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United Community Banks, Inc. reports first quarter results
April 25, 2021

GREENVILLE, SC - United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) (United) today announced that net income for the first quarter reached a record $73.7 million and pre-tax, pre-provision income was $81.6 million. The quarter benefited from an allowance release of $12.3 million, as economic conditions and forecasts continue to improve. Diluted earnings per share of $0.82 for the quarter represented an increase of $0.42 or 105%, from the first quarter a year ago, and represented an increase of $0.16 or 24% over the fourth quarter of 2020. On an operating basis, United’s diluted earnings per share of $0.83 was an increase of 102% over the year ago quarter. United’s GAAP return on assets (ROA) was 1.62% and its return on common equity was 15.4% for the quarter. On an operating basis, United’s ROA was 1.65% and its return on tangible common equity was 19.7%. On a pre-tax, pre-provision basis, return on assets was 1.83% for the quarter.

Chairman and CEO Lynn Harton stated, “We continue to have strong performance across our businesses and markets, driven by an improving economy, southeastern markets that are outperforming national averages, and great execution by our bankers. Loan growth, while slower than the previous two quarters, continues to be positive and deposit growth continues at a strong pace. Credit results were outstanding and we believe the record stimulus, strong liquidity levels of consumers and businesses, and pent up demand has the potential to deliver strong economic growth for several quarters.”

Total loans increased by $308 million during the quarter—impacted by a $237 million increase in SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. During the quarter, United funded nearly 5,100 loans totaling $518 million, and had $311 million in PPP loans forgiven. Excluding the effect of PPP loans, core organic loan growth was 3% annualized. Core transaction deposits grew by $948 million during the quarter, or 33% annualized, and United’s cost of deposits decreased by 3 basis points to 0.14%. The net interest margin decreased by 33 basis points from the fourth quarter due mainly to a $9.5 million decline in the recognition of PPP fees, as well as $1.8 million less purchased loan accretion. Excluding these items, the net interest margin decreased by approximately 7 basis points from the fourth quarter due to a combination of factors, including lower overall market rates and increased liquidity.

Mr. Harton concluded, “We are excited about the ongoing opportunities in our markets and look forward to the rest of 2021. I also want to recognize our entire team for their performance. Earlier this quarter, Forbes recognized United on its 2021 list of the 100 Best Banks in America for the eighth consecutive year. Forbes’ ranks the banks based on growth, credit quality and profitability and United was again a standout. I am incredibly proud of our employees who make this type of recognition possible through their tireless dedication to our customers, our culture and fulfilling our performance mission.”

First Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights:

• Net income of $73.7 million and pre-tax, pre-provision income of $81.6 million
• EPS increased by 105% compared to last year on a GAAP basis and 102% on an operating basis; compared to fourth quarter 2020, EPS increased by 24% on a GAAP basis and 22% on an operating basis
• Return on assets of 1.62%, or 1.65% on an operating basis
• Pre-tax, pre-provision return on assets of 1.80%, or 1.83% on an operating basis
• Return on common equity of 15.4%
• Return on tangible common equity of 19.7% on an operating basis
• A release of provision for credit losses of $12.3 million, which reduced the allowance for loan losses to 1.09% (1.18%, excluding PPP loans) from 1.20% in the fourth quarter
• Loan production of $1.5 billion, resulting in core loan growth of 3%, annualized for the quarter, excluding the impact of $518 million in new PPP loans and $311 million in PPP loans being forgiven
• Core transaction deposits were up $948 million, which represents a 33% annualized growth rate for the quarter
• Net interest margin of 3.22% was down 33 basis points from the fourth quarter, mainly due to the impact of accelerated PPP fees during the fourth quarter
• Record mortgage closings of $666 million and mortgage rate locks of $993 million, compared to $388 million and $801 million, respectively, a year ago
• Noninterest income was up $3.3 million on a linked quarter basis, primarily driven by higher mortgage loan gains and related fees
• Noninterest expenses decreased by $11.3 million compared to the fourth quarter mostly due to funding for the United Community Bank Foundation of $8.5 million in the fourth quarter
• Efficiency ratio of 53.6%, or 52.7% on an operating basis
• Net recoveries of $305,000, or one basis point as a percent of average loans, down 6 basis points from the fourth quarter
• Nonperforming assets of 0.30% of total assets, down 5 basis points compared to December 31, 2020
• Total loan deferrals of $48 million or 0.4% of the total loan portfolio compared to $71 million or 0.6% in the fourth quarter
• Quarterly common shareholder dividend of $0.19 per share declared during the quarter, an increase of 6% year-over-year
• Successfully completed the operational conversion of Seaside during the quarter Conference Call

About United Community Banks, Inc.
United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) (United) provides a full range of banking, wealth management and mortgage services for relationship oriented consumers and business owners. The company, known as “The Bank That Service Built” has been recognized by JD Power, Forbes, and CSP for having outstanding customer service ratings for many years. United has $18.6 billion in assets and 161 offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee along with a national SBA lending franchise and a national equipment lending subsidiary. In 2020, J.D. Power ranked United highest in customer satisfaction with retail banking in the Southeast, marking six out of the last seven years United earned the coveted award. United was also named "Best Banks to Work For" by American Banker in 2020 for the fourth year in a row based on employee satisfaction. Forbes included United in its inaugural list of the World’s Best Banks in 2019 and again in 2020. Forbes also recognized United on its 2021 list of the 100 Best Banks in America for the eighth consecutive year. United also received five Greenwich Excellence Awards in 2020 for excellence in Small Business Banking, including a national award for Overall Satisfaction. Additional information about United can be found at

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release, including the accompanying financial statement tables, contains financial information determined by methods other than in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. This financial information includes certain operating performance measures, which exclude merger-related and other charges that are not considered part of recurring operations, such as “operating net income,” “pre-tax, pre-provision income,” “operating net income per diluted common share,” “operating earnings per share,” “tangible book value per common share,” “operating return on common equity,” “operating return on tangible common equity,” “operating return on assets,” “return on assets - pre-tax, pre-provision, excluding merger-related and other charges,” “return on assets - pre-tax, pre-provision,” “operating efficiency ratio,” and “tangible common equity to tangible assets.” These non-GAAP measures are included because United believes they may provide useful supplemental information for evaluating United’s underlying performance trends. These measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative to or substitute for, measures determined in accordance with GAAP, and are not necessarily comparable to non-GAAP measures that may be presented by other companies. To the extent applicable, reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable measures as reported in accordance with GAAP are included with the accompanying financial statement tables.

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