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Announcement:

Moody's affirms Credit Agricole SA LT debt and deposit ratings; outlook stable on all ratings; BFSR lowered to C+

Global Credit Research - 20 Dec 2010

Paris, December 20, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service today affirmed the long-term debt and deposit ratings of Credit Agricole SA (CASA) at Aa1, while its bank financial strength rating (BFSR) was lowered to C+ from B-. At the same time, Moody's affirmed the BFSR of its subsidiary Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB) at D and its long-term debt and deposit ratings at Aa3. The BFSR of LCL, another CASA subsidiary, was also affirmed at C+, while its long-term debt and deposit ratings were affirmed at Aa1.

The outlook on all these ratings and BFSRs were revised to stable from negative. The outlook on the long-term debt and deposit ratings of most other rated CASA subsidiaries is also revised to stable. Please see the list of affected ratings and outlooks at the end of this press release. All short-term ratings were affirmed.

After the previous rating actions on February 04, 2009, CASA and CACIB were left with negative outlooks on their long-term debt and deposit ratings and BFSRs, on the back of potentially significant additional impairments on CACIB's structured credit portfolios in the event that the global capital markets would remain stressed. Today's announcement reflects Moody's opinion that although CACIB remains exposed to additional impairments on these portfolios over time, their magnitude is expected to be more limited going forward and that CACIB will not require further support from Groupe Credit Agricole (GCA). This is the principal reason for revising the outlook on CACIB's BFSR to stable.

Moody's added that, while CACIB's risk profile has steadily improved with pro-active provisioning and natural time decay on its structured credit portfolios, a deficient risk management history and still-large legacy assets leave it exposed to potential earnings volatility, all of which is more consistent with a BFSR of D. The rating agency also noted that CACIB's loan portfolio has sizable concentrations in a number of sectors, including shipping finance and commercial real estate, which may still come under pressure if the global economic recovery fails to be sustained. These exposures could also contribute to earnings volatility over the medium term. Despite these challenges, Moody's said that CACIB's BFSR remains supported by its good liquidity situation, its strong position in corporate banking in France, and leading institutional equities brokerage platforms in Europe and Asia.

CACIB's debt and deposit ratings of Aa3 reflect the fact that although CACIB is a wholly owned subsidiary of CASA, it is not directly covered by GCA's mutualist support mechanisms. The ratings differential between CASA's debt and deposit ratings of Aa1 and CACIB's debt and deposit ratings of Aa3 recognises that group support for CACIB falls short of a full guarantee. Nonetheless, CACIB's debt and deposit ratings still benefit from a very high probability of group support from CASA and the group due to CACIB's strategic importance to the group. These ratings thus enjoy an eight-notch uplift from the bank's baseline credit assessment of Ba2.

Moody's notes that in 2010, CACIB was progressively less of a burden on GCA's overall profitability and efficiency than in the previous years. In addition, the regional banks' retail activities demonstrated a marked resilience during the financial crisis and should continue to provide a largely-recurring earnings stream going forward. These are the principal reasons to revise the outlook on CASA's debt and deposit ratings to stable from negative.

However, Moody's has lowered CASA's BFSR from B- to C+, which translates into a baseline credit assessment of A2, in order to better align it with its published two-step BFSR and Joint-Default Analysis methodologies. Given the relative heavier weight of CACIB and the group's international operations in CASA -- which consolidates only 25% of the regional banks in its accounts -- than in GCA, as well as the correspondingly lower importance of more stable retail banking activities, Moody's has decided to position CASA's BFSR one notch down, closer to that of CACIB. The outlook on the BFSR is revised to stable.

Moody's continues to recognise the integration between CASA and the regional banks through the mutualist support mechanisms, which together with a very high probability of systemic support translates into a four-notch uplift for CASA's long-term senior debt and deposit ratings of Aa1.

As LCL continues to benefit from its integration in and support from the group, its long-term debt and deposit ratings are in line with those of CASA at Aa1, and its debt and deposit outlook is raised to stable.

In respect of the Group's main operating units, the following rating actions have been taken:

- Credit Agricole SA's BFSR lowered to C+ from B-. Debt and deposit ratings affirmed; the outlooks on all ratings were revised to stable. Prime-1 short-term rating affirmed.

- Credit Agricole CIB's BFSR as well as debt and deposit ratings affirmed; the outlooks on all ratings were revised to stable. Prime-1 short-term rating affirmed.

- LCL's BFSR as well as deposit and debt ratings affirmed; the outlook on long-term debt ratings were revised to stable. Prime-1 short-term rating affirmed.

In respect of the Group's other subsidiaries, the following rating actions have been taken:

- Credit Agricole SA, London Branch's Aa1 deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings and Aa2 subordinated debt ratings were affirmed and the outlook was revised to stable.

- The deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of the 36 rated Caisses Regionales de Credit Agricole Mutuel (CRCAM) were affirmed at Aa1 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- CA Preferred Funding Trust's A3 backed preferred stock rating was affirmed and the outlook was revised to stable.

- CA Preferred Funding Trust II's A3 backed preferred stock rating was affirmed and the outlook was revised to stable.

- Credit Agricole CIB New York Branch's long-term deposit rating and deposit note rating were affirmed at Aa3 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- Credit Agricole CIB Tokyo Branch's long-term deposit rating was affirmed at Aa3 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- Credit Agricole CIB Financial Products (Guernsey) Ltd's backed senior unsecured debt rating was affirmed at Aa3 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- Credit Agricole CIB Finance (Guernsey) Ltd's backed senior unsecured debt ratings was affirmed at Aa3 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- Credit Agricole CIB Financial Solutions' backed senior unsecured debt ratings was affirmed at Aa3 and the outlook was revised to stable.

- CL Capital Trust's A3 backed preferred stock rating was affirmed and the outlook was revised to stable.

All short-term debt and deposit ratings are unchanged.

No rating action has been taken on the Group's following subsidiaries:

- CIB Credit Agricole, PJSC (ex-Calyon Bank Ukraine)

- Credit Agricole North America (ex-Calyon North America)

- Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza

- Banca Popolare Friuladria

- Credit Uruguay Banco SA

- Credit du Maroc

- Credit Lyonnais Australia Limited

- Lukas Bank SA

- FGA Capital SpA

- Banque Saudi Fransi

- Emporiki Bank of Greece SA

- Bankoa SA

The last rating action on CASA, CACIB and LCL was on 4 February 2009, when Moody's downgraded CASA's, CACIB's and LCL's respective BFSRs to B-, D and C+ and CACIB's deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings to Aa3. All BFSR and debt and deposit ratings were assigned negative outlooks at the time, apart from LCL's BFSR outlook which was kept stable.

The principal methodologies used in rating the issuers affected by this press release were "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology" and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Headquartered in Paris, CASA reported IFRS consolidated assets of EUR1.72 trillion at end-September 2010 and net income (Group share) of EUR742 million in the third quarter of 2010. The Credit Agricole Group disclosed net income (Group share) of EUR3.3 billion in the first nine months of 2010, up by 84% versus the same period in 2009. At end-September 2010, the Group reported total consolidated assets of EUR1.86 trillion.

Headquartered in Paris La Défense, CACIB had total assets of EUR879 billion at end-June 2010. The bank recorded a net income (group share) of EUR508 million for the first half of 2010.

Headquartered in Paris, LCL had total assets of EUR108 billion at end-2010. In H1 2010, the bank reported net profit (Group share) of EUR319 million.

Paris
Anouar Hassoune
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's France SAS
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Frankfurt am Main
Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
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SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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Moody's affirms Credit Agricole SA LT debt and deposit ratings; outlook stable on all ratings; BFSR lowered to C+
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