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23 Jun 2010
New York, June 23, 2010 -- Banking system reforms being pursued by regulators globally will likely
be positive for banks' standalone financial strength, as stronger
balance sheets and better liquidity should outweigh lower profitability
and limitations on business activities, Moody's Investors Service
concludes in a new report. The rating agency also says, however,
that increased resolution power for authorities could affect long-term
debt ratings (which include, in addition to financial strength,
a systemic support uplift), as it would remove protections for creditors
they have traditionally shared with depositors.
Moody's does not expect the Toronto G-20 summit to resolve
all differences on the content of the financial regulatory reform package,
and the pace at which it should be implemented, but generally expects
G-20 countries to consider (1) adopting stronger prudential regulation,
with increased capital requirements and higher liquidity buffers;
(2) narrowing the scope of permissible banking activities and raise taxation
of the banking system; and (3) expanding supervisory intervention
and resolution powers.
Credit positive on banks financial strength
"All the reform measures currently contemplated are intended to translate
into safer and stronger financial systems in which banks' risk profiles
will be reduced and excessive risk-taking policies will be penalized,"
says Moody's Senior Vice President Alain Laurin."All else being
held equal, the reduction in volatility is a positive for banks'
standalone credit strength."
However, banks will bear the costs of the new regulations,
which will likely limit or change the economics of certain activities,
such as derivatives trading, and may lead some to reconsider their
business mix. In addition, many banks that have been weakened
during the crisis may struggle to restore their credit fundamentals.
Credit uncertainty for long-term debt ratings
The biggest uncertainty for credit ratings, Moody's says,
is the impact on long-term debt ratings (which include, in
addition to financial strength, a systemic support uplift) of proposed
rules that would expand supervisory intervention and resolution powers.
If new regulations provide banking supervisors the ability to support
depositors while imposing loss-sharing on shareholders, other
sub creditors and senior holders, long-term debt ratings
would come under further pressure.
The report "Credit Implications of Banking Regulation and Supervision
Reforms" is available on www.moodys.com.
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Moody's: Toronto G-20, bank regulatory reforms have mixed implications for ratings
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