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Rating Action:

Moody's Announces Bank Rating Actions Resulting From Implementation Of JDA Methodology -- United States

02 Mar 2007

New York, March 02, 2007 -- As part of the planned application of its joint default analysis (JDA) methodology and its updated bank financial strength rating (BFSR) methodology, Moody's Investors Service today published the rating results for banks in the United States.

In February 2007, Moody's published a Special Comment, entitled "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Rating Methodology". The JDA methodology identifies four potential sources of external support for banks:

(1) parental support,

(2) support from a cooperative or mutualist group,

(3) support from a regional or local government, and

(4) systemic support.

The methodology uses Moody's JDA to increase the transparency of Moody's bank ratings. Starting with a bank's BFSR, the methodology uses Moody's rating for each relevant support provider, together with estimates of the probability of extraordinary support from each supporter and the default dependence between the bank and that supporter, to determine the bank's deposit rating. Bank debt ratings are then determined based on Moody's standard notching guidelines, although in some countries certain debt obligations may receive less systemic support than deposit obligations.

Also in February 2007, Moody's published its updated BFSR methodology, entitled "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Rating Methodology". BFSRs evaluate the stand-alone financial strength of banks without reference to external support factors. Moody's said that the methodology enhances both the transparency and consistency of this type of rating.

As Moody's announced when it published the final methodologies, given the large number of issuers potentially affected, the methodologies are being implemented country by country, with results being announced on a weekly basis. For those banks with a parent bank located in another country where the methodologies have not yet been implemented, we have only concluded on the bank subsidiary's own BFSR. Because these banks may potentially benefit from support from the parent bank, among other potential sources of support, there may be changes to the deposit and debt ratings at such banks when we conclude on the parent's ratings.

Due to the extensive number of issuers and issues, in this press release we are only listing the names of the issuers whose ratings have been changed, affirmed or put on review. For a complete list of bank ratings that have been changed or put on review, please click on the link that will refer you to the document entitled "List of Banks and Ratings Affected by JDA and Updated BFSR Rating Methodologies". This list will be posted on the JDABanks page in Moodys.com (www.Moodys.com/JDABanks) and reflected on individual bank pages this weekend after all rating changes have been processed.

The rating agency noted that in the United States only a few banks receive any ratings benefit from potential government support, reflecting Moody's view that the US is a "low" support country. That said, Moody's assigned a 98% probability of government support to JPMorgan Chase based on the bank's strong deposit shares, extensive derivatives operations, and role as a major government securities clearer. Due to the importance of these operations to the US financial system, the potential disruption to the financial markets from any failure or default by such an institution would be massive, and for this reason Moody's assigns this virtually certain support assumption. At this level of support both deposits and other credit ratings are affected, causing a two notch upgrade of bank deposit and senior debt ratings (to Aaa), but only a one notch upgrade of bank subordinated debt and and holding company ratings (to Aa2). This reflects Moody's view that support is less likely for subordinated bank debt and bank holding company obligations in the US. For Bank of New York, also a major government clearer, Moody's believes that the probability of support is only modestly lower, at 95%, which serves to lift the senior credit ratings of the bank (also to Aaa), but not subordinated obligations or ratings at the holding company.

The deposit and senior debt ratings of State Street Bank were also raised (to Aa1). Moody's assigned a 70% government support probability because of the bank's dominance in mutual fund servicing in the US. The upgrade of deposit and senior debt ratings of Wachovia reflect its very strong deposit market shares in the US. Because of the importance of the bank's franchise, the rating agency incorporates a 70% likelihood of government support.

Moody's also upgraded to A from A- the financial strength rating of Bank of America a result of its powerful market franchise and substantial earnings power, supported by the successful integration of two large acquisitions. Consequently, all of Bank of America's bank and holding company ratings were raised, with deposits and senior obligations of the bank going to Aaa. Moody's views likely government support for Bank of America as very high, at 95%, because of the bank's number one deposit market position. Nevertheless, this assumption has no bearing on Bank of America's ratings, which are already at the highest rating levels based on its stand-alone financial strength.

For Citibank and Wells Fargo, Moody's ascribes potential support of 98% and 70%, respectively. However, these banks also carry financial strength ratings of A, so such support has no impact on their credit ratings.

The BFSRs of many community and regional US banks also were raised. These changes are intended to improve the global consistency of Moody's BFSRs and are a direct result of Moody's updated BFSR methodology. In Moody's view, community and regional banks have a straightforward and sustainable business model. It is centered on serving consumer and commercial customers by gathering deposits and making loans within a defined geographic region, typically through a branch network. US community and regional banks' generally solid market shares allow them to generate healthy margins. That, in turn, gives the banks the ability to compete on service with larger banking organizations. For these banks, Moody's ascribed no systemic support. Yet, their higher financial strength ratings map to higher baseline credit assessments, which caused upgrades to deposit and other credit ratings.

Below is a list of the banks and/or bank holding companies with banks whose ratings and/or outlooks have been changed:

American Express Bank, FSB

American Express Centurion Bank

American Savings Bank, FSB

Associated Banc-Corp

Astoria Financial Corporation

BancorpSouth, Inc.

Bank of America Corporation

Bank of Hawaii Corporation

Bank of New York Company, Inc. (The)

BMW Bank of North America

BOK Financial Corporation

Capital One F.S.B.

Chevy Chase Bank F.S.B.

Chittenden Corporation

Citizens Republic Bancorp.

Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.

City National Corporation

Colonial BancGroup, Inc. (The)

Commerce Bancorp, Inc.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

Countrywide Bank, National Association

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc.

Downey Financial Corporation

First BanCorp Puerto Rico

First Citizens Bancshares, Inc.

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc.

First National Bank of Omaha

First Republic Bank

FirstMerit Bank, N.A.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Greater Bay Bancorp

Hancock Holding Company

Harris Bankcorp, Inc.

Hudson Valley Bank

Independent Bank Corporation

Indymac Bancorp. Inc.

Integra Bank Corporation

INTRUST Financial Corporation

Investors Bank & Trust Company

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Mellon Financial Corporation

Merrill Lynch Bank USA

Morgan Stanley Bank

New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

Old National Bancorp

Pacific Capital Bancorp

People's Bank

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Popular, Inc.

RBC Centura

Sky Financial Group, Inc.

South Financial Group, Inc. (The)

State Street Corporation

Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc.

SVB Financial Group

TCF Financial Corporation

TD Banknorth Inc

Trustmark Corporation

U.S. Bancorp

United Bankshares

United Commercial Bank

Valley National Bancorp

Wachovia

Washington Mutual, Inc.

Webster Financial Corporation

Whitney Holding Corporation

Wilmington Trust Corporation

Zions Bancorporation

Below is a list of the banks and/or bank holding companies with banks whose ratings have been affirmed:

Amarillo National Bank

BB&T Corporation

Citibank, N.A.

Comerica Incorporated

Doral Financial Corporation

E*TRADE Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp

First Horizon National Corporation

Fremont Investment & Loan

Fulton Financial Corporation

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated

KeyCorp

LaSalle Bank Corporation

Marshall & Ilsley Corporation

National City Corporation

Northern Trust Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation

SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Synovus Financial Corp.

UMB Financial Corporation

Wells Fargo & Company

Below is a list of banks and/or bank holding companies with banks whose deposit ratings are pending implementation for the parent:

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Puerto Rico

Banco Santander Puerto Rico

BancWest Corporation

Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Compass Bancshares, Inc.

HSBC USA Inc.

M&T Bank Corporation

Sovereign Bancorp, Inc.

Texas Regional Bancshares, Inc.

UnionBanCal Corporation

Below is a list of the bank related hybrid securities whose ratings have been changed:

Comerica Capital Trust II

KeyCorp Capital IX

Mellon Capital Trust III

National City Capital Trust II

SunTrust Capital VIII

USB Capital XI

Wachovia Capital Trust IV

Wells Fargo Capital X

New York
Gregory W. Bauer
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Rosemarie Conforte
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Announces Bank Rating Actions Resulting From Implementation Of JDA Methodology -- United States
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND ITS RATINGS AFFILIATES (“MIS”) ARE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY INCLUDE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS AND IT WOULD BE RECKLESS AND INAPPROPRIATE FOR RETAIL INVESTORS TO USE MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS OR MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS WHEN MAKING AN INVESTMENT DECISION. IF IN DOUBT YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISER.

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED, DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY ANY PERSON AS A BENCHMARK AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED FOR REGULATORY PURPOSES AND MUST NOT BE USED IN ANY WAY THAT COULD RESULT IN THEM BEING CONSIDERED A BENCHMARK.

All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY’S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY’S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process or in preparing the Moody’s publications.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY’S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability to any person or entity for any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information, even if MOODY’S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers is advised in advance of the possibility of such losses or damages, including but not limited to: (a) any loss of present or prospective profits or (b) any loss or damage arising where the relevant financial instrument is not the subject of a particular credit rating assigned by MOODY’S.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY’S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY’S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

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Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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