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Announcement:

Moody's modifies backed-Aaa ratings criteria for FDIC guaranteed debt in line with TLGP changes

08 Apr 2009

New York, April 08, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service announced that it has modified the criteria under which it will assign backed-Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) guaranteed debt in line with recent changes the FDIC has made to the Debt Guarantee Program (DGP) of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). Moody's first announced it would assign backed-Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings under the DGP on November 24, 2008; please see that press release for additional detail on DGP eligibility criteria.

The backed-Aaa rating reflects that the FDIC guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the Aaa-rated United States government. The outlook for the backed-Aaa ratings is stable, in line with that of the US government.

The modifications Moody's has made include assigning backed-Aaa ratings to FDIC guaranteed mandatory convertible senior unsecured debt and assigning backed-Aaa ratings to senior unsecured debt issued between April 1, 2009 and October 31, 2009 which matures prior to December 31, 2012.

The FDIC announced on February 27, 2009 that entities participating in the DGP will be able to issue FDIC guaranteed mandatory convertible senior unsecured debt. Previously, mandatory convertible debt was not eligible for the DGP. To be eligible, the mandatory convertible debt must be senior, unsecured, newly issued on or after February 27, 2009 and with a specified mandatory conversion date no later than the last date on which the FDIC's guarantee is effective. Mandatory convertible debt may only be issued with the FDIC's prior written approval. Backed-Aaa ratings will only be assigned to senior unsecured mandatory convertible debt that has received the FDIC written approval in regards to eligibility.

On March 17, 2009 the FDIC announced that senior unsecured debt can be issued under the DGP through October 31, 2009 and that for debt issued between April 1, 2009 and October 31, 2009 the FDIC guarantee will expire no later than December 31, 2012. Previously debt could be issued under the program only through June 30, 2009 and the guarantee expired no later than June 30, 2012. For debt issued between April 1, 2009 and October 31, 2009 Moody's will assign backed-Aaa ratings for obligations maturing prior to the expiration of the FDIC guarantee on December 31, 2012 issued by an eligible entity.

All depository institutions currently participating in the DGP are eligible for this extension. Other participating entities (for example, bank holding companies) are automatically eligible for the extension if they issue debt under the DGP prior to April 1, 2009. Other participating entities that have not issued debt under the DGP prior to April 1, 2009 must apply by June 30, 2009 if they wish to issue debt after June 30, 2009. The FDIC's changes do not allow institutions that opted out of the TLGP in 2008 to now become eligible nor does it change the maximum amount of debt than can be issued under the program for each participating entity.

As before, Moody's will assign backed -Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings with a stable outlook only to those issuers that are currently not rated at that level and that participate in the program. To reflect the stand-alone credit profile of the issuers and the exposure of creditors once the guarantee is withdrawn, Moody's will also maintain any existing stand-alone short-term ratings of the issuers. The backed Prime-1 rating will be withdrawn upon maturity of short term debt guaranteed under the program.

The FDIC's obligation under this program continues to be triggered by an uncured payment default on the guaranteed obligations, and the FDIC will satisfy the guarantee obligation by making scheduled interest and principal payments under the terms of the guaranteed debt instrument. Moody's believes this feature of the guarantee program ensures timely payment.

Moody's continues to view this guarantee program positively for Bank Financial Strength Ratings as well as for banks' non-guaranteed debt issues, as it helps to restore market confidence -- at least during the guarantee period -- in the institutions' liquidity. However, as such support had been already factored into the current ratings, and given the temporary nature of the guarantee (no later than December 31, 2012) this will not impact the long-term bank deposit ratings or debt maturing after the end of the guarantee period.

In addition, the implementation of the guarantee program scheme does not threaten the Aaa rating of the United States government. The likelihood that a situation could unfold where a large-scale activation of the guarantee would materially impair the United States government's balance sheet is sufficiently remote as not to weigh on its Aaa rating.

New York
Craig A. Emrick
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Robert Young
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's modifies backed-Aaa ratings criteria for FDIC guaranteed debt in line with TLGP changes
No Related Data.
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