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Rating Action:

Moody's announces bank rating actions for France resulting from implementation of JDA and BFSR methodologies

11 May 2007
Moody's announces bank rating actions for France resulting from implementation of JDA and BFSR methodologies

New York, May 11, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today published the rating results for banks in France as part of the application of its refined joint default analysis (JDA) and updated bank financial strength rating (BFSR) methodologies.

BFSRs evaluate the stand-alone or intrinsic financial strength of banks without reference to external support factors. BFSRs are the starting point of Moody's bank credit analysis, and are an important determinant of Moody's bank deposit and debt ratings.

Moody's then uses its JDA methodology to incorporate the potential for external support into a bank's local currency deposit rating. The potential for external support can reduce the riskiness of a bank's deposit and debt obligations; however, such support is often uncertain. Moody's uses conservative support assumptions and a limited number of support levels to ensure that sufficient weight is given to a bank's intrinsic financial strength in its bank deposit and debt ratings.

Moody's uses deposit ratings to determine bank debt ratings based on its notching guidelines for bank securities. Ratings for foreign currency obligations are determined after considering Moody's country ceilings for foreign currency ratings.

The methodologies are being implemented country by country, with results being announced on a weekly basis. Results for those banks with a parent bank located in another country where the methodologies have not yet been implemented will be concluded at the same time as the parent.

The following main rating actions should be noted in France as a result of the application of Moody's refined JDA methodology:

The long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of the three largest French banking groups - BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole S.A. (CASA) and Societe Generale -- have been upgraded by one notch to Aa1 (stable outlook) on the back of their BFSRs of B (stable outlook) and taking into account a very high probability of systemic support. In addition, the Aa1 long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of CASA, the rated Caisses Regionales de Credit Agricole Mutuel (CRCAM) and Le Credit Lyonnais (LCL), respectively, factor in full support from the strong solidarity mechanisms prevailing within the Credit Agricole co-operative group's domestic retail networks. CALYON and LCL also share CASA's Aa1 long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings based on their strategic importance and level of integration within the Credit Agricole group.

The long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne et de Prevoyance (CNCEP) and of the Banque Federale des Banques Populaires (BFBP) are both positioned at Aa2 (stable outlook), following on the upgrade of BFBP's long-term ratings by one notch to Aa2. These ratings are underpinned by CNCEP's and BFBP's BFSRs of B-, (stable outlook) and a very high probability of systemic support. Importantly, the Aa2 long-term deposit and debt ratings of these mutualist group central entities, of rated Banques Populaires, of CNCEP affiliated subsidiaries, and of Natixis, which is affiliated to both CNCEP and BFBP, also incorporate full support from the strong solidarity mechanisms prevailing within each mutualist group.

The long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel (BFCM), another mutualist group member, have remained unchanged at Aa3 (stable outlook), and benefit from very high support from the Credit Mutuel Centre Est Europe (CMCEE) group. That said, BFCM's BFSR has been downgraded by three notches to C (stable outlook), given the fact that it is an unguaranteed subsidiary of the central body of the group and hence, BFCM's intrinsic rating should be specific to the bank. As such, BFCM's BFSR rating should no longer reflect the creditworthiness of the whole group. The change in its BFSR reflects this revised approach and should not be interpreted as a change in the financial fundamentals or intrinsic creditworthiness of BFCM or CMCEE.

We note that HSBC France's long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings have been upgraded by one notch to Aa2 (stable outlook), based on a BFSR of B- (stable outlook), very high probability of parental support from HSBC Bank plc, and a moderate probability of systemic support.

Finally, the long-term deposit and debt ratings of Banque PSA Finance and of RCI Banque, the two captive finance banks of the PSA and Renault groups, have been positioned at A3 / Prime-2 (stable outlook), in line with their BFSRs of C (stable outlook), as neither of them can benefit from an uplift from their parents. Both of these banks' parents are presently rated below their captive banks, at Baa1. Moody's views the probability of systemic support as nil for both these captives.

This press release lists the names of issuers in France whose ratings have been changed, affirmed, or placed on review. Deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings as well as BFSRs are listed for those banks whose deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings as well as BFSRs have changed. To view all rating changes and other documents explaining Moody's bank rating methodologies, please go to www.moodys.com/JDABanks.

- Below is a list of banks whose long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings have been upgraded:

BNP Paribas: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

Credit Agricole S.A.: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CALYON: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

Le Credit Lyonnais S.A.: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Alpes Provence: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Anjou et du Maine: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Aquitaine: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Atlantique Vendee: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Centre Est: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Centre France: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Centre Loire: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Charente-Perigord: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Cote d'Armor: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM d'Ile et Vilaine: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM de Brie-Picardie: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM de Lorraine: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM de Normandie: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM de Toulouse et du Midi: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Finistere: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Franche-Comte: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Morbihan: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Nord de France: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Nord Est: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Normandie Seine: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Oise: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Paris et Ile-de-France: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Pyrenees Gascogne: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

CRCAM Sud Rhone Alpes: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

Societe Generale: upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2, stable outlook

Banque Federale des Banques Populaires: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Monetaire et Financiere: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire Atlantique: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire Bourgogne Franche-Comte: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire d'Alsace: upgraded o Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire de l'Ouest: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire de la Cote d'Azur: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire du Massif Central: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire du Nord: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire du Sud Ouest: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire Lorraine-Champagne: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3,stable outlook

Banque Populaire Rives de Paris: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire Toulouse-Pyrenees: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Populaire Val de France: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

BRED-Banque Populaire: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

CASDEN Banque Populaire: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Credit Cooperatif: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

HSBC France: upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3, stable outlook

Credit Industriel et Commercial: upgraded to Aa3 from A1, stable outlook

Laser Cofinoga S.A.: upgraded to Aa3 from A1, stable outlook

- Below is a list of banks whose long and short-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings have been downgraded:

Banque PSA Finance: long-term ratings downgraded to A3 from A2, and short-term ratings downgraded to P-2 from P-1, stable outlook

- Below is a list of banks whose long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings and their stable outlooks have been affirmed:

Banque Espirito Santo et de la Venetie: affirmed at A3, stable outlook

Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel: affirmed at Aa3, stable outlook

Banque Palatine: affirmed at Aa3, stable outlook

Caisse Centrale du Credit Immobilier de France: affirmed at A1, stable outlook

Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne et de Prevoyance: affirmed at Aa2, stable outlook

Credit Foncier de France: affirmed at Aa2, stable outlook

IXIS Corporate and Investment Bank: affirmed at Aa2, stable outlook

Natixis: affirmed at Aa2, stable outlook

Oddo & Cie: affirmed at Baa1, stable outlook

RCI Banque: affirmed at A3, stable outlook

VTB Bank (France) S.A.: affirmed at Baa2, stable outlook

- Below is a list of banks whose long-and short-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings remain on review:

Locindus S.A.: A3/P-2 ratings on review for possible upgrade

- Below is a list of banks whose BFSRs have been upgraded:

Calyon: to C+, stable outlook, from C

Credit Foncier de France: to C, stable outlook, from C-

IXIS Corporate and Investment Bank: to C+, stable outlook, from C

Natixis: to C+, stable outlook, from C

- Below is a list of banks whose BFSRs have been downgraded:

BNP Paribas: to B, stable outlook, from B+

Credit Agricole S.A.: to B, stable outlook, from B+

Societe Generale: to B, stable outlook, from B+

Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne et de Prevoyance: to B-, stable outlook, from B

Banque Federale des Banques Populaires: to B-, stable outlook, from B

Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel: to C, stable outlook, from B

Credit Industriel et Commercial: to C-, stable outlook, from C

HSBC France: to B-, stable outlook, from B

Banque PSA Finance: to C, stable outlook, from C+

Caisse Centrale du Credit Immobilier de France: to C, stable outlook, from B-

- Below is a list of banks whose BFSRs have been affirmed:

Banque Palatine: at C-, stable outlook

Banque Espirito Santo et de la Venetie: at D, stable outlook

Laser Cofinoga S.A.: at C+, stable outlook

Le Credit Lyonnais S.A.: at B-, stable outlook

Locindus: at C, stable outlook

Oddo & Cie: at C-, stable outlook

RCI Banque: at C, stable outlook

VTB Bank (France) SA: at D, stable outlook

ABOUT MOODY'S BANK RATINGS

Bank Financial Strength Rating

Moody's Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BFSRs) represent Moody's opinion of a bank's intrinsic safety and soundness and, as such, exclude certain external credit risks and credit support elements that are addressed by Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings. Bank Financial Strength Ratings do not take into account the probability that the bank will receive such external support, nor do they address risks arising from sovereign actions that may interfere with a bank's ability to honor its domestic or foreign currency obligations. Factors considered in the assignment of Bank Financial Strength Ratings include bank-specific elements such as financial fundamentals, franchise value, and business and asset diversification. Although Bank Financial Strength Ratings exclude the external factors specified above, they do take into account other risk factors in the bank's operating environment, including the strength and prospective performance of the economy, as well as the structure and relative fragility of the financial system, and the quality of banking regulation and supervision.

Global Local Currency Deposit Rating

A deposit rating, as an opinion of relative credit risk, incorporates the Bank Financial Strength Rating as well as Moody's opinion of any external support. Specifically, Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings are opinions of a bank's ability to repay punctually its deposit obligations. As such, Moody's Global Local Currency Bank Deposit Ratings are intended to incorporate those aspects of credit risk relevant to the prospective payment performance of rated banks with respect to local currency deposit obligations, and includes: intrinsic financial strength and both implicit and explicit external support elements. Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings do not take into account the benefit of deposit insurance schemes which make payments to depositors, but they do recognize the potential support from schemes that may provide assistance to banks directly.

Foreign Currency Deposit Rating

Moody's ratings on foreign currency bank obligations derive from the bank's local currency rating for the same class of obligation. The implementation of JDA for banks can lead to a high local currency ratings for certain banks, which could also produce high foreign currency ratings. Nevertheless, it should be reminded that foreign currency deposit ratings are in all cases constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits. This may result in the assignment of a different, and typically lower, rating for the foreign currency deposits relative to the bank's rating for local currency obligations.

Foreign Currency Debt Rating

Foreign currency debt ratings are derived from the bank's local currency debt rating for the same class of obligation. In a similar way to foreign currency deposit ratings, foreign currency debt obligations may also be constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds and notes, however, in some cases the ratings on foreign currency debt obligations may be allowed to pierce the foreign currency ceiling. A particular mix of rating factors are taken into consideration in order to assess whether a foreign currency bond rating pierces the country ceiling. They include the issuer's global local currency rating, the foreign currency government bond rating, the country ceiling for bonds and the debt's eligibility to pierce that ceiling.

National Scale Rating

National scale ratings are intended primarily for use by domestic investors and are not comparable to Moody's globally applicable ratings; rather they address relative credit risk within a given country. An Aaa rating on Moody's National Scale indicates an issuer or issue with the strongest creditworthiness and the lowest likelihood of credit loss relative to other domestic issuers. National Scale Ratings, therefore, rank domestic issuers relative to each other and not relative to absolute default risks. National ratings isolate systemic risks; they do not address loss expectation associated with systemic events that could affect all issuers, even those that receive the highest ratings on

Paris
Stephane Le Priol
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Antonio Carballo
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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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