Access National Corporation (NASDAQ: ANCX) (the “Company”), parent company for Access National Bank, declared a cash dividend of $0.70 per share for holders of record as of December 3, 2012 and payable on December 17, 2012. This dividend will not be eligible for automatic reinvestment under the Company’s Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan.
According to CEO Michael Clarke, “This non-routine dividend is intended to balance our capital adequacy objectives with the responsibility to enrich the interests of shareholders.” He continued, “Access National is proud of the return we continue to provide our investors and it is appropriate to take this unusual and non-recurring action in light of our exceptional earnings over the last 2 years and pending tax hikes. Under current law, investors face a significant increase in the federal tax rate of qualified dividends in 2013, as high as 43.4%. By taking this action before year end 2012, we can be sure our shareholders benefit from the lower qualified dividend tax rate, 15% in most cases. Based on the aforementioned assumed federal tax rates, a shareholder potentially benefits from an after tax dividend of $0.595 if paid in 2012 vs. $0.396 if paid just one month later in 2013, a 50% improvement in after tax return. However, this action is not solely driven by an assessment of the tax code. It is embedded in a serious and thoughtful assessment of our capital management outlook.”
Throughout the Company’s history, it has maintained a cushion above the regulatory requirements to be considered “Well Capitalized” and has always exhibited prudent capital management. The capital management strategy going forward is outlined below.
Target Capital level: The previously stated objective of a tangible capital to asset ratio of 8.0% or better remains. As of September 30, 2012, the ratio stood at 10.92% and following this special dividend, will remain above 10.0% on a pro forma basis, well in excess of the objective. There are proposed regulatory changes to capital requirements outlined in Basel III. The Company evaluated the impact of the proposed changes and concluded it will continue to have an adequate cushion to support this action and other uses of capital described below.The published strategic objective that calls for balance sheet growth of $100 million per year remains intact and management is confident the Company can directionally deliver on this objective as the economy continues to recover. The pro forma capital ratio remains adequate to support management’s organic growth.