Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - HTLF

-New additions in green
-Changes in blue
-Hover to see similar sentence in last filing

$HTLF Risk Factor changes from 00/02/24/22/2022 to 00/02/23/24/2024

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORSAn investment in our securities is subject to risks inherent in our business. The material risks and uncertainties that management believes affect us are described below. Additional risks and uncertainties that management is not aware of or that management currently deems immaterial may also impair our business operations. If any of the events described in the risk factors occur, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If any of the events described in the risk factors should actually occur, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If this were to happen, the value of our securities could decline significantly, and you could lose all or part of your investment.Summary of Risk FactorsBelow is a summary of the principal factors that make an investment in our common stock risky or speculative. This summary does not address all the risks that we face. This summary does not address all of the risks that we face.

Additional discussion of the risks summarized in this risk factor summary, and other risks that we face, can be found below and should be carefully considered, together with other information in this Form 10-K and our other filings with the SEC, before making an investment decision regarding our common stock. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following: Economic and Overall Market Condition Risks•Our business and financial performance are significantly affected by general business and economic conditions, including those related to increased inflation, recessionary conditions, or domestic or geopolitical factors. •Our business and financial performance depend upon the continued growth and welfare of the various geographic markets that we serve.•Our business and financial performance are vulnerable to the impact of volatility in debt and equity markets.•Our business and performance are vulnerable to the impact of volatility in debt and equity markets. •Continued actions by the Federal Reserve Board affecting interest rates and other conditions could negatively impact net interest income and net interest margin.•We have recorded goodwill as a result of acquisitions, and if it becomes impaired, our earnings could be significantly impacted.•We have substantial deferred tax assets that could require a valuation allowance and a charge against earnings if we conclude that the tax benefits represented by the assets are unlikely to be realized.•Changes in the federal, state or local tax laws may negatively impact our financial performance.•Our business and financial performance could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities.•Our business and financial performance could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities. •Climate change regulation and climate change risks, including transition, physical or other risks could adversely affect our operations, businesses, customers, reputation and financial condition.•Climate change manifesting as transition, physical or other risks could adversely affect our operations, businesses, customers, reputation and financial condition. •Our framework for managing risks may not be effective in identifying or mitigating risk and losses.•Our framework for managing risks may not be effective in mitigating risk and losses. Credit Risks•If we do not properly manage our credit risk, we could suffer material credit losses.•We are subject to lending concentration risks.•We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about our customers and counterparties.•Our loan portfolio has a large concentration of commercial real estate loans, a segment that can be subject to volatile cash flows and collateral values which may be impacted by changes in industry trends or regional or national market conditions.•Our loan portfolio has a large concentration of commercial real estate loans, a segment that can be subject to volatile cash flows and collateral values. •We may encounter issues with environmental law compliance if we take possession, through foreclosure or otherwise, of the real property that secures a commercial real estate loan.•The ability of a borrower to repay agricultural loans may be especially affected by many factors outside of the borrower’s control.•Our allowance for credit losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb losses in our loan portfolio.Liquidity and Interest Rate Risks•Our financial results are significantly impacted by interest rate levels and fluctuation.•We may not be able to meet the cash flow requirements of our depositors or borrowers, or be able to meet our obligations or the cash needs for growth or other strategic corporate activities. •Significant reductions in our core deposits or increases in our cost of funding could adversely affect our liquidity or profitability.•We use brokered deposits and other wholesale funding, which may be unstable and/or expensive, to fund earning asset growth. •Our investment securities portfolio may be impacted by interest rate volatility and market conditions.•The required accounting treatment of loans we acquire through acquisitions could result in lower net interest margins and interest income in future periods.•The required accounting treatment of loans we acquire through acquisitions could result in higher net interest margins and interest income in current periods and lower net interest margins and interest income in future periods. •Our growth may create the need to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed.•We rely on dividends from HTLF Bank for most of our revenue and are subject to restrictions on payment of dividends.•We rely on dividends from our subsidiaries for most of our revenue and are subject to restrictions on payment of dividends. Operational Risks•We have a continuing need for technology investments, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology.Operational RisksWe have a continuing need for technology investments, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology. •Our operations are affected by risks associated with our use of vendors and other third-party service providers.•Security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents with respect to our or our vendors’ systems or network security, as well as the resulting theft or compromise of business and customer information, including personal information, could adversely affect our business or reputation, and create significant legal, regulatory or financial exposure.•The potential for business interruption or failure exists throughout our organization.•We are subject to risks from employee errors, customer or employee fraud and data processing system failures and errors.•Our Bank Markets and growth strategy rely heavily on our management team, and the unexpected loss of key managers may adversely affect our operations.•New lines of business, products, and services are essential to our ability to compete, but may subject us to additional risks.•Our analytical and forecasting models may be improper or ineffective.•Our internal controls may be ineffective.Strategic and External Risks•The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect our liquidity and operations.•We may experience difficulties in achieving and managing our growth and our growth strategy involves risks that may negatively impact our net income. •Attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us in the future.•Attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us in the future. •We face intense competition in all phases of our business, and competitive factors could adversely affect our business.Legal, Compliance and Reputational Risks•We are subject to extensive and evolving government regulation and supervision, which can increase the cost of doing business, limit our ability to grow, and lead to enforcement actions.•Stringent requirements related to capital may limit our ability to return earnings to stockholders or operate or invest in our business.•Stringent requirements related to capital and liquidity may limit our ability to return earnings to stockholders or operate or invest in our business. •We are becoming subject to additional regulatory requirements as our total assets increase, and these additional requirements could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.•We are subject to complex and evolving laws, regulations, rules, standards and contractual obligations regarding data privacy and cybersecurity, which can increase the cost of doing business, compliance risks, and potential liability.•Litigation and enforcement actions could result in negative publicity and could adversely impact our business and financial results.•Our reputation and our business are subject to negative publicity risk.Risks of Owning Stock in HTLF•Our stock price can be volatile and can be affected by a variety of factors that are outside of our control. •Stockholders may experience dilution as a result of future equity offerings and acquisitions.•Stockholders may experience dilution as a result of future equity offerings and acquisitions. •Certain banking laws may have an anti-takeover effect.Economic and Overall Market Condition RisksOur business and financial performance are significantly affected by general business and economic conditions, including those related to increased inflation, recessionary conditions, or domestic and geopolitical factors.Our business activities and earnings are affected by general business conditions in the United States and particularly in our Bank Markets. Our business is impacted by factors such as economic, political and market conditions, including both general conditions and those specific to the banking industry, changes in the Federal Reserve Board monetary and other governmental fiscal policies, inflation, and interest rate and financial market volatility, all of which may be beyond our control. Future economic conditions cannot be predicted, and any further deterioration in the national economy or in our Bank markets could have an adverse effect, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, operational results. The cost and availability of capital have negatively impacted our business in the past and may adversely impact us in the future. In addition, domestic political factors, including potential future federal government shutdowns and the possibility of the federal government defaulting on its obligations due to debt ceiling limitations, could have a serious impact on general economic conditions or the value of financial instruments owned by us that are issued or guaranteed by the federal government.Over the past year, the economy has experienced persistent inflation and higher interest rates. Prolonged periods of inflation may negatively affect our expenses by increasing funding costs and expenses related to talent acquisition and retention. Increased interest rates may adversely affect numerous aspects of our business, including by reducing demand for our financial products and services, restricting the ability of our consumer and business customers to repay loans, and decreasing the value of our investment portfolio and collateral securing our loans, and may lead to economic deterioration or recession. Any of the foregoing could harm our reputation, distract our management and technical personnel, increase our costs of doing business, adversely affect the demand for our products and services, and ultimately result in the imposition of liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Economic deterioration and recessionary conditions that affect household and/or corporate incomes could result in renewed credit deterioration, reduced demand for credit or fee-based products and services and turmoil and volatility in the financial markets, which could, negatively impact our performance. In addition, changes in securities market conditions and monetary fluctuations could adversely affect the availability and terms of funding necessary to meet our liquidity needs.Our business and financial performance depend upon the continued growth and welfare of the various geographic markets that we serve.Our business dependent upon the continued growth and welfare of the various geographic markets that we serve. We operate in Bank Markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin, and our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows depend upon the economic vitality, growth prospects, business activity, population, income levels, deposits and real estate activity in those areas.We operate in Bank Markets in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California, and our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are subject to changes in the economic conditions in those markets. Adverse economic conditions that affect our specific markets could affect the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us, impact the stability of our deposit funding sources, and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.We are vulnerable to the impact of volatility in debt and equity markets.As most of our assets and liabilities are financial in nature, our performance is sensitive to the performance of the financial markets. Turmoil and volatility in the domestic and global financial markets can be a major contributory factor to overall weak economic conditions, including the impaired ability of borrowers and other counterparties to meet obligations to us. Turmoil and volatility in the financial markets can be a major contributory factor to overall weak economic conditions, including the impaired ability of borrowers and other counterparties to meet obligations to us. Financial market volatility may:•Affect the value or liquidity of the financial instruments we hold. Financial market volatility may:•Affect the value or liquidity of our on-balance sheet and off-balance sheet financial instruments. •Affect our ability to access capital markets to raise funds at cost effective rates or at all.•Affect our ability to access capital markets to raise funds. •Affect the value of the assets that we manage or otherwise administer or service for others, which could decrease fee income, result in decreased demand for our services, and/or decrease the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us.•Affect the value of the assets that we manage or otherwise administer or service for others. Any of the above could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.Continued actions by the Federal Reserve Board affecting interest rates and other conditions could negatively impact net interest income and net interest margin.The Federal Reserve System regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States, and it influences interest rates by changing the discount rate at which it lends money to banks and by adjusting the target for the federal funds rate at which banks borrow from other banks. The Federal Reserve System regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States, and it influences interest rates by changing the discount rate at which it lends money to banks and by adjusting the target for the federal funds rate at which banks borrow from other banks. While out of our control, the Fed's fiscal and monetary policies significantly affect our cost of funds for lending and investing and the return that can be earned on our loans and investments, both of which affect our net interest margin. Its fiscal and monetary policies determine, in a large part, our cost of funds for lending and investing and the return that can be earned on those loans and investments, both of which affect our net interest margin. In addition, decisions by the Federal Reserve to increase or reduce the size of its balance sheet or to engage in tapering its purchase of assets may also affect interest rates. In response to the persistent inflation experienced in the past year, the Federal Reserve Board reacted by implementing significant rate hikes. While these interest rate increases have resulted in reduced inflation, there is continued uncertainty as to whether these actions could lead to an economic downturn. Further, we cannot predict the nature or timing of future changes in monetary policies or the precise effects that they may have on our activities and financial results. We cannot predict the nature or timing of future changes in monetary policies or the precise effects that they may have on our activities and financial results. We have recorded goodwill as a result of acquisitions, and if it becomes impaired, our earnings could be significantly impacted.Under current accounting standards, goodwill is not amortized but, instead, is subject to impairment tests on at least an annual basis or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. Although we do not anticipate impairment charges, if we conclude that some portion of our goodwill is impaired, a non-cash charge for the amount of such impairment would be recorded against earnings. A goodwill impairment charge could be caused by a decline in our stock price or occurrence of a triggering event that compounds negative financial results. A goodwill impairment charge could be caused by a decline in our stock price or occurrence of a triggering event that compounds the negative results in an unfavorable quarter. At December 31, 2023, we had goodwill of $576.0 million, representing approximately 30% of stockholders’ equity.We have substantial deferred tax assets that could require a valuation allowance and a charge against earnings if we conclude that the tax benefits represented by the assets are unlikely to be realized.We record deferred tax assets on our consolidated balance sheet, which represent differences in the timing of the benefit of deductions, credits and other items for accounting purposes and the benefit for tax purposes.6 million of deferred tax assets at December 31, 2021, that represents differences in the timing of the benefit of deductions, credits and other items for accounting purposes and the benefit for tax purposes. To the extent we conclude that the value of this asset is not more likely than not to be realized, we would be obligated to record a valuation allowance against the asset, impacting our earnings during the period in which the valuation allowance is recorded. Assessing the need for, or the sufficiency of, a valuation allowance requires management to evaluate all available evidence, both negative and positive. Positive evidence necessary to overcome the negative evidence includes whether future taxable income in sufficient amounts and character within the carryback and carryforward periods is available under the tax law. When negative evidence (e.g., cumulative losses in recent years, history of operating losses or tax credit carryforwards expiring unused) exists, more positive evidence than negative evidence will be necessary. If the positive evidence is not sufficient to exceed the negative evidence, a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets is established. The creation of a substantial valuation allowance could have a significant negative impact on our reported results in the period in which it is recorded. The impact of the impairment of HTLF's deferred tax assets could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.Changes in the federal, state or local tax laws may negatively impact our financial performance.We are subject to changes in tax law that could increase our effective tax rates. The enactment of such legislation including provisions impacting tax rates, apportionment, consolidation or combination, income, expenses, credits and exemptions may have a material impact on our business, financial conditions and results of operations. These tax law changes may also be retroactive to previous periods and could negatively affect our current and future financial performance. There is no assurance that tax rates will remain at current levels or that presently anticipated benefits will be realized in future years’ financial performance.Our business and financial performance could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities.•Our business and financial performance could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities. Neither the occurrence nor the potential impact of natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities can be predicted. However, these occurrences could impact us directly (for example, by interrupting our systems, which could prevent us from obtaining deposits, originating loans and processing and controlling the flow of business; causing significant damage to our facilities; or otherwise preventing us from conducting business in the ordinary course), or indirectly as a result of their impact on our borrowers, depositors, other customers, vendors or other counterparties (for example, by damaging properties pledged as collateral for our loans or impairing the ability of certain borrowers to repay their loans). However, these occurrences could impact us directly (for example, by interrupting our systems, which could prevent the us from obtaining deposits, originating loans and processing and controlling the flow of business; causing significant damage to our facilities; or otherwise preventing us from conducting business in the ordinary course), or indirectly as a result of their impact on our borrowers, depositors, other customers, vendors or other counterparties (for example, by damaging properties pledged as collateral for our loans or impairing the ability of certain borrowers to repay their loans). We could also suffer adverse consequences to the extent that natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities affect the financial markets or the economy in general or in any particular region. We could also suffer adverse consequences to the extent that natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities affect the financial markets or the economy in general or in any particular region. These types of impacts could lead, for example, to an increase in delinquencies, bankruptcies or defaults that could result in higher levels of nonperforming assets, net charge-offs and provisions for credit losses.Our ability to mitigate the adverse consequences of these occurrences in part depends on the quality of our resiliency planning, and our ability, if any, to anticipate the nature of any such event that occurs.Our ability to mitigate the adverse consequences of these occurrences is in part dependent on the quality of our resiliency planning, and our ability, if any, to anticipate the nature of any such event that occurs. The adverse impact of natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities also could increase to the extent that there is a lack of preparedness on the part of national or regional emergency responders or on the part of other organizations and businesses that we transact with, particularly those that we depend upon, but have no control over. The adverse impact of natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities also could be increased to the extent that there is a lack of preparedness on the part of national or regional emergency responders or on the part of other organizations and businesses that we transact with, particularly those that we depend upon, but have no control over. We may also be subject to compliance with governmental measures taken to address the impact of natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist activities or other occurrences of this nature. Climate regulation and climate change risks, including transition, physical or other risks could adversely affect our operations, businesses, customers, reputation and financial condition.Climate change manifesting as transition, physical or other risks could adversely affect our operations, businesses, customers, reputation and financial condition. There is an increasing concern over the risks of climate change and related environmental sustainability matters. For example, the Federal Reserve Board in its Financial Stability Report of November 2020, specifically addressed the implications of climate change for markets, financial exposures, financial institutions, and financial stability. As a result of these concerns, Congress, state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies have continued to propose legislative and regulatory initiatives seeking to mitigate the effects of climate change, including disclosure requirements regarding greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the SEC has proposed climate-related disclosure rules, which if finalized, would require new climate-related disclosures in SEC filings and audited financial statements, including certain climate-related metrics and direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions data, information about climate-related targets and goals, transition plans, if any, and would have attestation requirements. The State of California has enacted, and other states may enact, laws and regulations requiring expanded measurement and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, including scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions, and requiring third-party assurance of their reports. Disclosure requirements imposed by different regulators may not always be uniform, which may result in increased complexity, increased compliance costs, and other compliance-related risks. On October 24, 2023, the federal banking agencies issued interagency guidance on principles for climate-related financial risk management by large financial institutions. The guidance reiterates the agencies’ view that financial institutions are likely to be affected by both the physical risks and transition risks associated with climate change. The physical risks of climate change include not only discrete events such as natural disaster events described above, the force and frequency of which are increasing as the climate changes, but also longer-term shifts in climate patterns, such as extreme heat, sea level rise, and more frequent and prolonged drought. We do not yet know all the ways that climate change may affect us and our customers, however weather disasters, shifts in local climates and other disruptions related to climate change may adversely affect our customers, particularly agricultural customers, or the value of real properties securing our loans, any of which could diminish the value of our loan portfolio.Attempts to mitigate climate change, such as transitioning to a low-carbon economy, may include extensive policy, legal, technology and market initiatives. Transition risks, including changes in consumer preferences, additional regulatory, governance, and disclosure requirements or taxes and additional counterparty or customer requirements, could increase our expenses, require changes to our strategies and impact our financial condition. Transition risks, including changes in consumer preferences, additional regulatory requirements or taxes and additional counterparty or customer requirements, could increase our expenses, undermine our strategies and impact our financial condition. In addition, our reputation and client relationships may be damaged as a result of our practices related to climate change, including our involvement, or our clients’ involvement, in certain industries or projects associated with causing or exacerbating climate change, as well as any decisions we make to continue to conduct or change our activities in response to considerations relating to climate change. Our framework for managing risks may not be effective in identifying or mitigating risk and losses.Our framework for managing risks may not be effective in mitigating risk and losses. Our risk management framework seeks to identify, monitor, manage and mitigate risk of material loss.Our risk management framework seeks to mitigate risk and loss. We have established processes and procedures and dedicated resources intended to identify, measure, monitor, report, and analyze the types of risk to which we are subject, including liquidity risk, credit risk, market risk (including interest rate and price risk), compliance risk, strategic risk, reputation risk, and operational risk related to our employees, systems, processes and vendors, among others. We have established processes and procedures intended to identify, measure, monitor, report, and analyze the types of risk to which we are subject, including liquidity risk, credit risk, market risk (including interest rate and price risk), compliance risk, strategic risk, reputation risk, and operational risk related to our employees, systems, processes and vendors, among others. However, as with any risk management framework, there are inherent limitations to our risk management strategies as there may exist, or develop in the future, risks that it has not appropriately anticipated or identified or that are out of our control. We must also develop and maintain a culture of risk management among our employees, as well as manage risks associated with third parties, and could fail to do so effectively. If our risk management framework proves ineffective, we could incur litigation and negative regulatory consequences, and suffer unexpected material losses that could affect our financial condition or results of operations. If our risk management framework proves ineffective, we could incur litigation and negative regulatory consequences, and suffer unexpected losses that could affect its financial condition or results of operations. Credit RisksIf we do not properly manage our credit risk, we could suffer material credit losses.There are substantial risks inherent in making any loan, including, but not limited to:•risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions, including those precipitated by climate change or climate transition in the economy; •risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers, including fraud-related risks;•uncertainties as to the future value of collateral; and•the risk of non-payment of loans.There are substantial risks inherent in making any loan, including, but not limited to:•risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions; •risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers;•uncertainties as to the future value of collateral; and•the risk of non-payment of loans. Although we attempt to properly establish limits, measure, monitor and manage our credit risk through prudent loan policies, loan underwriting procedures and by monitoring concentrations of our loans, there can be no assurance that these policies, underwriting and monitoring procedures will effectively reduce these risks.Although we attempt to properly establish, measure and manage our credit risk through prudent loan underwriting procedures and by monitoring concentrations of our loans, there can be no assurance that these underwriting and monitoring procedures will effectively reduce these risks. Moreover, if we expand into new markets, credit administration and loan underwriting policies and procedures may need to be adapted further to local conditions. Moreover, as we continue to expand into new markets, credit administration and loan underwriting policies and procedures may need to be adapted to local conditions. The inability to properly manage our credit risk or appropriately adapt our credit administration and loan underwriting policies and procedures to local market conditions or to changing economic circumstances could have an adverse impact on our allowance and provision for credit losses and our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.In addition, certain of our investment securities may carry material credit risk, and as a result, we may have to record provision expense to establish an allowance for credit losses on our carried at fair value debt securities. Further, we may have to record provision expense to establish an allowance for credit losses on our carried at fair value debt securities, and we must periodically test our investment securities for other-than-temporary impairment in value. We are subject to lending concentration risks.In the ordinary course of business, we have credit exposures to specific industries, regions, financial markets, or individual borrowers. As an example, loans secured by commercial and residential real estate typically represent a significant percentage of our overall credit portfolio. Although there are established limitations on the extent of total exposure to an individual consumer or business borrower, events adversely affecting specific customers or counterparties, industries, regions, or financial markets, including a decline in their creditworthiness or a worsening overall risk profile, could materially and adversely affect us. We also face indirect technology, cybersecurity and operational risks relating to the vendors, customers, clients and other third parties with whom we do business or upon whom we rely to facilitate or enable our business activities, including for example financial counterparties, regulators, and providers of critical infrastructure such as internet access or electrical power. Declining economic conditions also may disproportionately impact different types of customers. Certain of our credit exposures are concentrated in industries and may share similar characteristics which can make them more susceptible to different adverse events and conditions. Thus, the concentration and mix of our loan portfolio may affect the severity of the impact of a recession or other adverse events on us and our financial performance in ways that we cannot anticipate.We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about our customers and counterparties.In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions, we rely on information furnished by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements, credit reports and other financial information. We may also rely on representations of those customers, counterparties or other third parties, such as independent auditors, regarding the accuracy and completeness of that information. Reliance on inaccurate or misleading financial statements, credit reports or other financial information could cause us to make uncollectible loans or enter into other unfavorable transactions, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.Our loan portfolio has a large concentration of commercial real estate loans, a segment that can be subject to volatile cash flows and collateral values which may be impacted by changes in industry trends or regional and national market conditions.Our loan portfolio has a large concentration of commercial real estate loans, a segment that can be subject to volatile cash flows and collateral values. Commercial real estate lending, which is comprised of owner-occupied, non-owner occupied, and real estate construction loans, represents a large portion of our commercial loan portfolio. Commercial real estate lending, which is comprised of owner-occupied, non-owner occupied, and real estate construction loans, represents a large portion of our commercial loan portfolio. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in any of our geographic Bank Markets in which the real estate is located. Adverse developments in nationwide or regional market conditions affecting real estate values could negatively impact our commercial real estate loans, and other developments could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio. Adverse developments in nationwide or regional market conditions affecting real estate values could negatively impact of our commercial real estate loans, and other developments could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio. For example, the decrease in demand for physical office space has reduced, and may continue to reduce, the value of certain commercial space, which increases the risk of default and the severity of defaults associated with loans secured by such properties. Non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans typically depend, in large part, on sufficient income from the properties securing the loans to cover operating expenses and debt service. Non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans typically are dependent, in large part, on sufficient income from the properties securing the loans to cover operating expenses and debt service. With recent increases in interest rates, borrowers with variable rate loans may not have sufficient cash flows to absorb the impact of higher interest rates on their payments. In addition, increases in interest rates could also negatively impact the cash flows and repayment ability of our borrowers. Real estate construction loans involve additional risks because funds are advanced based upon estimates of costs and the estimated value of the completed project and therefore have a greater risk of default in a weaker economy. Construction projects require prudent underwriting including determination of a borrower's ability to complete the project, while staying within budget and on time in accordance with construction plans. While we follow prudent underwriting practices, including determining project feasibility on construction projects we finance, economic events, supply chain issues, labor market disruptions, and other factors outside of the control of HTLF or our borrowers could negatively impact the future cash flow and market values of the affected properties.We may encounter issues with environmental law compliance if we take possession, through foreclosure or otherwise, of the real property that secures a commercial real estate loan.A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If previously unknown or undisclosed hazardous or toxic substances are discovered, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses which may materially reduce the affected property's value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review at the time of underwriting a loan secured by real property and also before initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. The remediation costs and any other financial liabilities associated with an environmental hazard could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.The ability of a borrower to repay agricultural loans may be especially affected by many factors outside of the borrower’s control.Payments on agricultural and agricultural real estate loans depend on the profitable operation or management of the farm property securing the loan.Payments on agricultural and agricultural real estate loans are dependent on the profitable operation or management of the farm property securing the loan. If the cash flow from a farming operation is diminished, the borrower's ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Loans that are unsecured or secured by rapidly depreciating assets such as farm equipment or assets such as livestock or crops may not provide an adequate source of repayment of the outstanding loan balance as a result of the greater likelihood of damage to or depreciation in the value of crops or livestock.The success of a farm may be affected by many factors outside the control of the borrower, including adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crop or limit crop yields (such as hail, extreme weather or temperatures, drought, and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including changes to global trade agreements, tariffs, price supports, subsidies and environmental regulations).The success of a farm may be affected by many factors outside the control of the borrower, including adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crop or limit crop yields (such as hail, drought and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including changes to global trade agreements, price supports, subsidies and environmental regulations). In addition, many farms depend on a limited number of key individuals whose injury or death may significantly affect the successful operation of the farm. In addition, many farms are dependent on a limited number of key individuals whose injury or death may significantly affect the successful operation of the farm. Our allowance for credit losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb losses in our loan portfolio.We establish our allowance for credit losses in consultation with management of HTLF Bank and maintain it at a level considered appropriate by management to absorb current expected credit losses and risks inherent in the portfolio.We establish our allowance for credit losses in consultation with management of the Banks and maintain it at a level considered appropriate by management to absorb current expected credit losses and risks inherent in the portfolio. While the level of allowance for credit losses reflects management's continuing evaluation of quantitative and qualitative factors including industry concentrations, loan portfolio quality and economic conditions, the amount of future loan losses is susceptible to changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates, levels of inflation, and other factors which may be beyond our control, and such losses may exceed current estimates. At December 31, 2023, our allowance for credit losses as a percentage of total loans was 1.02% and as a percentage of total nonperforming loans was approximately 125%. Although we believe that the allowance for credit losses is appropriate to absorb current expected credit losses on any existing loans that may become uncollectible, we cannot predict loan losses with certainty, and we cannot provide assurance that our allowance for credit losses will prove sufficient to cover actual loan losses in the future. Further significant provisions, or charge-offs against our allowance that result in provisions, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further significant provisions, or charge-offs against our allowance that result in provisions, could have a significant negative impact on our profitability. Liquidity and Interest Rate RisksOur financial results are significantly affected by interest rate levels and fluctuation. Our financial results depend to a large extent on net interest income, which is the difference between interest income earned on loans and investment securities and interest expense paid on deposits, subordinated notes, borrowings, and other liabilities. Due to differences in maturities and repricing characteristics of our interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, changes in interest rates may not produce equivalent changes in interest income earned on interest-earning assets and interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities. For example, asset values, especially values of commercial real estate collateral, securities, or other fixed rate earning assets, can decline significantly with relatively minor changes in interest rates. Asset values, especially commercial real estate collateral, securities or other fixed rate earning assets, can decline significantly with relatively minor changes in interest rates. As a result, an increase or decrease in rates, loan portfolio duration, the mix of adjustable and fixed rate loans in our portfolio, and the cost, stability, and mix of deposits on our balance sheet all could have a negative effect on our financial condition, results of operation, and liquidity. Ongoing fluctuations in interest rates could adversely affect our interest rate spread, and, in turn, our profitability. Future monetary actions taken by the Federal Reserve to address various economic factors can further constrain our interest rate spread and impact the mix of noninterest and interest-bearing accounts. If the interest we pay on liabilities increases at a faster pace than the interest that we receive on our interest-earning assets, the result could be a reduction in net income. In addition, the failure to match the durations of our assets and liabilities could result in us being unable to mitigate the impact of changes in interest rates. We measure interest rate risk under various rate scenarios using specific criteria and assumptions.

A summary of this process, along with the results of our net interest income simulations, is presented under the caption "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" included under Item 7A of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Although we believe our current level of interest rate sensitivity is reasonable and effectively managed, significant fluctuations in interest rates may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and specifically, our net interest income. Also, our interest rate risk modeling techniques and assumptions may not fully predict or capture the impact of actual interest rate changes on our financial condition and results of operations. We cannot control nor predict future changes in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy or actions taken to address inflation, recession, unemployment, money supply and other changes in financial markets. We may not be able to meet the cash flow requirements of our depositors or borrowers, or be able to meet our obligations or the cash needs for expansion or other strategic corporate activities. Liquidity represents our ability to provide funds to satisfy demands from depositors, and facilitates our ability to extend loans to borrowers and meet our contractual debt obligations by either converting assets into cash or accessing new or existing sources of incremental funds. Liquidity risk is the potential that we will be unable to meet our obligations as they become due because of an inability to liquidate assets or obtain adequate funding. We manage liquidity risk with the primary objective of meeting our cash flow requirements including those from our depositors and creditors, and having sufficient cash to satisfy our operating needs, strategic initiatives and loan growth objectives while maintaining reasonable funding costs. We primarily rely on deposits, repayments of loans and cash flows from our investment securities as our primary sources of funds. Our principal deposit sources include consumer and commercial customers in our markets. We have used these funds, together with public funds customers, brokered deposits and Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB") advances as well as federal funds purchased and other sources of short-term borrowings to make loans, acquire investment securities and other assets and to fund continuing operations. Deposit levels may be affected by a number of factors, including competition, general interest rate levels, returns available to customers on alternative investments, concerns about the stability of banks, general economic and market conditions and other factors. Our access to deposits can be impacted by the liquidity needs and financial condition of our customers, particularly large customers, as a substantial portion of our deposit liabilities are demand deposits, while a significant portion of our assets are loans that cannot be sold in the same timeframe or are investment securities the value of which may be impaired, or which we may not be readily able to sell if there is disruption in capital markets. Although we maintain asset/liability management policies and a related contingency funding plan that, among other things, include policies and procedures for managing and monitoring liquidity risk, there can be no assurance that these will prove adequate to our needs. If we are unable to access additional funding sources when needed, we might be unable to meet our depositors’, borrowers’ or creditors’ needs, which would adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. Significant reductions in our core deposits or increases in our cost of funding could adversely affect our liquidity or profitability. Our profitability depends in part on successfully gathering and retaining a stable base of relatively low-cost deposits, as deposits have traditionally served as our largest, least costly source of funding. The competition for these deposits has increased dramatically in the last year, and our deposit levels might fall, or our cost of deposits may significantly increase, if the total supply of deposits decreases due to economic events, or if competition increases to attract deposits, either of which could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and liquidity.We use brokered deposits and other wholesale funding, which may be unstable and/or expensive, to fund earning asset growth. We use wholesale and institutional deposits, including brokered deposits, as a source of funding to augment deposits generated from our branch network. At December 31, 2023, we had $1. At December 31, 2021, we had goodwill of $576. 35 billion in wholesale and institutional deposits, of which $1.16 billion consisted of brokered deposits. Our ability to use these deposits is limited by our own internal policies as well as regulatory limitations, and there can be no assurance that such sources will be available, or will remain available, or that the cost of such funding sources will be reasonable. For example, if we are no longer considered well-capitalized, our ability to access new brokered deposits or retain existing brokered deposits could be adversely affected by regulatory requirements, the unwillingness of counterparties to do business with us, or both, which could result in most, if not all, brokered deposit sources being unavailable. In addition, we also utilize other wholesale funding sources to provide us with liquidity and fund our asset growth. As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately $521 million in borrowings from the FHLB, which represents a significant source of our wholesale borrowings. In the event of market disruptions, changes in our creditworthiness, or other unavailability of FHLB borrowings in the future, sources of wholesale funding may not be available to us on reasonable terms, or at all. The inability to utilize wholesale deposits, including brokered deposits, or other wholesale funding could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and liquidity.Our investment securities portfolio may be impacted by interest rate volatility and market conditions.As of December 31, 2023, $5.As of December 31, 2021, approximately $502. 58 billion, or 29%, of the assets on our balance sheet consisted of investment securities. Changes in interest rates can negatively affect the value of most of our investment securities. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors including monetary policies, domestic and international economic and geopolitical issues, and other factors beyond our control as interest volatility can result in unrealized gains or losses in our portfolio. Additionally, actual investment income and cash flows from investment securities that carry prepayment risk, such as mortgage-backed securities and callable securities, may materially differ from our initial expectations due to changes in interest rates and market conditions. We could also suffer adverse consequences to the extent that natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, terrorist activities, domestic disturbances or international hostilities affect the financial markets or the economy in general or in any particular region. Our investment securities portfolio is also subject to potential credit deterioration as financial distress is another risk that may impact the ability of a security to pay principal and interest in a timely manner. Factors such as deteriorating financial conditions of the issuer, changes in the issuer's creditworthiness, or adverse market conditions can contribute to financial distress. We may need to establish an allowance for credit losses on our debt securities carried at fair value. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow and remain profitable. This assessment involves testing at the security level, considering factors such as changes in security ratings, the financial condition of the issuer, payment structure, cash flow analyses, and security and industry-specific economic conditions. Although the reduction in value from temporary increases in market rates does not affect our income until the security is sold, it does result in an unrealized loss recorded in other comprehensive income that can reduce our common stockholders’ equity. Although the reduction in value from temporary increases in market rates does not affect our income until the security is sold, it does result in an unrealized loss recorded in other comprehensive income that can reduce our common stockholders’ equity. Other factors such as changes in market conditions, regulatory changes, counterparty risk could also impact the performance and value of our investment portfolio and potentially result in financial losses. Also, our interest rate risk modeling techniques and assumptions may not fully predict or capture the impact of actual interest rate changes on our financial condition and results of operations. The required accounting treatment of loans we acquire through acquisitions could result in lower net interest margins and interest income in future periods. Under United States GAAP, we are required to record loans acquired through acquisitions, at fair value. Estimating the fair value of such loans requires management to make estimates based on available information and facts and circumstances on the acquisition date. Any net discount, which is the excess of the amount of reasonably estimable and probable discounted future cash collections over the purchase price, is accreted into interest income over the weighted average remaining contractual life of the loans. As acquired loans pay down, mature, or if they are not replaced with higher-yielding loans, we may have a lower net interest margin and interest income in future periods. Our growth may create the need to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed.Our growth may create the need to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed. We are required by federal and state regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. We anticipate that our existing capital resources will satisfy our capital requirements for the foreseeable future. However, from time to time, we raise additional capital to support continued growth, both internally and through acquisitions. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on conditions in the capital markets at that time, which are outside of our control, and on our financial performance. Accordingly, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to raise additional capital if needed on terms acceptable to us. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, our ability to further expand our operations through internal growth and acquisitions could be materially impaired.We rely on dividends from HTLF Bank for most of our liquidity and are subject to restrictions on payment of dividends.We rely on dividends from our subsidiaries for most of our revenue and are subject to restrictions on payment of dividends. The primary source of funds for HTLF is dividends from HTLF Bank. In general, HTLF Bank may only pay dividends either out of their historical net income after any required transfers to surplus or reserves have been made or out of their retained earnings. In general, the Banks may only pay dividends either out of their historical net income after any required transfers to surplus or reserves have been made or out of their retained earnings. The payment of dividends by any financial institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and a financial institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. These dividends are the principal source of funds to pay dividends on HTLF's common and preferred stock and to pay interest and principal on our debt. Dividends payable on common shares are also subject to the requirement that we must pay quarterly dividends on our outstanding preferred stock at the applicable dividend rate in order to declare dividends on our common stock.Operational RisksWe have a continuing need for technology investments, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology.The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to being able to better serve customers, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market areas. Many of our larger competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or superior products and services to those that we will be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, our need to address the changing needs, preferences, and best interests of our employees, customers, and business partners has accelerated the need to implement technological changes. Our operations are affected by risks associated with our use of vendors and other third-party service providers. We rely on vendor and third-party relationships for a variety of products and services necessary to maintain our day-to-day activities, particularly in the areas of correspondent relationships, operations, treasury management, information technology and security. This reliance exposes us to risks of those third parties failing to perform financially or contractually or to our expectations. These risks could include material adverse impacts on our business, such as credit loss or fraud loss, disruption or interruption of business activities, cyber-attacks and information security breaches, poor performance of services affecting our customer relationships and/or reputation, and possibilities that we could be responsible to our customers for legal or regulatory violations committed by those third parties while performing services on our behalf. In addition, changes to work preferences and environments have increased the risk of third-party disruptions, including negative effects on network providers and other suppliers, which have been, and may further be, affected by, market volatility and other factors that increase their risks of business disruption or that may otherwise affect their ability to perform under the terms of any agreements with us or provide essential services. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of third-party disruptions, including negative effects on network providers and other suppliers, which have been, and may further be, affected by, stay-at-home orders, market volatility and other factors that increase their risks of business disruption or that may otherwise affect their ability to perform under the terms of any agreements with us or provide essential services. While we have implemented an active program of oversight to address this risk, there can be no assurance that our vendor and third-party relationships will not have a material adverse impact on our business. Security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents with respect to our or our vendors’ systems or network security, as well as the resulting theft or compromise of business and customer information, including personal information, could adversely affect our business or reputation, and create significant legal, regulatory or financial exposure. We rely heavily on communications and information systems and networks to conduct our business, and as part of our business, we collect, maintain and otherwise process significant amounts of data (including confidential, personal, proprietary and other information) about our business, our customers and the products and services they use. Our operations depend upon our ability to protect our communications and information systems and networks against damage from physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or a similar catastrophic event, as well as from security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents. Our operations are dependent upon our ability to protect our communications and information systems and networks against damage from physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or a similar catastrophic event, as well as from security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents. Our business relies on the secure processing, transmission, storage and retrieval of confidential, personal, proprietary and other information in our communication and information systems and networks, and in communication and information systems and networks of third parties with which we do business.We, our customers, our vendors and other third parties, including other financial service institutions and companies engaging in data processing, have been subject to, and are likely to continue to be the target of cyber-attacks, attempts to breach our network security, and other similar incidents.We, our customers, our vendors and other third parties, including other financial service institutions and companies engaging in data processing, have been subject to, and are likely to continue to be the target of security breaches, cyber-attacks and other similar incidents. These cyber-attacks, attempts to breach our network security, and other similar incidents include, denial of service attacks, worms, computer viruses, malicious or destructive code, social engineering, phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, theft, malfeasance or improper access by employees or vendors, human error, fraud, attacks on personal emails of employees or other disruptive problems that could result in material disruptions, damage to systems or networks, or the unauthorized release, accessing, gathering, monitoring, loss, destruction modification, acquisition, transfer, use or other processing of confidential, personal, proprietary, or other information of ours, our employees, our customers, our vendors, or other third parties with which we do business. These security breaches, cyber-attacks and other similar incidents include, denial of service attacks, worms, computer viruses, malicious or destructive code, social engineering, phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, theft, malfeasance or improper access by employees or vendors, human error, fraud, attacks on personal emails of employees or other disruptive problems that could result in material disruptions, damage to systems or networks or the unauthorized release, accessing, gathering, monitoring, loss, destruction modification, acquisition, transfer, use or other processing of confidential, personal, proprietary or any other information of ours, our employees, our customers, our vendors, or other third parties with which we do business. Attacks of this nature are increasing in frequency, levels of persistence, sophistication, and intensity, are evolving in nature, and are conducted by sophisticated and organized groups and individuals with a wide range of motives and expertise, including organized criminal groups, "hacktivists," terrorists, nation states, nation state-supported actors, and others. Attacks of this nature are increasing in frequency, levels of persistence, sophistication and intensity, are evolving in nature, and are conducted by sophisticated and organized groups and individuals with a wide range of motives and expertise, including organized criminal groups, "hacktivists," terrorists, nation states, nation state-supported actors, and others. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate or remediate any information security vulnerabilities, threats, security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents. Despite efforts to protect our systems and networks and implement controls, processes, policies, and other measures, we may not be able to anticipate all security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents, or be able to detect or react to such incidents in a timely manner, implement guaranteed preventive measures against such incidents, or adequately remediate any such incident. Despite efforts to protect our systems and networks and implement controls, processes, policies, and other measures, we may not be able to anticipate all security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents, detect or react to such incidents in a timely manner, implement guaranteed preventive measures against such incidents, or adequately remediate any such incident. Cybersecurity and payment fraud risks for banking organizations have significantly increased in recent years in part because of the proliferation and rapid evolution of new technologies, increased remote work, and the use of the internet and telecommunication technologies to conduct financial transactions. Cybersecurity risks for banking organizations have significantly increased in recent years in part because of the proliferation and rapid evolution of new technologies, and the use of the internet and telecommunication technologies to conduct financial transactions. For example, cybersecurity risks may increase in the future as we continue to increase our mobile-payment and other internet-based products offerings and increase our internal usage of web-based products and applications. Given the continued and rapid evolution of cybersecurity threats, we may not be able to anticipate or prevent, and could be held liable for, any security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident. Additionally, concerns or perceptions regarding the effectiveness or adequacy of our measures to safeguard our communications and information systems and networks, and information stored therein, could cause us to lose existing or potential customers and thereby reduce our revenues. Additionally, concerns regarding the effectiveness of our measures to safeguard our communications and information systems and networks, and information stored therein, or even the perception that those measures are inadequate, could cause us to lose existing or potential customers and thereby reduce our revenues. We also face indirect technology, cybersecurity and operational risks relating to the vendors, customers, clients and other third parties with whom we do business or upon whom we rely to facilitate or enable our business activities, including for example financial counterparties, regulators, and providers of critical infrastructure such as internet access or electrical power. We also face indirect technology, cybersecurity and operational risks relating to the vendors, customers, clients and other third parties with whom we do business or upon whom we rely to facilitate or enable our business activities, including for example financial counterparties, regulators, and providers of critical infrastructure such as internet access or electrical power. Due to the increasing consolidation, interdependence, and complexity of financial entities and technology systems, a security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident that significantly degrades, destroys, or comprises the systems, networks or data of one or more financial entities could have a material impact on counterparties or other market participants, including us. Due to the increasing consolidation, interdependence, and complexity of financial entities and technology systems, a security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident that significantly degrades, deletes or comprises the systems, networks or data of one or more financial entities could have a material impact on counterparties or other market participants, including us. This consolidation, interconnectivity and complexity may increase the risk of operational failure on both an individual and industry-wide basis. Although we perform cybersecurity diligence through our Third Party Risk Management group on our key vendors, our ability to monitor their cybersecurity is limited, and we cannot ensure the cybersecurity measures they take will be sufficient to protect any information we share with them. While we generally perform cybersecurity diligence on our key vendors, because we do not control our vendors and our ability to monitor their cybersecurity is limited, we cannot ensure the cybersecurity measures they take will be sufficient to protect any information we share with them. Due to applicable laws and regulations or contractual obligations, we may be held responsible for security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents affecting our vendors because they relate to the information we share with them. Due to applicable laws and regulations or contractual obligations, we may be held responsible for security breaches, cyber-attacks or other similar incidents attributed to our vendors as they relate to the information we share with them. The occurrence of any security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident with respect to our or our vendors’ communications or information systems or networks, or our failure to make adequate or timely disclosures to the public, regulators, or law enforcement agencies following any such event, could result in violations of applicable data privacy, cybersecurity and other laws and regulations, notification obligations, and could result in damage to our reputation and loss of customer business, or subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny or civil litigation, fines, damages, or injunctions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.The occurrence of any security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident with respect to our or our vendors’ communications or information systems or networks, or our failure to make adequate or timely disclosures to the public, regulators, or law enforcement agencies following any such event, could result in violations of applicable data privacy, cybersecurity and other laws and regulations, notification obligations, damage to our reputation, and loss of customer business, or subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny or expose us to civil litigation, fines, damages or injunctions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We cannot ensure that any limitations of liability provisions in our agreements with customers, vendors and other third parties with which we do business would be enforceable or adequate, or would otherwise protect us from any liabilities or damages with respect to any particular claim in connection with a security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident. We cannot ensure that any limitations of liability provisions in our agreements with customers, vendors and other third parties with which we do business would be enforceable or adequate or would otherwise protect us from any liabilities or damages with respect to any particular claim in connection with a security breach, cyber-attack or other similar incident. We also cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for cybersecurity liabilities actually incurred, that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that our insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. Additionally, we cannot be certain that our insurance coverage will be adequate for cybersecurity liabilities actually incurred, that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that our insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The potential for business interruption or failure exists throughout our organization.Integral to our performance is the continued efficacy of our technical systems, operational infrastructure, and relationships with third parties, as well as the ability of our employees to perform their jobs day-to-day to support our on-going operations.Integral to our performance is the continued efficacy of our technical systems, operational infrastructure, relationships with third parties and the ability of our employees to perform their jobs day-to-day to support our on-going operations. Failure by any or all these resources subjects us to risks that may vary in size, scale and scope. Failure by any or all of these resources subjects us to risks that may vary in size, scale and scope. These risks include, but are not limited to, operational or technical failures, interruptions in third-party support, and the loss of key individuals, including those with specialized skills, or the failure of key individuals to perform properly. These risks include, but are not limited to, operational or technical failures, ineffectiveness or exposure due to interruption in third party support, as well as the loss of key individuals, including those with specialized skills, or in general, the failure of key individuals to perform properly. These risks are heightened during necessary data system changes or conversions and system integrations of newly acquired entities. Although management has established policies and procedures to address such interruptions or failures, the occurrence of any such event could have a material adverse effect on our business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.We are subject to risks from employee errors, customer or employee fraud and data processing system failures and errors.Employee errors and employee or customer misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory enforcement actions, and could harm our reputation.Employee errors and employee or customer misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory sanctions and seriously harm our reputation. Misconduct by our employees could include hiding unauthorized activities from us, improper or unauthorized activities on behalf of our customers, or improper use of confidential information. It is not always possible to prevent employee errors and misconduct, and the precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases. Employee errors could also subject us to financial claims for negligence. Although we maintain a system of internal controls and insurance coverage to mitigate these operational risks, including data processing system failures and errors and customer or employee fraud, these internal controls may fail to prevent or detect an occurrence, or the resulting loss may not be covered or may exceed applicable insurance limits, any of which it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.The success of a farm may be affected by many factors outside the control of the borrower, including adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crop or limit crop yields (such as hail, drought and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including changes to global trade agreements, price supports, subsidies and environmental regulations). Our Bank Markets and growth strategy rely heavily on our management team, and the unexpected loss of key managers may adversely affect our operations.Much of our success to date has been influenced strongly by our ability to attract and to retain senior management experienced in banking and financial services and familiar with the communities in our different market areas. Because our service areas are spread over such a wide geographical area, our executive management depends on the effective leadership and capabilities of the senior management in our Bank Markets for our continued success. Because our service areas are spread over such a wide geographical area, our executive management headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, is dependent on the effective leadership and capabilities of the senior management in our Bank Markets for the continued success of HTLF. Our ability to retain executive officers, senior management teams, and other key personnel, will continue to be important to our success, and could be difficult during times of low unemployment. Our ability to retain executive officers, the current senior management teams and loan officers of our operating subsidiaries will continue to be important to the successful implementation of our strategy and could be difficult during times of low unemployment. It is also critical to the success of our banking strategy to be able to attract and retain qualified management and key personnel with the appropriate level of experience and knowledge about our market areas. It is also critical, as we grow, to be able to attract and retain qualified additional management and loan officers with the appropriate level of experience and knowledge about our market area to implement our community-based operating strategy. The unexpected loss of any key management personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The unexpected loss of services of any key management personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. New lines of business, products, and services are essential to our ability to compete, but may subject us to additional risks.We may implement new lines of business and offer new products and services within existing lines of business to offer our customers a competitive array of products and services.We continually implement new lines of business and offer new products and services within existing lines of business to offer our customers a competitive array of products and services. There can be substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where such products and services are still developing. In developing and marketing new lines of business and/or new products or services, we may invest significant time and resources. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and/or new products or services may not be achieved, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting market preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service, and any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting market preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business or new products or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.Our analytical and forecasting models may be improper or ineffective.The processes we use to estimate our current expected credit losses and to measure the fair value of financial instruments, as well as the processes used to estimate the effects of changing interest rates and other market measures on our financial condition and results of operations, depend upon the use of analytical and forecasting models. These models could reflect assumptions that may not be accurate, particularly in times of market stress or other unforeseen circumstances. Even if these assumptions are adequate, the models may prove to be inadequate or inaccurate because of other flaws and limitations in their design or their implementation. If the models we use to guide management's decisions and oversight relating to interest rate risk and asset-liability management are inadequate, we may incur increased or unexpected losses upon changes in market interest rates or other market measures. If the models we use for determining our probable loan losses are inadequate, the allowance for credit losses may not be appropriate to support future charge-offs. If the models we use to measure the fair value of financial instruments are inadequate, the fair value of such financial instruments may fluctuate unexpectedly, or may not accurately reflect what we could realize upon sale or settlement of such financial instruments. Any such failure in our analytical or forecasting models could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.Our internal controls may be ineffective.Management regularly reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the controls are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls, policies and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.Strategic and External RisksThe soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect our liquidity and operations.Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty or other relationships. We have exposure to many different counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, government sponsored entities, investment banks, and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services institutions, or the financial services industry generally, have led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by HTLF or HTLF Bank or by other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized upon or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the financial instrument exposure due us. There is no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect our results of operations.We may experience difficulties in achieving and managing our growth and our growth strategy involves risks that may negatively impact our net income. Growth is an integral component of achieving business and financial scale and results necessary to make appropriate investments in people, processes and systems which allow HTLF to remain competitive in attracting and retaining employees and customers. Strong organic growth is an integral component to allow us to achieve business and financial results necessary to make appropriate investments in people, processes and systems which allow HTLF to remain competitive in attracting and retaining employees and customers. As part of our general growth strategy, we have acquired, and may acquire, additional banks, fee income businesses and other financial services businesses that we believe provide a strategic and geographic fit with our business.As part of our general growth strategy, we have acquired, and may acquire, additional banks and fee income and other financial services businesses that we believe provide a strategic and geographic fit with our business. We expect to continue to make such acquisitions in the future. We cannot predict the number, size or timing of acquisitions, and failure to successfully identify and complete meaningful and accretive acquisitions likely may result in HTLF achieving slower growth. To the extent that we grow through acquisitions, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to manage this growth adequately and profitably.To the extent that we grow through acquisitions, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to manage this growth adequately and profitably. Acquiring other banks and businesses will involve risks commonly associated with acquisitions, including:•potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of the banks and businesses we acquire;•exposure to potential asset quality issues of the acquired bank or related business;•difficulty and expense of integrating the operations and personnel of banks and businesses we acquire;•potential disruption to our business;•potential restrictions on our business resulting from the regulatory approval process;•inability to realize the expected revenue increases, costs savings, market presence and/or other anticipated benefits;•potential diversion of our management's time and attention; and•the possible loss of key employees and customers of the banks and businesses we acquire.In addition to acquisitions, we may expand into additional communities or attempt to strengthen our position in our current Bank Markets by undertaking additional branch openings.In addition to acquisitions, we may expand into additional communities or attempt to strengthen our position in our current Bank Markets by undertaking additional de novo bank formations or branch openings. Based on our experience, we believe that it generally takes three years or more for new banking facilities to first achieve operational profitability, due to the impact of organizational and overhead expenses and the start-up phase of generating loans and deposits. To the extent that we undertake additional branching and business formations, we are likely to continue to experience the effects of higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation. To the extent that we undertake additional branching and de novo bank and business formations, we are likely to continue to experience the effects of higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations, which may have an adverse effect on our levels of reported net income, return on average equity and return on average assets. Attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us in the future.While our focus is on continued organic growth, we anticipate continuing to evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities presented to us in our Bank Markets.While we seek continued organic growth, we anticipate continuing to evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities presented to us in our Bank Markets. Economic conditions as well as the need for technological investment by regional banks could result in increased competition for merger or acquisition partners. Economic conditions as well as the need for technological investment by regional banks could result in increased competition for merger or acquisition partners, potentially resulting in higher acquisition prices or an inability to complete desired acquisitions. We expect that other banking and financial companies, many of which have significantly greater resources, will compete with us to acquire financial services businesses. This competition, as the number of attractive merger targets decreases, could increase prices for potential acquisitions, which could reduce our potential returns, and reduce the attractiveness of these opportunities to us. This competition, as the number of appropriate merger targets decreases, could increase prices for potential acquisitions which could reduce our potential returns, and reduce the attractiveness of these opportunities to us. Acquisitions also are subject to various regulatory approvals, and if we fail to receive the appropriate regulatory approvals, we will not be able to consummate an acquisition that we believe is in our best interests. In addition, acquisitions are subject to various regulatory approvals, and if we fail to receive the appropriate regulatory approvals, we will not be able to consummate an acquisition that we believe is in our best interests. Among other things, our regulators consider our capital, liquidity, profitability, risk management, regulatory compliance, including with respect to BSA/AML, consumer protection laws, CRA obligations, and levels of goodwill and intangibles when considering acquisition and expansion proposals. The federal banking agencies are currently reevaluating their existing requirements and policies for reviewing mergers and acquisitions involving banking organizations, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue mergers and acquisitions in the future. Any acquisition could be dilutive to our earnings and shareholders’ equity per share of our common stock.We face intense competition in all phases of our business, and competitive factors could