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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms ratings of Goldman Sachs (senior at A3) and affiliates; changes outlook to negative on rated operating subsidiaries, stable outlook on holdco

07 Mar 2018

NOTE: On March 13, 2018, the press release was corrected as follows: The following was added as the sixth paragraph of the Ratings Rationale section: “Moody's has withdrawn the outlooks for all instrument ratings for Goldman Sachs International for its own business reasons. Please refer to "Moody's Investors Service's Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings," available at moodys.com. Outlooks, which indicate the direction of any rating pressures, are now assigned only at the issuer level for entities which apply the Securities Industry Market Makers rating methodology.” Revised release follows.

New York, March 07, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the ratings of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (senior debt at A3) and its rated subsidiaries, including Goldman Sachs Bank USA (deposits at A1), Goldman Sachs International (senior debt at A1), and Goldman Sachs International Bank (deposits at A1). The rating outlook for the parent holding company Goldman Sachs Group remains stable but the rating outlook on the operating subsidiaries was changed to negative from stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said the ratings affirmation reflects the firm's continued strong profitability and low earnings volatility, notwithstanding recent revenue pressures. While Goldman Sachs's capital ratios have declined over the past year, this was largely expected. The ratios at year-end fell further than expected due to a large year-end tax charge related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, in response the firm announced it intends to slow down the pace of share buybacks during the first half of 2018 and will not fully utilize the buyback approvals it received from the Federal Reserve last year. Moody's expects this will allow for a modest increase in the firm's capital ratios, supporting the current ratings.

The negative outlook on the operating subsidiaries reflects the above-average loan growth Goldman Sachs has pursued over the past year while the firm is also facing revenue challenges in its Institutional Client Services business segment due to an extended period of low volatility in the global capital markets. While strong cost discipline and higher revenues in other businesses have helped offset those revenue challenges, the accelerated loan growth suggests an increased risk appetite. If Goldman Sachs's lending strategy proves to be prudent, it could add to the firm's earnings stability and diversification, while if less successful, it could increase the firm's future earnings volatility, posing greater risks for creditors.

The negative outlook also reflects the firm's loss of revenue share in its sales and trading business which reveals a weakness stemming from a less diversified client base than peers. The rating agency expects the loss of share to be temporary as increased market volatility should boost trading volumes among the firm's active investor clients, and Goldman Sachs is keenly focused on expanding its sales and trading client base and increasing its penetration of more flow-oriented clients. However, should the low level of sales and trading revenues continue, it could pressure the firm to continue to grow its lending business more aggressively.

Notwithstanding the negative outlook on the operating subsidiaries, the outlook on the parent holding company remains stable. While holding company creditors are exposed to the same negative credit considerations which affect the operating subsidiaries, this is offset by the potential benefit to holding company senior creditors of a lower severity of loss in the event of failure due to the significant increase in parent holding company debt outstanding over the last two years. If sustained, the larger amount of debt would provide greater loss absorption capacity in the event Goldman Sachs fails and is placed into resolution. Under Moody's advanced loss-given-failure analysis, this benefits holding company senior creditors and could provide an additional notch of uplift if it is sustained going forward. While the increased loss absorption capacity would also benefit creditors of the operating subsidiaries, those ratings already receive the maximum uplift of 3 notches from the baseline credit assessment allowed under Moody's Banks rating methodology.

Moody's also upgraded the baseline credit assessment of UK-based Goldman Sachs International Bank (GSIB) to baa2 from baa3. GSIB is a highly-integrated and harmonized banking subsidiary that is closely integrated with its UK affiliate, Goldman Sachs International. The upgrade of the BCA to baa2 aligns GSIB's baseline credit assessment with the standalone assessment of Goldman Sachs International. No other ratings or assessments of GSIB were changed.

Moody's has withdrawn the outlooks for all instrument ratings for Goldman Sachs International for its own business reasons. Please refer to "Moody's Investors Service's Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings," available at moodys.com. Outlooks, which indicate the direction of any rating pressures, are now assigned only at the issuer level for entities which apply the Securities Industry Market Makers rating methodology.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Moody's does not expect upward pressure on the ratings of Goldman Sachs's operating subsidiaries absent a significant reduction in the firm's reliance on earnings from its capital markets business. However, the rating outlook on the operating subsidiaries could return to stable from negative if the firm's loan growth slows and it also recovers its lost market share in sales and trading without significantly increasing its market risk. If at the same time the level of holding company debt is sustained at current levels as a proportion of tangible banking assets, then the holding company senior debt could be upgraded by one notch.

Goldman Sachs's ratings could be downgraded if it is unable to recover the temporary loss of market share in its sales and trading businesses, if it continues to grow its loans aggressively at the same rate as it did in 2017, if the firm fails to strengthen its capital ratios above the level reported at end-2017, or if there are any indications of control or risk management failures, a marked increase in risk appetite, any deterioration in its liquidity profile, or a decline in profitability.

The principal methodology used in rating Asset Funding Company IV Limited, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, 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 September 2017. The principal methodologies used in rating Goldman Sachs International were Securities Industry Market Makers published in September 2017 and Banks published in September 2017. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Issuer: Asset Funding Company IV Limited

..Affirmations:

....Senior Secured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3/(P)P-2

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Stable

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Bank USA

..Affirmations:

....Local Currency Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, NEG/P-1

....Local Currency Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1, NEG

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment , Affirmed baa1

....Counterparty Risk Assessment , Affirmed Aa3(cr)/P-1(cr)

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Note/Takedown, Affirmed A1, NEG

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Canada Finance Co.

..Affirmations:

....Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital I

..Affirmations:

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

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

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital II

..Affirmations:

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

....Non-cumulative Preferred Stock Shelf, Affirmed (P)Ba1

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital III

..Affirmations:

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

....Non-cumulative Preferred Stock Shelf, Affirmed (P)Ba1

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Capital VI

..Affirmations:

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

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Financial Products I Limited

..Affirmations:

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

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Stable

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

..Affirmations:

....Issuer Rating, Affirmed A3, STA

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

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

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

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

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A3/(P)P-2

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

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

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

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

....Non-cumulative Preferred Stock Shelf, Affirmed (P)Ba1

....Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: GS Finance Corp.

..Affirmations:

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

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

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

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: Goldman Sachs International Bank

..Upgrades:

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Upgraded to baa2 from baa3

..Affirmations:

....Local Currency Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, NEG/P-1

....Foreign Currency Deposit Rating, Affirmed A1, NEG/P-1

....Foreign Currency Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1, NEG/P-1

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment , Affirmed baa1

....Counterparty Risk Assessment , Affirmed Aa3(cr)/ P-1(cr)

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed (P)A1/(P)P-1

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

Issuer: Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.

..Affirmations:

....Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

Issuer: Goldman Sachs International

..Affirmations:

....Local Currency Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1/P-1

....Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)/P-1(cr)

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

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

....Senior Secured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A1/(P)P-1

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

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

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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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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