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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Capital One's ratings (Baa1 long-term senior unsecured), changes outlook to negative from stable

05 May 2020

New York, May 05, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has affirmed the ratings of Capital One Financial Corporation (CapOne) and its bank subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., following the affirmation of the a3 standalone baseline credit assessments (BCA) of the bank subsidiaries. CapOne's senior long-term unsecured debt is rated Baa1 and the bank subsidiaries have long-term senior unsecured debt ratings of Baa1 and long-term deposit ratings of A1. The A2(cr)/Prime-1(cr) Counterparty Risk Assessments and the A3/Prime-2 Counterparty Risk Ratings of the bank subsidiaries were also affirmed.

The outlooks on both CapOne and the bank subsidiaries were changed to negative from stable, reflecting Moody's assessment that the US economy will contract in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which will likely have a direct negative impact on CapOne' and other US banks' asset quality and profitability. Moody's regards the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under its ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety.

Affirmations:

..Issuer: Capital One Financial Corporation

....Pref. Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Pref. Shelf Non-cumulative, Affirmed (P)Baa3

....Subordinate Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Affirmed Baa3 (hyb)

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Local Currency), Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

..Issuer: Capital One, N.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed A2(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

....LT Counterparty Risk Rating (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A3

....LT Counterparty Risk Rating (Local Currency), Affirmed A3

....ST Counterparty Risk Rating (Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-2

....ST Counterparty Risk Rating (Local Currency), Affirmed P-2

....LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

....LT Bank Deposits, Affirmed A1, Negative from Stable

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed P-1

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program, Affirmed (P)A1

....ST Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Subordinate Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

..Issuer: Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed A2(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

....LT Counterparty Risk Rating (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A3

....LT Counterparty Risk Rating (Local Currency), Affirmed A3

....ST Counterparty Risk Rating (Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-2

....ST Counterparty Risk Rating (Local Currency), Affirmed P-2

....LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

....LT Bank Deposits, Affirmed A1, Negative from Stable

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed P-1

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program, Affirmed A1, Negative from Stable

....ST Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Subordinate Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa1

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa1, Negative from Stable

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Capital One Financial Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: Capital One, N.A.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

..Issuer: Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

The affirmation of the bank subsidiaries' a3 BCAs and the ratings for both CapOne and the bank subsidiaries reflects the strength of their credit card franchises and success in creating sound liquidity and funding profiles. The credit card business is CapOne's core business, which generated 59% of pre-tax income from recurring operations in 2019, and accounted for 45% of total loans, as at 31 March 2020. CapOne's sound risk culture underpins its track record of strong profitability. However, the firm's key credit challenge, which is inherent in its business profile, is its high exposure to US consumers, making it vulnerable to economic shocks, such as the present, as well as to regulatory risks.

The affirmation of the a3 BCAs also reflects the bank subsidiaries' strong deposit business and solid liquidity profiles. The bank subsidiaries have a well established branch network along with a leading direct banking platform (Capital One 360). The firm's solid liquidity position protects it against a severe disruption in the funding markets through a variety of measures.

The change in outlook to negative from stable was driven by Moody's expectation that loan delinquencies and charge-offs will rise rapidly as a result of the fast deteriorating economic environment, including rapidly increasing level of unemployment in the US as a result of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. These factors will pressure the bank's profitability and could weaken its capitalization, reducing its ability to absorb unexpected losses.

The spike in unemployment above the 10% level reached in the 2007-08 global financial crisis is a clear credit negative, but the severity of deterioration in the bank's asset quality will depend on how long unemployment remains so elevated. For example, if unemployment falls to below 8% by early next year and continues to improve, Moody's expects CapOne's credit card charge-offs will likely peak in 2021 at around 8.0% to 9.0% from today's 2019 average of around 4.25% to 4.50%. However, if unemployment remains around or above 10% for several quarters, Moody's expects credit card performance will deteriorate substantially, possibly approaching the peak 10.5% 2009 average charge-off levels during the 2007-08 financial crisis.

CapOne's solid profitability as measured by net income to average assets, was 1.4% in 2019 reflecting its very high net interest margin. This strong profitability level exceeded the 1.2% median for US regional bank peers, and will help CapOne weather the current downturn. Similarly, when profitability declined materially during the 2007-08 financial crisis, CapOne's performance was stronger than that of peers. CapOne reported a loss in just Q3 2007 and Q4 2008, with the $81 million loss in the former period driven largely by an $898 million cost to close its wholesale mortgage banking unit.

Due to the rapidly deteriorating economic environment, CapOne reported a loss of $1.3 billion for Q1 2020 due largely to a large increase in loss provisions to $5.4 billion in Q1 2020 up from $1.8 billion in Q4 2019. Pre-tax, pre-provision income was $3.5 billion in Q1 2020 up from $3.3 billion in Q4 2019. Its Common Equity Tier1 ratio was 12.0% as of 31 March 2020, versus 12.2% as of year-end 2019.

Moody's regards the coronavirus pandemic as a social risk under its ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety. Please see Moody's Environmental risks and Social risks heatmaps for further information. Today's rating actions reflect the impact on CapOne of the breadth and severity of the shock, and the deterioration in credit quality, profitability and capital it has triggered.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

The negative outlook indicates that rating upgrades are unlikely over the next 12-18 months, given the deteriorating economic environment and its uncertain duration. The outlook could return to stable if the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak abate, leading to an improvement in operating conditions that Moody's expects would allow the firm within the next two-to-three years to return to pre-coronavirus crisis profitability, asset quality and capital levels.

The bank subsidiaries' a3 BCAs could be downgraded if capitalization weakens materially, such as tangible common equity to risk weighted assets falling below and expected to remain below 10.0%. In addition, the BCAs could be downgraded in the event that asset performance is weaker than Moody's currently expects, given the current economic environment, or if liquid resources decline materially, making the firm vulnerable to market shocks. Lower BCAs would likely lead to ratings downgrades.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks Methodology published in November 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1147865. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

At least one ESG consideration was material to the credit rating action(s) announced and described above.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Warren Kornfeld
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

M. Celina Vansetti-Hutchins
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
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