Kentucky’s loan approval process allows for various combinations of experienced bank officers to approve or deny loans which are one- to four-family properties. Loans that do not conform to this criteria must be submitted to the Board of Directors or Loan Committee composed of at least three directors, for approval.

 

It is the Company’s practice to record a lien on the real estate securing a loan. The Banks generally do not require title insurance, although it may be required for loans made in certain programs. The Banks do require fire and casualty insurance on all security properties and flood insurance when the collateral property is located in a designated flood hazard area.

 

Loans to One Borrower. The maximum amount either Bank may lend to one borrower and the borrower’s related entities is limited, by regulation, to generally 15% of that Bank’s stated capital and the allowance for loan losses. At June 30, 2022, the regulatory limit on loans to one borrower was $2.8 million for First Federal of Hazard and $4.7 million for First Federal of Kentucky. Neither of the banks had lending relationships in excess of their respective lending limits. However, loans or participations in loans may be sold among the Banks, which may allow a borrower’s total loans with the Company to exceed the limit of either individual bank.

 

Loan Commitments. The Banks issue commitments for the funding of mortgage loans. Generally, these commitments exist from the time the underwriting of the loan is completed and the closing of the loan. Generally, these commitments are for a maximum of 30 or 60 days but management routinely extends the commitment if circumstances delay the closing. Management reserves the right to verify or re-evaluate the borrower’s qualifications and to change the rates and terms of the loan at that time.

 

If conditions exist whereby either Bank experiences a significant increase in loans outstanding or commits to originate loans that are riskier than a typical one- to four-family mortgage, management and the boards will consider reflecting the anticipated loss exposure in a separate liability. As residential loans are approved in the normal course of business, and those loans are underwritten to the standards of the Banks, management does not believe alteration of the allowance for loan losses is warranted. At June 30, 2022, no commitment losses were reflected in a separate liability.

 

Both Banks offer construction loans that either have a separate construction period of one year or less, approved with a simultaneous commitment for permanent financing, or a loan that has a construction phase of one year or less that is convertible to permanent financing.

 

Interest Rates and Loan Fees. Interest rates charged on mortgage loans are primarily determined by competitive loan rates offered in our market areas and our yield objectives. Mortgage loan rates reflect factors such as prevailing market interest rate levels, the supply of money available to the savings industry and the demand for such loans. These factors are in turn affected by general economic conditions, the monetary policies of the federal government, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the general supply of money in the economy, tax policies and governmental budget matters.

 

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We receive fees in connection with late payments on our loans. Depending on the type of loan and the competitive environment for mortgage loans, we may charge an origination fee on all or some of the loans we originate. We may also offer a menu of loans whereby the borrower may pay a higher fee to receive a lower rate or to pay a smaller or no fee for a higher rate.

 

Delinquencies. When a borrower fails to make a required loan payment, we take a number of steps to have the borrower cure the delinquency and restore the loan to current status. We make initial contact with the borrower when the loan becomes 15 days past due. Subsequently, bank staff, under the direct supervision of senior management and with consultation by the Banks’ attorneys, attempt to contact the borrower and determine their status and plans for resolving the delinquency. However, once a delinquency reaches 90 days, management considers foreclosure and, if the borrower has not provided a reasonable plan (such as selling the collateral, securing a commitment from another lender to refinance the loan or submitting a plan to repay the delinquent principal, interest, escrow, and late charges) the foreclosure suit may be initiated. In some cases, management may delay initiating the foreclosure suit if, in management’s opinion, the Banks’ chance of loss is minimal (such as with loans where the estimated value of the property greatly exceeds the amount of the loan) or if the original borrower is deceased or incapacitated. If a foreclosure action is initiated and the loan is not brought current, paid in full, or refinanced with another lender before the foreclosure sale, the real property securing the loan is sold at foreclosure. The Banks are represented at the foreclosure sale and in most cases will bid an amount equal to the Banks’ investment (including interest, advances for taxes and insurance, foreclosure costs, and attorney’s fees). If another bidder outbids the Bank, the Bank’s investment is received in full. If another bidder does not outbid the Banks, the Banks acquire the property and attempt to sell it to recover their investment.

 

A borrower’s filing for bankruptcy can alter the methods available to the Banks to seek collection. In such cases, the Banks work closely with legal counsel to resolve the delinquency as quickly as possible.

 

We may consider loan workout arrangements with certain borrowers under certain conditions. Management of each bank provides a report to its board of directors on a monthly basis of all loans more than 60 days delinquent, including loans in foreclosure, and all property acquired through foreclosure.

 

Investment Activities

 

We have legal authority to invest in various types of liquid assets, including U.S. Treasury obligations, securities of various federal agencies and state and municipal governments, mortgage-backed securities and certificates of deposit of federally insured institutions. We also are required to maintain an investment in FHLB-Cincinnati stock, the level of which is largely dependent on our level of borrowings from the FHLB.

 

At June 30, 2022, our investment portfolio consisted of mortgage-backed securities issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae with stated final maturities of 30 years or less. The Company held no equity position with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

 

Our investment objectives are to provide an alternate source of low-risk investments when loan demand is insufficient, to provide and maintain liquidity, to maintain a balance of high quality, diversified investments to minimize risk, to provide collateral for pledging requirements, to establish an acceptable level of interest rate risk, and to generate a favorable return. The Banks’ Board of Directors has the overall responsibility for each institution’s investment portfolio, including approval of investment policies. The management of each Bank may authorize investments as prescribed in each of the Bank’s investment policies.

 

Bank Owned Life Insurance

 

First Federal of Kentucky owns several Bank Owned Life Insurance policies totaling $2.8 million at June 30, 2022. The purpose of these policies is to offset future escalation of the costs of non-salary employee benefit plans such as First Federal of Kentucky’s defined benefit retirement plan and First Federal of Kentucky’s health insurance plan. The lives of certain key Bank employees are insured, and First Federal of Kentucky is the sole beneficiary and will receive any benefits upon the employee’s death. The policies were purchased from four highly-rated life insurance companies. The design of the plan allows for the cash value of the policy to be designated as an asset of First Federal of Kentucky. The asset’s value will increase by the crediting rate, which is a rate set by each insurance company and is subject to change on an annual basis. The growth of the value of the asset will be recorded as other operating income. Management does not foresee any expense associated with the plan. Because this is a life insurance product, current federal tax laws exempt the income from federal income taxes.

 

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Bank owned life insurance is not secured by any government agency nor are the policies’ asset values or death benefits secured specifically by tangible property. Great care was taken in selecting the insurance companies, and the bond ratings and financial condition of these companies are monitored on a quarterly basis. The failure of one of these companies could result in a significant loss to First Federal of Kentucky. Other risks include the possibility that the favorable tax treatment of the income could change, that the crediting rate will not be increased in a manner comparable to market interest rates, or that this type of plan will no longer be permitted by First Federal of Kentucky’s regulators. This asset is considered illiquid because, although First Federal of Kentucky may terminate the policies and receive the original premium plus all earnings, such an action would require the payment of federal income taxes on all earnings since the policies’ inception.

 

Deposit Activities and Other Sources of Funds

 

General. Deposits, loan repayments and maturities, redemptions, sales and repayments of investment and mortgage-backed securities are the major sources of our funds for lending and other investment purposes. Loan repayments are a relatively stable source of funds, while deposit inflows and outflows and loan prepayments are significantly influenced by general interest rates and money market conditions.

 

Deposit Accounts. The vast majority of our depositors are residents of the Banks’ respective market areas. Deposits are attracted from within our market areas through the offering of passbook savings and certificate accounts, and, at First Federal of Kentucky, checking accounts and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). We do not utilize brokered funds. Deposit account terms vary according to the minimum balance required, the time periods the funds must remain on deposit and the interest rate, among other factors. In determining the terms of our deposit accounts, we consider the rates offered by our competition, profitability to us, asset liability management and customer preferences and concerns. We review our deposit mix and pricing on an ongoing basis as needed.

 

Borrowings. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky borrow from the FHLB-Cincinnati to supplement their supplies of investable funds and to meet deposit withdrawal requirements. The Federal Home Loan Bank functions as a central reserve bank providing credit for member financial institutions. As members, each Bank is required to own capital stock in the FHLB-Cincinnati and is authorized to apply for advances on the security of such stock and certain of our mortgage loans and other assets (principally securities which are obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States), provided certain standards related to creditworthiness have been met. Advances are made under several different programs, each having its own interest rate and range of maturities. Depending on the program, limitations on the amount of advances are based either on a fixed percentage of an institution’s net worth or on the Federal Home Loan Bank’s assessment of the institution’s creditworthiness.

 

Subsidiary Activities

 

The Company has no other wholly owned subsidiaries other than First Federal of Hazard and Frankfort First Bancorp. Frankfort First Bancorp has one subsidiary, First Federal of Kentucky.

 

As federally chartered savings institutions, the Banks are permitted to invest an amount equal to 2% of assets in subsidiaries, with an additional investment of 1% of assets where such investment serves primarily community, inner-city and community-development purposes. Under such limitations, as of June 30, 2022, First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky were authorized to invest up to $2.5 million and $7.3 million, respectively, in the stock of or loans to subsidiaries, including the additional 1% investment for community, inner-city and community development purposes.

 

Competition

 

We face significant competition for the attraction of deposits and origination of loans. Our most direct competition for deposits has historically come from the banks and credit unions operating in our market areas and, to a lesser extent, from other financial services companies, such as investment brokerage firms. We also face competition for depositors’ funds from money market funds and other corporate and government securities. Several of our competitors are significantly larger than us and, therefore, have significantly greater resources. We expect competition to increase in the future as a result of legislative, regulatory and technological changes and the continuing trend of consolidation in the financial services industry. Technological advances, for example, have lowered the barriers to enter new market areas, allowed banks to expand their geographic reach by providing services over the Internet and made it possible for non-depository institutions to offer products and services that traditionally have been provided by banks. Changes in federal law permit affiliation among banks, securities firms and insurance companies, which promotes a competitive environment in the financial services industry. Competition for deposits and the origination of loans could limit our growth in the future.

 

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According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), at June 30, 2022, the latest date for which data is available, First Federal of Hazard had a deposit market share of 6.9% in Perry County. Its largest competitors, Hazard Bancorp (Peoples Bank & Trust Company of Hazard,) 1st Trust Bank, Inc., and Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. (Community Trust Bank, Inc.) had Perry County deposit market shares of 38.7%, 24.0% and 27.6%, respectively. First Federal of Hazard’s competition for loans comes primarily from financial institutions in its market area and, to a lesser extent, from other financial services providers, such as mortgage companies and mortgage brokers. Competition for loans also comes from the increasing number of non-depository financial services companies entering the mortgage market, such as insurance companies, securities companies and specialty finance companies.

 

First Federal of Kentucky’s principal competitors for deposits in its market area are other banking institutions, such as commercial banks and credit unions, as well as mutual funds and other investments. First Federal of Kentucky principally competes for deposits by offering a variety of deposit accounts, convenient business hours and branch locations, customer service and a well-trained staff. According to the FDIC, at June 30, 2022, First Federal of Kentucky had deposit market share of 8.2%, 7.0% and 16.9% for the Kentucky counties of Franklin, Boyle and Garrard. Its largest competitors for depositors are the Boyle Bancorp, Inc. (The Farmers National Bank of Danville) at 24.5%, Wesbanco Bank, Inc. (Wesbanco) at 17.3% and Community Trust Bancorp, Inc., (Community Trust Bank) at 6.8% market share in the three-county area. Wesbanco Bank, Inc., Boyle Bancorp, Inc., and Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. had assets at June 30, 2022, of $16.8 billion, $791.2 million and $5.4 billion, respectively. The Bank also faces considerable competition from credit unions including the Commonwealth Credit Union ($1.8 billion in assets) and the Expree Credit Union ($92.0 million in assets). First Federal of Kentucky competes for loans with other depository institutions, as well as specialty mortgage lenders and brokers and consumer finance companies. First Federal of Kentucky principally competes for loans on the basis of interest rates and the loan fees it charges, the types of loans it originates and the convenience and service it provides to borrowers. In addition, First Federal of Kentucky believes it has developed strong relationships with the businesses, real estate agents, builders and general public in its market area.

 

Personnel

 

At June 30, 2022, we had 62 full-time employees and two part-time employees, none of whom was represented by a collective bargaining unit. We believe our relationship with our employees is good.

 

Regulation and Supervision

 

General. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are subject to extensive regulation, examination and supervision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as their primary federal regulator, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as insurer of deposits. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are each members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and their deposit accounts are insured up to applicable limits by the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) of the FDIC. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky must each file reports with the OCC and the FDIC concerning their activities and financial condition in addition to obtaining regulatory approvals before entering into certain transactions such as mergers with, or acquisitions of, other financial institutions. There are periodic examinations by the OCC and, under certain circumstances, the FDIC to evaluate First Federal of Hazard’s and First Federal of Kentucky’s safety and soundness and compliance with various regulatory requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Board), the agency that regulates and supervises bank and savings and loan holding companies, supervises and regulates Kentucky First and First Federal MHC. Kentucky First and First Federal MHC, as savings and loan holding companies, are required to file certain reports with, and are subject to examination by, and otherwise are required to comply with the rules and regulations of the Federal Reserve Board. This regulatory structure is intended primarily for the protection of the DIF and depositors.

 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) significantly changed the financial regulatory regime in the United States. Since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, U.S. banks and financial services firms have been subject to enhanced regulation and oversight. Several provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act remain subject to further rulemaking, guidance, and interpretation by the federal banking agencies.

 

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Enacted in 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (EGRRCPA) amended certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. EGRRCPA provides limited regulatory relief to certain financial institutions, while preserving the existing framework under which U.S. financial institutions are regulated. In addition to amending the Dodd-Frank Act, EGRRCPA also includes several provisions that positively affect smaller banking institutions (e.g., those with less than $10 billion in assets) like the Banks. Specific provisions of the EGRRCPA that benefit smaller banks include modifications to the “qualified mortgage” criteria under the “ability to repay” rules for certain mortgages that are held and maintained on the Bank’s retained portfolio as well as relief from certain capital requirements with the creation of a “community bank leverage ratio.” See “Federal Savings Association Regulation – Capital Requirements.”

 

Certain of the regulatory requirements that are applicable to First Federal of Hazard, First Federal of Kentucky, Kentucky First and First Federal MHC are described below. This discussion does not purport to be a complete description of the laws and regulations involved, and is qualified in its entirety by the actual laws and regulations. Moreover, laws and regulations are subject to changes by the U.S. Congress or the regulatory agencies as applicable.

 

Regulation of Federal Savings Associations

 

Business Activities. Federal law and regulations, primarily the Home Owners’ Loan Act and the regulations of the OCC, govern the activities of federal savings associations, such as First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky. These laws and regulations delineate the nature and extent of the activities in which federal savings associations may engage. In particular, certain lending authority for federal savings associations (e.g., commercial, nonresidential real property loans and consumer loans) is limited to a specified percentage of the association’s capital or assets.

 

Branching. Federal savings associations are authorized to establish branch offices in any state or states of the United States and its territories, subject to the approval of the OCC.

 

Capital Requirements. Federal regulations require insured depository institutions, including federal savings associations to meet four minimum capital standards: a 4.0% Tier 1 leverage ratio; a 4.5% common equity Tier 1 ratio; a 6.0% Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio; and an 8% Total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio. These requirements were effective January 1, 2015, and are the result of a final rule implementing recommendations of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel III) and certain requirements of the Dodd Frank Act. The regulations also include a “capital conservation buffer” of 2.5% above the regulatory minimum capital requirements, which must consist entirely of common equity Tier 1 capital and result in the following minimum ratios: (1) a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 7.0%, (2) a Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5%, and (3) a total capital ratio of 10.5%. The capital conservation buffer requirement was phased in beginning in January 2016 at 0.625% of risk-weighted assets and increased by that amount each year until fully implemented in January 2019. An institution will be subject to limitations on paying dividends, engaging in share repurchases and paying discretionary bonuses if its capital level falls below the buffer amount.

 

Tier 1 capital is generally defined as common stockholders’ equity (including retained earnings), certain non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock and related surplus and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries, less intangibles other than certain mortgage servicing rights and credit card relationships. The regulations eliminate the inclusion of certain instruments, such as trust preferred securities, from Tier 1 capital. Instruments issued before May 19, 2010, are grandfathered for companies with consolidated assets of $15 billion or less. The components of Tier 2 capital currently include cumulative preferred stock, long-term perpetual preferred stock, mandatory convertible securities, subordinated debt and intermediate preferred stock, the allowance for loan and lease losses limited to a maximum of 1.25% of risk-weighted assets and up to 45% of unrealized gains on available-for-sale equity securities with readily determinable fair market values. Overall, the amount of Tier 2 capital included as part of total capital cannot exceed 100% of core capital. Total capital is defined as core capital and supplementary capital, less certain specified deductions from total capital such as reciprocal holdings of depository institution capital, instruments and equity investments. For purposes of determining the amount of risk-weighted assets, all assets, including certain off-balance sheet assets, recourse obligations, residual interests and direct credit substitutes, are multiplied by a risk-weight factor of 0% to 150%, as assigned by the capital regulation based on the risks believed inherent in the type of asset.

 

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The EGRRCPA required the federal banking agencies, including the OCC, to establish a “community bank leverage ratio” (CBLR) for qualifying community banking organizations having less than $10 billion in average total consolidated assets and a leverage ratio of greater than 9%. The CBLR is an alternative framework that permits qualifying institutions to calculate a leverage ratio to measure capital adequacy. Institutions opting into the CBLR framework are not be required to calculate or report risk-based capital and are deemed to have met the “well capitalized” ratio requirements and be in compliance with the generally applicable capital rule if they meet the CBLR ratio. The CBLR ratio is the ratio of a banking organization’s Tier 1 capital to its average total consolidated assets as reported on the banking organization’s applicable regulatory filings. The federal agencies published a final rule on October 9, 2020, effective November 9, 2020, that set the CBLR at 9% beginning on January 1, 2022. The CARES Act directed the federal banking agencies to issue an interim rule temporarily lowering the CBLR ratio to 8% which the agencies did with a transition back to 9% by year-ended 2021. The Banks elected to use the CBLR framework effective for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. As of June 30, 2022, the capital levels of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky exceed the minimum required capital amounts for capital adequacy. See Note K-Stockholders’ Equity and Regulatory Capital in notes to financial statements.

 

Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action. Federal law requires the federal banking agencies to take “prompt corrective action” should an insured depository institution fail to meet certain capital adequacy standards. Prompt corrective action regulations provide five capital classifications: well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized, although these terms are not used to represent overall financial condition. If adequately capitalized, regulatory approval is required to accept broker deposits. The OCC is required to take certain supervisory actions against undercapitalized federal savings associations, the severity of which depends upon the association’s degree of undercapitalization. In addition, numerous mandatory supervisory actions become immediately applicable to an undercapitalized association, including, but not limited to, increased monitoring by regulators and restrictions on growth, capital distributions and expansion. The OCC could also take any one of a number of discretionary supervisory actions, including the issuance of a capital directive and the replacement of senior executive officers and directors. Significantly and undercapitalized associations are subject to additional mandatory and discretionary measures.

 

Loans to One Borrower. Federal law provides that federal savings associations are generally subject to the limits on loans to one borrower applicable to national banks. Subject to certain exceptions, a federal savings association may not make a loan or extend credit to a single or related group of borrowers in excess of 15% of its unimpaired capital and surplus. An additional amount may be lent, equal to 10% of unimpaired capital and surplus, if secured by specified readily-marketable collateral.

 

Standards for Safety and Soundness. As required by statute, the federal banking agencies have adopted Interagency Guidelines prescribing Standards for Safety and Soundness. The guidelines set forth the safety and soundness standards that the federal banking agencies use to identify and address problems at insured depository institutions before capital becomes impaired. If the OCC determines that a federal savings association fails to meet any standard prescribed by the guidelines, the OCC may require the institution to submit an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard.

 

Limitation on Capital Distributions. OCC regulations impose limitations upon all capital distributions by a federal savings association, including cash dividends, payments to repurchase its shares and payments to shareholders of another institution in a cash-out merger. Under the regulations, an application to and the prior approval of the OCC is required before any capital distribution if, among other circumstances the association will not remain an “eligible” savings association (i.e., generally, well capitalized and with examination and Community Reinvestment Act ratings in the two top categories), the total capital distributions for the calendar year exceed net income for that year plus the amount of retained net income for the preceding two years, Federal savings association is directly or indirectly controlled by a mutual savings and loan holding company or the distribution would otherwise be contrary to a statute, regulation or agreement with the. In addition, the federal savings association must provide 30 days prior notice to the Federal Reserve Board of the capital distribution if, like First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky, it is a subsidiary of a holding company. If First Federal of Hazard’s or First Federal of Kentucky’s capital were ever to fall below its regulatory requirements or the OCC notified it that it was in need of increased supervision, its ability to make capital distributions could be restricted. In addition, the OCC could prohibit a proposed capital distribution that would otherwise be permitted by the regulation, if the agency determines that such distribution would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice.

 

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Qualified Thrift Lender Test. Federal law requires federal savings associations to meet a qualified thrift lender test. Under the test, a federal savings association is required to either qualify as a “domestic building and loan association” under the Internal Revenue Code or maintain at least 65% of its “portfolio assets” (total assets less: (i) specified liquid assets up to 20% of total assets; (ii) intangibles, including goodwill; and (iii) the value of property used to conduct business) in certain “qualified thrift investments” (primarily residential mortgages and related investments, including certain mortgage-backed securities, education loans, credit card loans and small business loans) in at least 9 months out of each 12-month period.

 

A savings association that fails the qualified thrift lender test is immediately subject to certain operating restrictions, including restrictions on new activities, branching and the payment of dividends. The Dodd-Frank Act also specifies that failing the qualified thrift lender test is a violation of law that could result in an enforcement action. Failure to correct the violation within 12 months will cause the association’s savings and loan holding company to register as and be deemed a bank holding company. At June 30, 2022, First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky were in compliance with the qualified thrift lender test in each of the prior 12 months.

 

Transactions with Related Parties. Federal law limits the authority of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky to lend to, and engage in certain other transactions (collectively, “covered transactions”), with “affiliates” (e.g., any company that controls or is under common control with an insured depository institution, including Kentucky First, First Federal MHC and their non-savings institution subsidiaries). The aggregate amount of covered transactions with any individual affiliate is limited to 10% of the capital and surplus of the savings association. The aggregate amount of covered transactions with all affiliates is limited to 20% of the savings association’s capital and surplus. Loans and other specified transactions with affiliates are required to be secured by collateral in an amount and of a type described in federal law. The purchase of low-quality assets from affiliates is generally prohibited. Transactions with affiliates must be on terms and under circumstances that are at least as favorable to the association as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with non-affiliated companies. In addition, savings associations are prohibited from lending to any affiliate that is engaged in activities that are not permissible for bank holding companies and no federal savings association may purchase the securities of any affiliate other than a subsidiary. Transactions between sister depository institutions that are 80% or more owned by the same holding company are exempt from the quantitative limits and collateral requirements.

 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 generally prohibits a company from making loans to its executive officers and directors. However, that law contains a specific exception for loans by a depository institution to its executive officers and directors in compliance with federal banking laws. Under such laws, First Federal of Hazard’s and First Federal of Kentucky’s authority to extend credit to executive officers, directors and 10% shareholders (“insiders”), as well as entities such persons control, is limited. The law restricts both the individual and aggregate amount of loans First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky may make to insiders based, in part, on First Federal of Hazard’s and First Federal of Kentucky’s respective capital positions and requires certain board approval procedures to be followed. Such loans must be made on terms, including rates and collateral, 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 any other unfavorable features. There are additional restrictions applicable to loans to executive officers.

 

Enforcement. The OCC has primary enforcement responsibility over federal savings associations and has the authority to bring actions against the institution and all institution-affiliated parties, including stockholders, and any attorneys, appraisers and accountants who knowingly or recklessly participate in wrongful action likely to have an adverse effect on an insured institution. Formal enforcement actions may range from the issuance of a capital directive or cease and desist order to removal of officers and/or directors to appointment of a receiver or conservator or termination of deposit insurance. Civil penalties cover a wide range of violations and can amount to $25,000 per day, or even $1 million per day in especially egregious cases. The FDIC has authority to recommend to the OCC that enforcement action to be taken with respect to a particular savings association. If action is not taken by the OCC, the FDIC has authority to take such action under certain circumstances. Federal law also establishes criminal penalties for certain violations of law.

 

Assessments. Federal savings associations pay assessments to the OCC to fund its operations. The general assessments, paid on a semi-annual basis, are based upon the savings association’s total assets, including consolidated subsidiaries, its financial condition and the complexity of its portfolio.

 

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Insurance of Deposit Accounts. The deposits of both First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are insured up to applicable limits by the DIF administered by the FDIC. Deposit insurance per account owner is currently $250,000. Under the FDIC’s risk-based assessment system, insured depository are assigned a risk category based on supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital levels and certain other factors. An institution’s assessment rate depends upon the category to which it is assigned, and certain adjustments specified by FDIC regulations. Institutions deemed less risky pay lower assessments. The FDIC may adjust the scale uniformly, except that no adjustment can deviate more than two basis points from the base scale without notice and comment. No institution may pay a dividend if in default of the federal deposit insurance assessment. Assessment rates currently range from 1.5 to 30 basis points of total average assets (excluding PPP loans) less average tangible equity.

 

The FDIC has authority to increase insurance assessments. A significant increase in insurance premiums would likely have an adverse effect on the operating expenses and results of operations of the Banks. Management cannot predict what insurance assessment rates will be in the future.

 

Federal Home Loan Bank System. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which consists of 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The Federal Home Loan Bank provides a central credit facility primarily for member institutions. As members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are each required to acquire and hold shares of capital stock in that Federal Home Loan Bank. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky were in compliance with this requirement with investments in Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati stock at June 30, 2022, of $2.0 million and $4.5 million, respectively.

 

Reserve Requirements. Federal Reserve Board regulations require insured depository institutions to maintain non-interest earning reserves against their transaction accounts (primary interest-bearing and regular checking accounts). Required reserves must be in the form of vault cash and if vault cash does not fully satisfy the required reserves, requirements may be satisfied in the form of a balance maintained with the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve Board generally makes annual adjustments to the tiered cash reserve requirements, however, effective March 26, 2020, the reserve requirement was set to zero for all depository institutions.

 

Community Reinvestment Act. All insured depository institutions, including federal savings associations have a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of their entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The Community Reinvestment Act does not establish specific lending requirements or programs, nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community consistent with the Community Reinvestment Act. The Community Reinvestment Act requires the OCC, in connection with its examination of a savings association, to assess the association’s record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its evaluation of certain applications made by such association, including applications for mergers and acquisitions, and applications to open, relocate or close a branch or facility.

 

The Community Reinvestment Act requires public disclosure of an institution’s rating and requires the OCC to provide a written evaluation of an institution’s Community Reinvestment Act performance utilizing a four-tiered descriptive rating system. First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky each received a “Satisfactory” rating as a result of their most recent Community Reinvestment Act assessments.

 

Privacy Standards. The Banks are subject to FDIC regulations regarding the privacy protection provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. These regulations require each of the Banks to disclose its privacy policy, including identifying with whom it shares “non-public personal information” to customers at the time of establishing the customer relationship and annually thereafter. The regulations also require each of the Banks to provide its customers with initial notices that accurately reflect its privacy policies and practices, to make its privacy policies available to customers through its website, and to provide its customers with the ability to “opt-out” of having the Bank share their non-public personal information with unaffiliated third parties before it can disclose such information, subject to certain exceptions.

 

 Cybersecurity. In addition to the provisions in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (discussed above), the Company and its subsidiaries are subject to many federal and state laws, regulations and regulatory interpretations which impose standards and requirements related to cybersecurity. For example, federal regulatory statements regarding cybersecurity indicates that financial institutions should design multiple layers of security controls to establish lines of defense and to ensure that their risk management processes address the risk posed by compromised customer credentials, including security measures to reliably authenticate customers accessing internet-based services of the financial institution. Additionally, the statements indicate that a financial institution’s management is expected to maintain sufficient business continuity planning processes to ensure the rapid recovery, resumption and maintenance of the institution’s operations after a cyber-attack involving destructive malware. A financial institution is also expected to develop appropriate processes to enable recovery of data and business operations and address rebuilding network capabilities and restoring data if the institution or its critical service providers fall victim to this type of cyber-attack. Financial institutions that fail to observe this regulatory guidance on cybersecurity may be subject to various regulatory sanctions, including financial penalties.

 

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 Anti-Money Laundering and OFAC. Under federal law, financial institutions must maintain anti-money laundering programs that include established internal policies, procedures, and controls. Financial institutions are also prohibited from entering into specified financial transactions and account relationships and must meet enhanced standards for due diligence and customer identification. Financial institutions must take reasonable steps to conduct enhanced scrutiny of account relationships to guard against money laundering and to report any suspicious transactions. Law enforcement authorities have been granted increased access to financial information maintained by financial institutions. Bank regulators routinely examine institutions for compliance with these obligations and they consider an institution’s compliance in connection with the regulatory review of applications, including applications for banking mergers and acquisitions. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or “OFAC,” is responsible for helping to insure that U.S. entities do not engage in transactions with certain prohibited parties, as defined by various Executive Orders and Acts of Congress. OFAC publishes lists of persons, organizations, and countries suspected of aiding, harboring or engaging in terrorist acts, known as Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. If the Bank finds a name on any transaction, account or wire transfer that is on an OFAC list, the Bank must freeze or block such account or transaction, file a suspicious activity report and notify the appropriate authorities. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crises Enforcement Network rules include customer due diligence requirements for banks, including a requirement to identify and verify the identity of beneficial owners of customers that are legal entities, subject to certain exclusions and exemptions.

 

 Prohibitions Against Tying Arrangements. Federal savings associations are prohibited, subject to some exceptions, from extending credit to or offering any other service, or fixing or varying the 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.

 

Other Regulations. Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. The operations of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, such as the:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Truth in Savings Act, prescribing disclosure and advertising requirements with respect to deposit accounts; and

 

Rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing such federal laws.

 

The operations of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky also are subject to the:

 

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

 

Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E promulgated thereunder, which govern automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services;

 

Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (also known as “Check 21”), which gives “substitute checks,” such as digital check images and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check; and

 

The USA PATRIOT Act, which requires savings associations to, among other things, establish broadened anti-money laundering compliance programs, and due diligence policies and controls to ensure the detection and reporting of money laundering. Such required compliance programs are intended to supplement existing compliance requirements that also apply to financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act and the Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations.

 

Holding Company Regulation

 

General. Kentucky First and First Federal MHC are savings and loan holding companies within the meaning of federal law. As such, they are registered with the Federal Reserve Board and are subject to Federal Reserve Board regulations, examinations, supervision, reporting requirements and regulations concerning corporate governance and activities. In addition, the Federal Reserve Board has enforcement authority over Kentucky First and First Federal MHC and their non-savings association subsidiaries. Among other things, this authority permits the Federal Reserve Board to restrict or prohibit activities that are determined to be a serious risk to First Federal of Hazard and/or First Federal of Kentucky.

 

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Restrictions Applicable to Mutual Holding Companies. Federal law and Federal Reserve Board regulations, limit the activities of a mutual holding company, such as First Federal MHC, to the following: (1) investing in the stock of insured savings association and acquiring them by means of a merger or acquisition; (2) investing in a corporation the capital stock of which may be lawfully purchased by a savings association under federal law; (3) furnishing or performing management services for a savings association subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company; (4) conducting an insurance agency or escrow business; (5) holding, managing or liquidating assets owned or acquired from a savings association subsidiary of the savings and loan holding company; (6) holding or managing properties used or occupied by a savings association subsidiary of the savings and loan holding company; (7) acting as trustee under deed of trust; (8) any activity permitted for multiple savings and loan holding companies by Federal Reserve Board regulations and; (9) any activity permitted by the Federal Reserve Board for bank holding companies and financial holding companies

 

Federal law prohibits a savings and loan holding company, including a federal mutual holding company, from directly or indirectly, or through one or more subsidiaries, acquiring more than 5% of the voting stock of another savings association, or its holding company, without prior written approval of the Federal Reserve Board. Federal law also prohibits a savings and loan holding company from acquiring or retaining control of a depository institution that is not insured by the FDIC. In evaluating applications by holding companies to acquire savings associations, the Federal Reserve Board must consider the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the company and institution involved, the effect of the acquisition on the risk to the insurance funds, the convenience and needs of the community and competitive factors.

 

The Federal Reserve Board is prohibited from approving any acquisition that would result in a multiple savings and loan holding company controlling savings associations in more than one state, except: (1) the approval of interstate supervisory acquisitions by savings and loan holding companies, and (2) the acquisition of a savings institution in another state if the laws of the state of the target savings association specifically permit such acquisitions. The states vary in the extent to which they permit interstate savings and loan holding company acquisitions.

 

Capital Requirements. Savings and loan holding companies are generally subject to consolidated capital requirements. The Federal Reserve Board has provided a “Small Bank Holding Company” exception to its consolidated capital requirements, and EGRRCP directed the Federal Reserve Board to increase the asset threshold for the exception to $3.0 billion, which was done in 2018. Consequently, savings and loan holding companies of less than $3.0 billion of assets, such as First Federal, MHC and Kentucky First, are exempt from consolidated capital requirements unless otherwise directed by the Federal Reserve Board in individual.

 

Source of Strength. Federal Reserve Board regulations require savings and loan holding companies to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary savings associations. The Dodd-Frank Act codified the requirement that savings and loan holding companies act as a source of financial strength to their insured depository institution subsidiaries. As a result, savings and loan holding companies are expected to commit resources to support subsidiary savings associations, including at times when the savings and loan holding company may not be in a financial position to provide such resources.

 

Dividends. The Federal Reserve Board has issued a policy statement on the payment of cash dividends by bank holding companies, which expressed the Federal Reserve Board’s view that a bank holding company should pay cash dividends only to the extent that the company’s net income for the past year is sufficient to cover both the cash dividends and a rate of earning retention that is consistent with the company’s capital needs, asset quality and overall financial condition. The Federal Reserve Board also indicated that it would be inappropriate for a company experiencing serious financial problems to borrow funds to pay dividends. Furthermore, under the prompt correction action regulations, the Federal Reserve Board may prohibit a bank holding company from paying any dividends if the holding company’s insured depository institution subsidiary is classified as “undercapitalized.” See “Federal Savings Association Regulation – Prompt Corrective Regulatory Action.”

 

Stock Holding Company Subsidiary Regulation. Federal Reserve Board regulations govern the two-tier mutual holding company form of organization and subsidiary stock holding companies that are controlled by mutual holding companies. Kentucky First is the stock holding company subsidiary of First Federal MHC. Kentucky First is only permitted to engage in activities that are permitted for First Federal MHC subject to the same restrictions and conditions.

 

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Waivers of Dividends by First Federal MHC. Federal Reserve Board regulations require First Federal MHC to notify the Federal Reserve Board if it proposes to waive the right to receive dividends declared by Kentucky First. The Dodd-Frank Act specified that dividends may be waived if certain conditions are met, including that the Federal Reserve Board does not object after being given written notice of the dividend and proposed waiver. The Federal Reserve Board may not object to such a waiver (i) if the mutual holding company involved has, prior to December 1, 2009, reorganized into a mutual holding company structure, engaged in a minority stock offering and waived dividends it had a right to receive; (ii) the board of directors of the mutual holding company expressly determines that a waiver of the dividend is consistent with its fiduciary duties to members and (iii) the waiver would not be detrimental to the safe and sound operation of the savings association subsidiaries of the holding company. Beginning with the dividend paid in September 2012, First Federal MHC has annually sought member approval to obtain Federal Reserve Board approval to waive the MHC’s dividends from the Company. This effort has been successful each year, including an approval in 2022, which will cover quarterly dividends of $0.10 per common share through May 2023. It is expected that First Federal MHC will continue to waive future dividends, except to the extent dividends are needed to fund First Federal MHC’s continuing operations, subject to the ability of First Federal MHC to obtain regulatory approval of its requests to waive dividends and to its ability to obtain member approval of dividend waivers. For more information, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors – Our ability to pay dividends is subject to the ability of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky to make capital distributions to Kentucky First and the waiver of dividends by First Federal MHC.”

 

Conversion of First Federal MHC to Stock Form. Federal Reserve Board regulations permit First Federal MHC to convert from the mutual form of organization to the capital stock form of organization. In a conversion transaction, a new holding company would be formed as successor to First Federal MHC, its corporate existence would end, and certain depositors would receive the right to subscribe for additional shares of the new holding company. In a conversion transaction, each share of common stock held by stockholders other than First Federal MHC would be automatically converted into a number of shares of common stock of the new holding company based on an exchange ratio determined at the time of conversion that ensures that stockholders other than First Federal MHC own the same percentage of common stock in the new holding company as they owned in us immediately before conversion. Under Federal Reserve Board regulations, stockholders other than First Federal MHC would not be diluted because of any dividends waived by First Federal MHC (and waived dividends would not be considered in determining an appropriate exchange ratio, provided that the mutual holding company involved was formed, engaged in a minority offering and waived dividends prior to December 1, 2009), in the event First Federal MHC converts to stock form. First Federal MHC was formed, engaged in a minority stock offering and waived dividends prior to December 1, 2009. The total number of shares held by stockholders other than First Federal MHC after a conversion transaction also would be increased by any purchases by stockholders other than First Federal MHC in the stock offering conducted as part of the conversion transaction.

 

Acquisition of Control. Under the federal Change in Bank Control Act, a notice must be submitted to the Federal Reserve Board if any person (including a company), or group acting in concert, seeks to acquire “control” of a savings and loan holding company or savings association. An acquisition of “control” can occur upon the acquisition of 10% or more of the voting stock of a savings and loan holding company or savings association or as otherwise defined by the Federal Reserve Board. Under the Change in Bank Control Act, the Federal Reserve Board has 60 days from the filing of a complete notice to act, taking into consideration certain factors, including the financial and managerial resources of the acquirer and the anti-trust effects of the acquisition. Any company that so acquires control would then be subject to regulation as a savings and loan holding company.

 

Future Legislation. Federal and state legislatures may introduce legislation that will impact the financial services industry. In addition, federal banking agencies may introduce regulatory initiatives that are likely to impact the financial services industry, generally. Such initiatives may include proposals to expand or contract the powers of savings and loan holding companies and/or depository institutions or proposals to substantially change the financial institution regulatory system. Such legislation could change banking statutes and the operating environment of the Company in substantial and unpredictable ways. If enacted, such legislation could increase or decrease the cost of doing business, limit or expand permissible activities, or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions. The Company cannot predict whether any such legislation will be enacted, or, if enacted, the effect that it or any implementing regulations would have on the financial condition or results of operations of the Company. A change in statutes, regulations, or regulatory policies applicable to Kentucky First or any of its subsidiaries could have a material effect on the business of the Company.

 

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Federal and State Taxation

 

General. We report our income on a fiscal year basis using the cash method of accounting. See Note H-Federal Income Taxes in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of the change in accounting method available through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

 

Federal Taxation. The federal income tax laws apply to us in the same manner as to other corporations with some exceptions, including particularly the reserve for bad debts discussed below. The following discussion of tax matters is intended only as a summary and does not purport to be a comprehensive description of the tax rules applicable to us. Our federal income tax returns are subject to examination for years 2017 and later. The federal statutory tax rate was 21% for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2022 and 2021.

 

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted, which amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, reducing tax rates and modifying certain policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses. Included in this legislation was a reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also added limitations on the deductibility of business interest expense. While this limitation should not impact the deductibility of the Company’s interest expense, the limitation could impact our commercial borrowers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also includes changes to personal income taxes, including: (i) a lower limit on the deductibility of mortgage interest on single-family residential mortgages; (ii) the elimination of interest deductions for home equity loans; and (iii) a limitation on the deductibility of property taxes and state and local income taxes.

 

For fiscal years beginning before June 30, 1996, thrift institutions that qualified under certain definitional tests and other conditions of the Internal Revenue Code were permitted to use certain favorable provisions to calculate their deductions from taxable income for annual additions to their bad debt reserve. A reserve could be established for bad debts on qualifying real property loans, generally secured by interests in real property improved or to be improved, under the percentage of taxable income method or the experience method. The reserve for nonqualifying loans was computed using the experience method. Federal legislation enacted in 1996 repealed the reserve method of accounting for bad debts and the percentage of taxable income method for tax years beginning after 1995 and require savings institutions to recapture or take into income certain portions of their accumulated bad debt reserves. First Federal of Hazard did not qualify for such favorable tax treatment for any years through 1996. Approximately $5.2 million of First Federal of Kentucky First’s accumulated bad debt reserves would not be recaptured into taxable income unless Frankfort First makes a “non-dividend distribution” to Kentucky First as described below. If First Federal of Hazard or First Federal of Kentucky makes “non-dividend distributions” to us, the distributions will be considered to have been made from First Federal of Hazard’s and First Federal of Kentucky’s unrecaptured tax bad debt reserves, including the balance of their reserves as of December 31, 1987, to the extent of the “non-dividend distributions,” and then from First Federal of Kentucky’s supplemental reserve for losses on loans, to the extent of those reserves, and an amount based on the amount distributed, but not more than the amount of those reserves, will be included in First Federal of Kentucky’s taxable income. Non-dividend distributions include distributions in excess of First Federal of Kentucky’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, as calculated for federal income tax purposes, distributions in redemption of stock, and distributions in partial or complete liquidation. Dividends paid out of First Federal of Kentucky’s current or accumulated earnings and profits will not be so included in First Federal of Kentucky’s taxable income.

 

The amount of additional taxable income triggered by a non-dividend distribution is an amount that, when reduced by the tax attributable to the income, is equal to the amount of the distribution. Therefore, if First Federal of Kentucky makes a non-dividend distribution to us, approximately one and one-half times the amount of the distribution not in excess of the amount of the reserves would be includable in income for federal income tax purposes, assuming a 21% federal corporate income tax rate. First Federal of Kentucky does not intend to pay dividends in the future that would result in a recapture of any portion of its bad debt reserves.

 

State Taxation. Although First Federal MHC and Kentucky First are subject to the Kentucky corporation income tax and state corporation license tax (franchise tax), the corporation license tax is repealed effective for tax periods ending on or after December 31, 2005. Gross income of corporations subject to Kentucky income tax is similar to income reported for federal income tax purposes except that dividend income, among other income items, is exempt from taxation. For First Federal MHC and Kentucky First tax years beginning July 1, 2005, the corporations are subject to an alternative minimum income tax. Corporations must pay the greater of the income tax, the alternative tax or $175. The corporations can choose between two methods to calculate the alternative minimum; 9.5 cents per $100 of the corporation’s gross receipts, or 75 cents per $100 of the corporation’s Kentucky gross profits. Kentucky gross profits means Kentucky gross receipts reduced by returns and allowances attributable to Kentucky gross receipts, less Kentucky cost of goods sold. The corporations, in their capacity as holding companies for financial institutions, do not have a material amount of cost of goods sold. Although the corporate license tax rate is 0.21% of total capital employed in Kentucky, a bank holding company, as defined in Kentucky Revised Statutes 287.900, is allowed to deduct from its taxable capital, the book value of its investment in the stock or securities of subsidiaries that are subject to the bank franchise tax.

 

First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky are subject to both the Kentucky corporation income tax and corporation license tax. On March 26, 2019, HB 354 was enacted which sunsets the Savings and Loan Tax after 2020 and subjects financial institutions to the corporate income tax beginning January 1, 2021. Effective January 1, 2021, the Savings and Loan Tax no longer applies to financial institutions.

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

Interest Rate Risk

 

Rising interest rates may hurt our profits and asset values.

 

In response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) decreased interest rates to near zero in March 2020. The low interest rate environment remained in effect until March 2022. However, in light of elevated inflation and a strong labor market, the FOMC commenced increasing the target range for the federal funds rate by implementing a 25 basis point increase to a range of 0.25% to 0.50% in March 2022, a 50 basis point increase to a range of 0.75% to 1.00% in May 2022, a 75 basis point increase to a range of 1.50% to 1.75% in June 2022 and in July 2022, the FOMC implemented another 75 basis point increase to a range of 2.25% to 2.50%. At its September 2022 meeting the FOMC raised the overnight rate 75 basis points totaling an increase of 3.0% since March 2022 and announced that it would continue to battle inflation with additional increases in interest rates in 2022 and 2023.

 

If interest rates continue to rise, our net interest income may decline in the short term since, due to the generally shorter terms of interest-bearing liabilities, interest expense paid on interest-bearing liabilities, increases more quickly than interest income earned on interest-earning assets, such as loans and investments. In addition, rising interest rates may hurt our income because of reduced demand for new loans and refinancing loans may in turn result in reduced interest and fee income earned on new loans and loan refinancings. While we believe that modest interest rate increases will not significantly hurt our interest rate spread over the long term due to our high level of liquidity and the presence of a significant amount of adjustable-rate mortgage loans in our loan portfolio, interest rate increases may initially reduce our interest rate spread until such time as our loans and investments reprice to higher levels.

 

Changes in interest rates also affect the value of our interest-earning assets, and in particular our securities portfolio. Generally, the value of fixed-rate securities fluctuates inversely with changes in interest rates. Unrealized gains and losses on securities available for sale are reported as separate components of equity. Decreases in the fair value of securities available for sale resulting from increases in interest rates therefore could have an adverse effect on stockholders’ equity.

 

We offer fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage loans with terms of up to 30 years; however, across our loan portfolio, interest rates and payments adjust annually after a one-, three-, five- or seven-year initial fixed period. At June 30, 2022, 88.4% of our residential real estate loan portfolio were adjustable-rate loans. Changes in interest rates could have a negative impact on our results of operations by reducing the ability of borrowers to repay their current loan obligations as interest rates rise, the borrower’s payments rise, increasing the potential for delinquencies and defaults.

 

Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Associated Economic Slowdown

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken to limit its spread could adversely our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted economic and commercial activity and financial markets, both globally and within the United States. Measures to contain the virus, such as stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, closure of non-essential businesses, occupancy limitations and social distancing requirements, resulted in significant business and operational disruptions, including business closures, and mass layoffs and furloughs. Though most restrictions have generally been lifted or eased and consumer and business spending and unemployment levels have improved significantly, the economic recovery has been uneven, with industries such as travel, entertainment, hospitality and food service lagging, and, as of June 30, 2022, many companies have not returned workers to their offices. Supply chain disruptions precipitated by the abrupt economic slowdown have contributed to increased costs, lost revenue, and inflationary pressures for many segments of the economy. Further, a significant number of workers left their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to wage inflation in many industries as businesses attempt to fill vacant positions.

 

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The United States government has taken significant steps to attempt to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic. Congress appropriated approximately $4.7 trillion of fiscal stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the American Rescue Plan Act and other supplemental legislation. In March 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve reduced the target range for the federal funds rate to between 0.0% and 0.25%, compared to the previous target of between 1.00% and 1.25%. The Federal Reserve also took several actions to support financial markets, enable banks to continue to lend through the pandemic, and support businesses of all sizes. Whether the economic stimulus will have a lasting positive effect or whether it will contribute to higher inflation or other economic ill effects is unknown.

 

Several vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed and widely distributed in the United States. However, it is unknown how effective they will be long-term or whether variants of the virus will develop against which the vaccines are less effective.

 

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately affect our business is unknown and will depend, among other things, on the duration of the pandemic, the actions undertaken by national, state and local governments and health officials to contain the virus or mitigate its effects, the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines that have been developed and the extent to which they are accepted by the public, the development of effective therapies, the permanence of operating conditions that developed during the pandemic, and how quickly and to what extent economic conditions improve and normal business and operating conditions resume. The longer the pandemic persists, the more pronounced the ultimate effects are likely to be.

 

The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to contain the virus, including effects of economic stimulus, and the exhaustion or expiration of stimulus benefits, could:

 

reduce the demand for loans and other financial services;

 

result in increases in loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures;

 

cause the value of collateral for loans, especially real estate, to decline in value;

 

reduce the availability and productivity of our employees;

 

cause our vendors and counterparties to be unable to meet existing obligations to us;

 

negatively impact the business and operations of third-party service providers that perform critical services for our business;

 

cause the value of our securities portfolio to decline; and

 

cause the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors to decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us.

 

Any one or a combination of the above events could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

Risks Related to Our Lending Activities

 

Inflationary pressures and rising prices may affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Inflation rose sharply at the end of 2021 and has continued rising in 2022 at levels not seen for over 40 years. Inflationary pressures are currently expected to remain elevated throughout 2022. Inflation could lead to increased costs to our customers, making it more difficult for them to repay their loans or other obligations. High interest rates may be needed to tame persistent inflationary price pressures, which could also push down asset prices and weaken economic activity. A deterioration in economic conditions in the United States and our markets could result in an increase in loan delinquencies and non-performing assets, decreases in loan collateral values and a decrease in demand for our products and services, all of which, in turn, would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If our allowance for loan losses is not sufficient to cover actual loan losses, our results of operations would be negatively affected.

 

In determining the amount of the allowance for loan losses, we analyze our loss and delinquency experience by loan categories and we consider the effect of existing economic conditions. In addition, we make various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of our loan portfolio, including the creditworthiness of our borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of many of our loans. If the actual results are different from our estimates, or our analyses are incorrect, our allowance for loan losses may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in our loan portfolio, which would require additions to our allowance and would decrease our net income. Our emphasis on loan growth and on increasing our portfolio, as well as any future credit deterioration, will require us to increase our allowance further in the future. In addition, our banking regulators periodically review our allowance for loan losses and could require us to increase our provision for loan losses. Any increase in our allowance for loan losses or loan charge-offs as required by regulatory authorities may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

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A large percentage of our loans are collateralized by real estate and disruptions in the real estate market may result in losses and hurt our earnings.

 

Approximately 96.3% of our loan portfolio at June 30, 2022 was comprised of loans collateralized by real estate. Disruptions in the real estate market could significantly impair the value of our collateral and our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure. The real estate collateral in each case provides an alternate source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower and may deteriorate in value during the time the credit is extended. If real estate values decline, it will become more likely that we would be required to increase our allowance for loan losses. If during a period of reduced real estate values, we are required to liquidate the collateral securing a loan to satisfy the debt or to increase our allowance for loan losses, it could materially reduce our profitability and adversely affect our financial condition.

 

Our concentration of residential mortgage loans exposes us to increased lending risks.

 

At June 30, 2022, $216.4 million, or 78.4%, of our loan portfolio was secured by one-to-four family real estate, all of which is located in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and we intend to continue this type of lending in the foreseeable future. One-to-four family residential mortgage lending is generally sensitive to regional and local economic conditions that significantly impact the ability of borrowers to meet their loan payment obligations, making loss levels difficult to predict. A decline in residential real estate values as a result of a downturn in the local housing markets or in the markets in neighboring states in which we originate residential mortgage loans could reduce the value of the real estate collateral securing these types of loans. Declines in real estate values could cause some of our residential mortgages to be inadequately collateralized, which would expose us to a greater risk of loss if we seek to recover on defaulted loans by selling the real estate collateral.

 

The distressed economy in First Federal of Hazard’s market area could hurt our profits and slow our growth.

 

Our banks operate in three distinct market areas. First Federal of Hazard’s market area consists of Perry and surrounding counties in eastern Kentucky. The economy in this market area has been distressed in recent years due to the decline in the coal industry on which the economy has been dependent. While the region has seen improvement in the economy from the influx of other industries, such as health care and manufacturing, the competition provided by new methods of extracting natural gas has recently hurt the coal industry. As a consequence, the economy in First Federal of Hazard’s market area continues to lag behind the economies of Kentucky and the United States and First Federal of Hazard has experienced insufficient loan demand in its market area. Moreover, the slow economy in First Federal of Hazard’s market area will limit our ability to grow our asset base in that market.

 

Strong competition within our market areas could hurt our profits and slow growth.

 

Although we consider ourselves competitive in our market areas, we face intense competition both in making loans and attracting deposits. Price competition for loans and deposits might result in our earning less on our loans and paying more on our deposits, which reduces net interest income. Some of the institutions with which we compete have substantially greater resources than we have and may offer services that we do not provide. We expect competition to increase in the future as a result of legislative, regulatory and technological changes and the continuing trend of consolidation in the financial services industry. Our profitability will depend upon our continued ability to compete successfully in our market areas.

 

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Risks Related to Our Business and Industry Generally

 

We expect that the implementation of a new accounting standard could require us to increase our allowance for loan losses and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has adopted a new accounting standard that will be effective for the Kentucky First, First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky for our fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023. This standard, referred to as Current Expected Credit Loss, or CECL, will require financial institutions to determine periodic estimates of lifetime expected credit losses on loans, and provide for the expected credit losses as allowances for loan losses. This will change the current method of providing allowances for loan losses that are probable, which we expect could require us to increase our allowance for loan losses, and will likely greatly increase the data we would need to collect and review to determine the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses. Any increase in our allowance for loan losses, or expenses incurred to determine the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Ineffective liquidity management could adversely affect our financial results and condition.

 

Effective liquidity management is essential for the operation of our business. We require sufficient liquidity to meet customer loan requests, customer deposit maturities/withdrawals, payments on our debt obligations as they come due and other cash commitments under both normal operating conditions and other unpredictable circumstances causing industry or general financial market stress. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities on terms that are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry or economy generally. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include a downturn in the geographic markets in which our loans and operations are concentrated or difficult credit markets. Our access to deposits may also be affected by the liquidity needs of our depositors. In particular, a majority of our liabilities are checking accounts and other liquid deposits, which are payable on demand or upon several days’ notice, while by comparison, a substantial majority of our assets are loans, which cannot be called or sold in the same time frame. Although we have historically been able to replace maturing deposits and advances as necessary, we might not be able to replace such funds in the future, especially if a large number of our depositors seek to withdraw their accounts, regardless of the reason. A failure to maintain adequate liquidity could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.

 

We may be adversely affected by recent changes in U.S. tax laws and regulations.

 

Changes in tax laws contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was enacted in December 2017, include a number of provisions that will have an impact on the banking industry, borrowers and the market for residential real estate. Included in this legislation were: (i) a lower limit on the deductibility of mortgage interest on single-family residential mortgage loans, (ii) the elimination of interest deductions for home equity loans, (iii) a limitation on the deductibility of business interest expense and (iv) a limitation on the deductibility of property taxes and state and local income taxes.

 

The recent changes in the tax laws may have an adverse effect on the market for, and valuation of, residential properties, and on the demand for such loans in the future, and could make it harder for borrowers to make their loan payments. If home ownership becomes less attractive, demand for mortgage loans could decrease. The value of the properties securing loans in our loan portfolio may be adversely impacted as a result of the changing economics of home ownership, which could require an increase in our provision for loan losses, which would reduce our profitability and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Regulation of the financial services industry is undergoing major changes, and we may be adversely affected by changes in laws and regulations.

 

We are subject to extensive government regulation, supervision and examination. Such regulation, supervision and examination governs the activities in which we may engage, and is intended primarily for the protection of the deposit insurance fund and our depositors.

 

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In 2010 and 2011, in response to the financial crisis and recession that began in 2008, significant regulatory and legislative changes resulted in broad reform and increased regulation affecting financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Act has created a significant shift in the way financial institutions operate and has restructured the regulation of depository institutions by merging the Office of Thrift Supervision, which previously regulated the Banks, into the OCC, and assigning the regulation of savings and loan holding companies, including the Company and the MHC, to the Federal Reserve Board. The Dodd-Frank Act also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to administer consumer protection and fair lending laws, a function that was formerly performed by the depository institution regulators. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal banking regulators have proposed new consolidated capital requirements that will limit our ability to borrow at the holding company level and invest the proceeds from such borrowings as capital in the Banks that could be leveraged to support additional growth. The Dodd-Frank Act contains various other provisions designed to enhance the regulation of depository institutions and prevent the recurrence of a financial crisis such as that which occurred in 2008 and 2009. The full impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on our business and operations may not be known for years until final regulations implementing the legislation are adopted. The Dodd-Frank Act may have a material impact on our operations, particularly through increased regulatory burden and compliance costs. Any future legislative changes could have a material impact on our profitability, the value of assets held for investment or the value of collateral for loans. Future legislative changes could also require changes to business practices and potentially expose us to additional costs, liabilities, enforcement action and reputational risk. In addition to the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal regulatory agencies recently have begun to take stronger supervisory actions against financial institutions that have experienced increased loan losses and other weaknesses as a result of the recent economic crisis. These actions include the entering into of written agreements and cease and desist orders that place certain limitations on their operations. Federal banking regulators recently have also been using with more frequency their ability to impose individual minimal capital requirements on banks, which requirements may be higher than those imposed under the Dodd-Frank Act or which would otherwise qualify the bank as being “well capitalized” under the OCC’s prompt corrective action regulations. If we were to become subject to a supervisory agreement or higher individual capital requirements, such action may have a negative impact on our ability to execute our business plans, as well as our ability to grow, pay dividends, repurchase stock or engage in mergers and acquisitions and may result in restrictions in our operations. See “Regulation and Supervision—Regulation of Federal Savings Associations—Capital Requirements” for a discussion of regulatory capital requirements.

 

We may be subject to more stringent capital requirements which could result in lower returns on equity, require the raising of additional capital, and limit our ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares of our common stock.

 

In July 2013, the OCC and the Federal Reserve Board approved a new rule that will substantially amend the regulatory risk-based capital rules applicable to First Federal of Hazard, First Federal of Kentucky and Kentucky First. The final rule implements the “Basel III” regulatory capital reforms and changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The final rule includes new minimum risk-based capital and leverage ratios, which became effective for First Federal of Hazard, First Federal of Kentucky and Kentucky First on January 1, 2015, and refines the definition of what constitutes “capital” for purposes of calculating these ratios. The new minimum capital requirements are: (i) a new common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 4.5%; (ii) a Tier 1 to risk-based assets capital ratio of 6% (increased from 4%); (iii) a total capital ratio of 8% (unchanged from current rules); and (iv) a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 4%. The final rule also establishes a “capital conservation” buffer of 2.5%, and will result in the following minimum ratios: (i) a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 7%; (ii) a Tier 1 to risk-based assets capital ratio of 8.5%; and (iii) a total capital ratio of 10.5%. The new capital conservation buffer requirement was phased in beginning in January 2016 at 0.625% of risk-weighted assets and increased each year until fully implemented in January 2019. An institution will be subject to limitations on paying dividends, engaging in share repurchases, and paying discretionary bonuses if its capital level falls below the buffer amount. These limitations will establish a maximum percentage of eligible retained income that can be utilized for such actions. As of June 30, 2022, the capital levels of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky exceed the required capital amounts according to the Community Bank Leverage Ratio regulations and we believe they also meet the fully-phased in minimum capital requirements. See Note K-Stockholders’ Equity and Regulatory Capital of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

The application of more stringent capital requirements for us could among other things, result in lower returns on equity, require the raising of additional capital, and result in regulatory actions constraining us from paying dividends or repurchasing shares if we were unable to comply with such requirements. See “Regulation and Supervision—Regulation of Federal Savings Associations—Capital Requirements.”

 

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We are subject to certain risks in connection with our use of technology.

 

Our security measures may not be sufficient to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack. Communications and information systems are essential to the conduct of our business, as we use such systems to manage our customer relationships, our general ledger and virtually all other aspects of our business. Our operations rely on the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential and other information in our computer systems and networks. Although we take protective measures and endeavor to modify them as circumstances warrant, the security of our computer systems, software, and networks may be vulnerable to breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other malicious code and cyber attacks that could have a security impact. If one or more of these events occur, this could jeopardize our or our customers’ confidential and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations or the operations of our customers or counterparties. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures, and we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance maintained by us. We could also suffer significant reputational damage.

 

Security breaches in our Internet banking activities could further expose us to possible liability and damage our reputation. Any compromise of our security also could deter customers from using our Internet banking services that involve the transmission of confidential information. We rely on standard Internet security systems to provide the security and authentication necessary to effect secure transmission of data. These precautions may not protect our systems from compromises or breaches of our security measures, which could result in significant legal liability and significant damage to our reputation and our business.

 

Our security measures may not protect us from systems failures or interruptions.

 

While we have established policies and procedures to prevent or limit the impact of systems failures and interruptions, there can be no assurance that such events will not occur or that they will be adequately addressed if they do. In addition, we outsource certain aspects of our data processing and other operational functions to certain third-party providers. If our third-party providers encounter difficulties, or if we have difficulty in communicating with them, our ability to adequately process and account for transactions could be affected, and our business operations could be adversely impacted. Threats to information security also exist in the processing of customer information through various other vendors and their personnel.

 

The occurrence of any failures or interruptions may require us to identify alternative sources of such services, and we cannot assure you that we could negotiate terms that are as favorable to us, or could obtain services with similar functionality as found in our existing systems without the need to expend substantial resources, if at all. Further, the occurrence of any systems failure or interruption could damage our reputation and result in a loss of customers and business, could subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or could expose us to legal liability. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We must keep pace with technological change to remain competitive.

 

Financial products and services have become increasingly technology-driven. Our ability to meet the needs of our customers competitively, and in a cost-efficient manner, is dependent on the ability to keep pace with technological advances and to invest in new technology as it becomes available, as well as related essential personnel. In addition, technology has lowered barriers to entry into the financial services market and made it possible for financial technology companies and other non-bank entities to offer financial products and services traditionally provided by banks. The ability to keep pace with technological change is important, and the failure to do so, due to cost, proficiency or otherwise, could have a material adverse impact on our business and therefore on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

22

 

 

If we are required to impair our goodwill, intangibles, or other long-lived assets, our financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.

 

Pursuant to Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 350, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other and ASC 360, Property, Plant and Equipment, we are required to perform an annual impairment review of goodwill, intangibles and other long lived assets which could result in an impairment charge if it is determined that the carrying value of the assets are in excess of the fair value. We perform the impairment test annually during our fourth fiscal quarter. Goodwill, intangibles and other long lived assets are also tested more frequently if changes in circumstances or the occurrence of events indicates that a potential impairment exists. When changes in circumstances, such as changes in the variables associated with the judgments, assumptions and estimates made in assessing the appropriate fair value indicate the carrying amount of certain assets may not be recoverable, the assets are evaluated for impairment. If actual operating results differ from these assumptions, it may result in an asset impairment. As of June 30, 2020, management early adopted ASU 2017-04, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which simplifies the required method for estimating the fair value of the Company. Future write-downs of intangibles and other long lived assets could affect certain of the financial covenants under our debt agreements, could restrict our financial flexibility, and would impact our results of operations.

 

Risks Related to Our Holding Company Structure

 

First Federal MHC owns a majority of our common stock and is able to exercise voting control over most matters put to a vote of stockholders, including preventing sale or merger transactions you may like or a second-step conversion by First Federal MHC.

 

First Federal MHC owns a majority of our common stock and, through its Board of Directors, is able to exercise voting control over most matters put to a vote of stockholders. As a federally chartered mutual holding company, the board of directors of First Federal MHC must ensure that the interests of depositors of First Federal of Hazard are represented and considered in matters put to a vote of stockholders of Kentucky First. Therefore, the votes cast by First Federal MHC may not be in your personal best interests as a stockholder. For example, First Federal MHC may exercise its voting control to prevent a sale or merger transaction in which stockholders could receive a premium for their shares, prevent a second-step conversion transaction by First Federal MHC or defeat a stockholder nominee for election to the Board of Directors of Kentucky First Federal. However, implementation of a stock-based incentive plan will require approval of Kentucky First Federal’s stockholders other than First Federal MHC. Federal Reserve Board regulations would likely prevent an acquisition of Kentucky First other than by another mutual holding company or a mutual institution.

 

Our ability to pay dividends is subject to the ability of First Federal of Hazard and First Federal of Kentucky to make capital distributions to Kentucky First Federal and the waiver of dividends by First Federal MHC.

 

Our long-term ability to pay dividends to our stockholders is based primarily upon the ability of the Banks to make capital distributions to Kentucky First Federal, and also on the availability of cash at the holding company level in the event earnings are not sufficient to pay dividends according to the cash dividend payout policy. Under Office of the Comptroller of the Currency safe harbor regulations, the Banks may each distribute to Kentucky First capital not exceeding net retained income for the current calendar year and the prior two calendar years. First Federal MHC owns a majority of Kentucky First Federal’s outstanding stock. First Federal MHC has historically waived its right to dividends on the Kentucky First common shares it owns, in which case the amount of dividends paid to public stockholders is significantly higher than it would be if First Federal MHC accepted dividends. First Federal MHC is not required to waive dividends, but Kentucky First expects this practice to continue, subject to member and regulatory approval annually. First Federal MHC is required to obtain a waiver from the Federal Reserve Board allowing it to waive its right to dividends.

 

The Federal Reserve Board in 2011 issued regulations that govern the activities of Kentucky First Federal and First Federal MHC and the regulations were implemented in the fourth quarter of 2011. Under Section 239.8(d) of the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation MM governing dividend waivers, a mutual holding company may waive its right to dividends on shares of its subsidiary if the mutual holding company gives written notice of the waiver to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Board does not object. For a company such as First Federal MHC that waived dividends prior to December 1, 2009, the Federal Reserve Board may not object to a dividend waiver if such waiver would not be detrimental to the safety and soundness of the savings association subsidiary and the board of directors of the mutual holding company expressly determines that such dividend waiver is consistent with the board’s fiduciary duties to the members of the mutual holding company.

 

To address concerns with respect to the conflict of interest created by dividend waivers, Regulation MM requires the board of directors of the mutual holding company to adopt a resolution that describes the conflict of interest that exists because of a director’s ownership of stock in the subsidiary declaring the dividends and any actions the mutual holding company board have taken to eliminate the conflict of interest, such as the directors’ waiving their right to receive dividends. Also, the resolution must contain an affirmation that a majority of the mutual members eligible to vote have, within the 12 months prior to the declaration date of the dividend, voted to approve the waiver of dividends.

 

First Federal MHC has received Federal Reserve Board approval to waive quarterly dividends totaling $0.40 per share annually beginning with the dividend paid on September 28, 2012 and continuing through the dividend payable in the third quarter of 2023. It is expected that First Federal MHC will continue to waive future dividends, except to the extent dividends are needed to fund First Federal MHC’s continuing operations, subject to the ability of First Federal MHC to obtain regulatory approval of its requests to waive dividends and to its ability to obtain member approval of dividend waivers.

 

23

 

 

We cannot predict whether members will continue to approve annual dividend waiver requests or whether the Federal Reserve Board will grant future dividend waiver requests and, if granted, there can be no assurance as to the conditions, if any, the Federal Reserve Board will place on future dividend waiver requests by grandfathered mutual holding companies such as First Federal MHC. If First Federal MHC is unable to waive the receipt of dividends, our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders may be substantially impaired and the amounts of any such dividends may be significantly reduced.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

 

None.

 

Item 2. Properties.

 

We conduct our business through seven offices. The following table sets forth certain information relating to our offices at June 30, 2022.

 

   Year
Opened/
Acquired
  Owned
or
Leased
  Net
Book
Value at
June 30,
2022
   Approximate
Square Footage
 
   (Dollars in thousands)
First Federal of Hazard 
Main Office:
655 Main Street
Hazard, Kentucky 41701
  2016   Owned  $688    5,600 
                 

First Federal of Kentucky

Main Office:
216 West Main Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

  2005  Owned   912    14,000 
                 
194 Versailles Road
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
  2015  Owned   814    2,700 
                 
1220 US 127 South
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
  2005  Owned   440    2,480 
                 
340 West Main Street
Danville, Kentucky 40422
  2012  Owned   427    8,700 
                 
120 Skywatch Drive
Danville, Kentucky 40422
  2012   Owned   687    2,300 
                 
208 Lexington Street
Lancaster, Kentucky 40444
  2012   Owned   404    4,300 

 

The net book value of our investment in premises and equipment was $4.6 million at June 30, 2022. See Note E of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

 

From time to time, we may be defendants in claims and lawsuits against us, such as claims to enforce liens, condemnation proceedings on properties in which we hold security interests, claims involving the making and servicing of real property loans and other issues incident to our business. We are not a party to any pending legal proceedings that we believe could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

 

Not applicable.

 

24

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

 

  (a) The information contained under the sections captioned “Market Information” in the Company’s Annual Report to Stockholders for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022 (the “Annual Report”) filed as Exhibit 13 hereto is incorporated herein by reference.

 

  (b) Not applicable.

 

  (c) The Company repurchased the following equity securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022.

 

Period  (a)
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
   (b)
Average
Price Paid
per Share
   (c)
Total Number of Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or Programs
   (d)
Maximum
Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under
the Plans or
Programs (1)
 
April 2022
Beginning date: April 1
Ending date: April 30
               131,500 
                     
May 2022
Beginning date: May 1
Ending date: May 31
               131,500 
                     
June 2022
Beginning date: June 1
Ending date: June 30
   63,520   $7.55    63,520    67,980 
                     
Total   63,520   $7.55    63,520    67,980 

 

(1) On February 3, 2021, the Company announced a program (its tenth) to repurchase up to 150,000 shares of its Common Stock.

 

25

 

 

Item 6. [Reserved].

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

The information contained in the section captioned “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the Annual Report, is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

 

This item is not applicable, as the Company is a smaller reporting company.

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

 

The Consolidated Financial Statements, Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm and Selected Financial Data, which are listed under Item 15 herein, are included in the Annual Report and are incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.

 

None.

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.

 

  (a) Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

The Company’s management, including the Company’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer, have evaluated the effectiveness of the Company’s “disclosure controls and procedures,” as such term is defined in Rule 13a-15(e) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”). Based upon their evaluation, the principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that, as of the end of the period covered by this report, the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures were effective for the purpose of ensuring that the information required to be disclosed in the reports that the Company files or submits under the Exchange Act with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) (1) is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and (2) is accumulated and communicated to the Company’s management, including its principal executive and principal financial officers, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

 

  (b) Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

 

 

Parent Company of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hazard and First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky

 

26

 

 

MANAGEMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT ON INTERNAL CONTROL

OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING

 

Management of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp (the “Company”) is responsible for the preparation, integrity, and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements included in this annual report. The Company’s consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and, as such, include some amounts that are based on the best estimates and judgments of management.

 

The Company’s management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. The internal control system is designed to provide reasonable assurance to management and the Board of Directors regarding the reliability of the company’s financial reporting and the preparation and presentation of financial statements for external reporting purposes in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, as well as to safeguard assets from unauthorized use or disposition. The system of internal control over financial reporting is evaluated for effectiveness by management and tested for reliability through a program of internal audit with actions taken to correct potential deficiencies as they are identified. Because of inherent limitations in any internal control system, no matter how well designed, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected, including the possibility of the circumvention or overriding controls. Accordingly, even an effective internal control system can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation. Further, because of changes in conditions, internal control effectiveness may vary over time.

 

Management assessed the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting as of June 30, 2022, based upon criteria set forth in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission – 2013 (“COSO”).

 

Based on this assessment and on the forgoing criteria, management has concluded that, as of June 30, 2022, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting is effective.

 

This annual report does not include an attestation report of the Company’s registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financial reporting. Management’s report was not subject to attestation by the Company’s registered public accounting firm pursuant to the exemption provided to issuers that are not “large accelerated filers” or “accelerated filers” under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

 

/s/ Don D. Jennings   /s/ R. Clay Hulette
Don D. Jennings   R. Clay Hulette
Chief Executive Officer   Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

 

27

 

 

  (c) Changes to Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the quarter ended June 30, 2022 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Item 9B. Other Information.

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections.

 

Not applicable.

 

28

 

 

PART III

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance.

 

Directors

 

The information contained under the section captioned “Item I – Election of Directors” in the Company’s definitive proxy statement for the Company’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Proxy Statement”) is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Executive Officers

 

The information regarding the Company’s executive officers is incorporated herein by reference to “Item I – Election of Directors” in the Proxy Statement.

 

Corporate Governance

 

Information regarding the Company’s Audit Committee and Audit Committee financial expert is incorporated herein by reference to the section captioned “Corporate Governance and Board Matters – Committees of the Board of Directors – Audit Committee” in the Proxy Statement.

 

Compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act

 

Information regarding compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act is incorporated by reference to section captioned “Other Information Relating to Directors and Executive Officers – Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” in the Proxy Statement.

 

Disclosure of Code of Ethics

 

Kentucky First has adopted a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct that applies to all of its directors, officers and employees. To obtain a copy of this document at no charge, please write to Kentucky First Federal Bancorp, P.O. Box 535, Frankfort, Kentucky 40602-0535, or call toll-free (888) 818-3372 and ask for Investor Relations.

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation.

 

The information contained under the section captioned “Executive Compensation” in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.

 

  (a) Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners. Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the section captioned “Stock Ownership” in the Proxy Statement.

 

  (b) Security Ownership of Management. Information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the section captioned “Stock Ownership” in the Proxy Statement.

 

  (c) Changes in Control. Management of the Company knows of no arrangements, including any pledge by any person of securities of the Company, the operation of which may at a subsequent date result in a change in control of the Company.

 

  (d) Equity Compensation Plans. The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the Company’s equity compensation plans as of June 30, 2022.

 

29

 

 

   (a)
Number of
securities
to
be issued
upon
exercise of
outstanding options,
warrants
and rights
   (b)
Weighted-
average
exercise
price of
outstanding
options,
warrants
and rights
   (c)
Number of
securities
remaining
available
for future
issuance
under equity
compensation
plans
(excluding
securities
reflected in
column (a))
 
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders            
                
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders            
                
Total1            

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the section captioned “Other Information Relating to Directors and Executive Officers Transactions with Related Persons” in the Proxy Statement.

 

Corporate Governance

 

For information regarding director independence, the section captioned, “Corporate Governance and Board Matters – Director Independence” is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services.

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the section captioned “Audit Related Matters” in the Proxy Statement.

 

 
1The Company currently has no equity-based compensation plans in place.

 

30

 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.

 

  (a) List of Documents Filed as Part of This Report

 

  (1) Financial Statements. The following consolidated financial statements are incorporated by reference from Item 8 hereof (see Exhibit 13):

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (FORVIS, LLP, Louisville, KY, PCAOB ID 686)  
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of June 30, 2022 and 2021    
Consolidated Statements of Income for the Years Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021    
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the Years Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021    
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity for the Years Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021    
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021    
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements    

 

  (2) Financial Statement Schedules. All schedules for which provision is made in the applicable accounting regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission are omitted because of the absence of conditions under which they are required or because the required information is included in the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto.

 

  (3) Exhibits. The following is a list of exhibits filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is also the Exhibit Index.

 

No.   Description
3.11   Charter of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
3.22   Amended and Restated Bylaws of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
3.33   Amendment No. 1 to the Bylaws of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
3.44   Amendment No. 2 to the Bylaws of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
3.55   Amendment No. 3 to the Bylaws of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
4.11   Specimen Stock Certificate of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp
4.26   Description of Kentucky First Federal Bancorp’s Common Stock Registered Under Section 12 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934
10.17   Employment Agreement between Kentucky First Federal Bancorp and Don D. Jennings, as amended†
10.27   Employment Agreement between First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky and Don D. Jennings, as amended†
10.37   Employment Agreement between Kentucky First Federal Bancorp and R. Clay Hulette, as amended†
10.47   Employment Agreement between First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky and R. Clay Hulette, as amended†
10.57   Employment Agreement between First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky and Teresa Kuhl, as amended†
10.67   Amended and Restated First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hazard Change in Control Severance Compensation Plan†
10.77   Amended and Restated First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky Change in Control Severance Compensation Plan†
10.87   Amended and Restated First Federal Savings and Loan Association Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan†
10.148   Employment Agreement by and between First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky and William H. Johnson†
10.156   Employment Agreement by and between First Federal Savings and Loan of Hazard and Jamie S. Coffey†
10.169   Letter Agreement, dated May 7, 2021, by and between First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort and William Johnson†

 

31

 

 

13   Annual Report to Stockholders for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022
21   Subsidiaries
31.1   Rule 13a-14(a) Certification of Chief Executive Officer
31.2   Rule 13a-14(a) Certification of Chief Financial Officer
32   Section 1350 Certifications
101   The following materials from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2022, formatted in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language): (i) the Consolidated Balance Sheets, (ii) Consolidated Statements of Operations, (iii) the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income, (iv) the Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity, (v) the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows and the (vi) Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
104   Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as Inline XBRL and contained in Exhibit 101)

 

Management contract or compensation plan or arrangement.
(1) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-119041).
(2) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended June 30, 2012 (File No. 0-51176).
(3) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Form 8-K filed on August 25, 2017 (File No. 000-51176).
(4) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Form 8-K filed on September 28, 2020 (File No. 000-51176).
(5) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Form 8-K filed on February 2, 2022 (File No. 000-51176).
(6) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended June 30, 2020 (File No. 0-51176).
(7) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 (File No. 0-51176).
(8) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 (File No. 0-51176).
(9) Incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Form 8-K filed on May 13, 2021 (File No. 000-51176)

 

  (b) Exhibits. The exhibits required by Item 601 of Regulation S-K are either filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or incorporated by reference herein.

 

  (c) Financial Statements and Schedules Excluded from Annual Report. There are no other financial statements and financial statement schedules which were excluded from the Annual Report to Stockholders pursuant to Rule 14a-3(b) which are required to be included herein.

 

Item 16. Form 10-K Summary.

 

Not applicable.

 

32

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

  KENTUCKY FIRST FEDERAL BANCORP
     
September 28, 2022 By: /s/ Don D. Jennings
    Don D. Jennings
    Chief Executive Officer

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

/s/ Don D. Jennings   September 28, 2022
Don D. Jennings    
Chief Executive Officer and Director    
(Principal Executive Officer)    
     
/s/ R. Clay Hulette   September 28, 2022
R. Clay Hulette    
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer    
(Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)    
     
/s/ Tony D. Whitaker   September 28, 2022
Tony D. Whitaker    
Chairman of the Board    
     
/s/ Stephen G. Barker   September 28, 2022
Stephen G. Barker    
Director    
     
/s/ Walter G. Ecton, Jr.   September 28, 2022
Walter G. Ecton, Jr.    
Director    
     
/s/ Lou Ella Farler   September 28, 2022
Lou Ella Farler    
Director    
     
/s/ William D. Gorman, Jr.   September 28, 2022
William D. Gorman, Jr.    
Director    
     
/s/ David R. Harrod   September 28, 2022
David R. Harrod    
Director    
     
/s/ William H. Johnson   September 28, 2022
William H. Johnson    
Director    

 

33

ATTACHMENTS / EXHIBITS

ANNUAL REPORT

SUBSIDIARIES

CERTIFICATION

CERTIFICATION

CERTIFICATION

XBRL SCHEMA FILE

XBRL CALCULATION FILE

XBRL DEFINITION FILE

XBRL LABEL FILE

XBRL PRESENTATION FILE

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