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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms ratings of Goldman Sachs, outlook returned to stable

16 May 2019

New York, May 16, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has affirmed the ratings of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (senior debt at A3) and its rated subsidiaries, including Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE (deposits at A1, baseline credit assessment (BCA) at baa1, counterparty risk rating at Aa3), Goldman Sachs International (senior debt at A1), and Goldman Sachs International Bank (deposits at A1, BCA at baa2, adjusted BCA at baa1, counterparty risk rating at Aa3). The outlook for the parent holding company Goldman Sachs Group remains stable and the outlook on the operating subsidiaries was changed to stable from negative. A complete list of affected ratings and entities can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said the ratings affirmation reflects Goldman Sachs's strengthened capital ratios, its continued resilient profitability, aided by strong cost discipline, and an expected gradual reduction in the firm's reliance on wholesale funding as it continues to grow its deposit business. The affirmation also reflects the continued robustness of the firm's risk management culture which Moody's expects will be sustained even as the firm expands its strategic focus in new directions.

The return to a stable outlook on the operating subsidiaries reflects a moderation in loan growth over the past year as well as a recapture of some of the lost revenue share in its sales and trading business in 2018 following a challenging 2017. Moody's believes the slowdown in loan growth, together with a continued robust risk management and controls framework, reduces the risk of increased earnings volatility which the previous acceleration in loan growth could have posed. And the rating agency considers the improved performance in sales and trading, as well as the continued robust results in investment banking, demonstrates some initial success with the firm's strategic initiatives to combat the revenue challenges in its Institutional Client Services business segment due to an extended period of low volatility in the global capital markets.

The continued stable outlook on the parent holding company reflects the recent decline in amount of senior holding company debt outstanding, a trend which is expected to continue as the firm seeks to increase its funding from deposits. Previously the firm had been increasing its volume of senior holding company debt outstanding. Were this trend likely to be sustained, it would have provided additional protection for creditors in the form of greater loss absorption in the event of failure, and so could have resulted in an additional notch of ratings uplift for the holding company's senior unsecured debt rating under Moody's advanced loss-given-failure analysis. However, given the changed funding strategy, the increased level of holding company senior debt relative to tangible assets is no longer expected to be sustained, resulting in a continued stable outlook for the holding company ratings.

In 2018 Goldman Sachs began a strategic review in which the firm is seeking to identify growth opportunities and respond to continuing pressures in certain capital markets businesses. The objectives are focused on leveraging the firm's existing franchises and technological expertise to expand client wallet share, increase more stable revenues, enhance efficiency, reduce the capital intensity of its investing and fixed income businesses, and increase its use of lower-cost deposit funding. Achieving these objectives would be credit positive but implementation is expected to take several years. Nonetheless, the firm has already grown its deposit funding substantially over the past few years, adding $21 billion in non-institutional deposits in 2018 and another $10 billion in the first quarter of 2019. Moody's expects the increase in deposit funding will reduce the firm's reliance on market funds below 50% of tangible banking assets on a sustainable basis over the near- to medium-term.

Moody's considers Goldman Sachs's long established culture of strong risk management and controls to be a key credit strength of the firm. The firm's risk management culture emphasizes internal communication and accountability, position transparency, disciplined marking-to-market, an empowered independent and expert control function, and a compensation philosophy that rewards long-term risk-adjusted performance. In November 2018, in connection with the indictment of two former Goldman Sachs employees, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that controls at Goldman Sachs were easily circumvented by those employees while engaging in transactions with the Malaysian sovereign development fund 1MDB.

While the former employees were able to circumvent controls, Moody's notes that since the issues at 1MDB first came to light the firm has taken numerous steps to strengthen its local and global compliance functions, including enhancing internal controls. While Moody's expects Goldman Sachs will eventually reach a settlement with the DOJ over its involvement with 1MDB, including imposition of fines or penalties, the rating agency does not expect the firm's credit profile will be weakened as a result.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Goldman Sachs's baa1 baseline credit assessment (BCA) could be upgraded if its tangible common equity ratio were likely to remain above 13% and its reliance on market funds were to fall below 40% of tangible banking assets, both on a sustainable basis. The BCA could also be upgraded if the strategic initiatives succeed in enhancing the firm's earnings stability and increasing its earnings diversification. An upgrade of the BCA could result in an upgrade for deposit and counterparty risk ratings at the operating subsidiaries, but if the reduction in market funds reliance led to a significant reduction in the level of holding company debt outstanding as a proportion of tangible banking assets it could potentially offset the upward benefit for senior unsecured debt at the holding company and the operating subsidiaries.

Goldman Sachs's ratings could be downgraded if its tangible common equity ratio were to decline below 12%, its profitability to decline significantly below 1.0%, its earnings volatility were to increase, if the firm suffers from a significant loss of clients or a material erosion of capital due to reputational or legal concerns, or if there are any indications of control or risk management failures, a marked increase in risk appetite, or any deterioration in its liquidity profile.

The principal methodology used in rating Asset Funding Company IV Limited, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, Goldman Sachs Canada Finance Co., Goldman Sachs Capital I, Goldman Sachs Capital II, Goldman Sachs Capital III, Goldman Sachs Capital VI, Goldman Sachs Financial Products I Limited, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The), GS Finance Corp., Goldman Sachs International Bank, and Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. was Banks published in August 2018. The principal methodologies used in rating Goldman Sachs International were Securities Industry Market Makers published in June 2018 and Banks published in August 2018. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Affirmations:

..Issuer: Asset Funding Company IV Limited

.... Senior Secured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3

.... Other Short Term, Affirmed (P)P-2

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

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

.... LT Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed Aa3

.... ST Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... LT Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... ST Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Bank USA

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

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

.... LT Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed Aa3

.... ST Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... LT Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... ST Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... Senior Unsecured Bank Note Program, Affirmed (P)A1

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

.... ST Deposit Note/CD Program, Affirmed (P)P-1

.... Deposit Note/CD, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Canada Finance Co.

.... Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital I

.... Pref. Stock, Affirmed Baa3 (hyb)

.... Pref. Stock Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa3

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital II

.... Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Affirmed Ba1 (hyb)

.... Pref. Non-cumulative Shelf, Affirmed (P)Ba1

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital III

.... Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Affirmed Ba1 (hyb)

.... Pref. Non-cumulative Shelf, Affirmed (P)Ba1

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital VI

.... Pref. Stock Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa3

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Financial Products I Limited

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

.... LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A3, Stable

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A3, Stable

.... Senior Unsecured Conv./Exch. Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A3, Stable

.... Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

.... Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Affirmed Ba1(hyb)

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3

.... Other Short Term, Affirmed (P)P-2

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

.... Senior Unsecured Shelf, Affirmed (P)A3

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

.... Pref. Shelf, Affirmed (P)Baa3

.... Pref. Shelf Non-cumulative, Affirmed (P)Ba1

.... Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Issuer: GS Finance Corp.

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A3, Stable

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3

.... Senior Unsecured Shelf, Affirmed (P)A3

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs International Bank

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa2

.... LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

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

.... LT Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed Aa3

.... ST Counterparty Risk Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... LT Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, Stable From Negative

.... ST Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-1

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

.... ST Deposit Note/CD Program, Affirmed (P)P-1

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.

.... Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs International

.... LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

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

.... LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1

.... ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1

.... Senior Secured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A1

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A1

.... Other Short Term, Affirmed (P)P-1

.... Senior Secured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A1

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs International Bank

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Bank USA

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: GS Finance Corp.

....Outlook, Remains Stable

..Issuer: Goldman Sachs International

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt 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.

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

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.

David Fanger
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

Ana Arsov
MD - Financial Institutions
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.
© 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.

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