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Announcement:

Moody's notes Bank of NT Butterfield's common share offering has positive credit implications

09 Sep 2016

New York, September 09, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") said that The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd.'s (Butterfield) common share offering launched on 6 September 2016 is credit positive. The bank's intent to add incremental common equity to its capital base will reduce the concentration of ownership held by private equity investors and expand Butterfield's shareholder group to include a broader range of public market investors. Butterfield is currently rated A3 and Prime-2 for long- and short-term deposits, has an A3 long term issuer rating, Baa1 subordinated debt rating, and a baa3 standalone and adjusted baseline credit assessments. Butterfield is also rated A2(hyb) for its government-backed preferred stock, and has long- and short-term Counterparty Risk Assessments (CR Assessments) of A3(cr) and Prime-2(cr). The rating outlook is negative.

The decline in the bank's capital ratios after Butterfield's buyout of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's shares in April 2015 led Moody's to place a negative outlook on the bank's long-term ratings as it reduced the bank's loss absorption capacity. The negative outlook also reflected private equity firm The Carlyle Group's 23% ownership stake in the bank because Carlyle's shorter-term investment horizon increased uncertainty regarding the bank's long-term strategic direction and capital plan.

Moody's noted that a return to a stable outlook is predicated on the bank restoring its tangible common equity ratios to prior levels of around 14% and maintaining conservative capital management, including stock buybacks and dividends. If the stated common equity increase is achieved and shareholder concentrations are reduced, this would remove one of our drivers of the negative outlook.

Butterfield's common shares are listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange and through this offering the bank will apply to list them on the New York Stock Exchange. While the target size of the offering is $250 million, Butterfield estimates that the net proceeds to the bank will be $127 million, with the remainder of the shares to be sold by existing shareholders, including The Carlyle Group. If the net proceeds target is achieved, the offering would add approximately 200 basis points to Moody's tangible common equity (TCE) ratio for the bank as of 30 June 2016 (before dividends at the close of the deal). That would increase the TCE ratio to approximately 14.5% from 12.5%.

Butterfield's standalone BCA of baa3 reflects its robust liquidity, which benefits from a large and stable core deposit base stemming from its position as the largest locally incorporated bank in Bermuda. Key credit challenges for the bank are its risk concentrations in Bermuda real estate and its still-high level of problem loans whose improvement continues to be hindered by Bermuda's still-weak economy.

Butterfield is Bermuda's largest local bank and reported $11.3 billion in assets and approximately $816 million in consolidated shareholders' equity as of 30 June 2016. The bank provides commercial and retail banking services and personal trust, asset management, and private banking services at its headquarters in Bermuda and subsidiary offices in the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, and Guernsey.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Jeanne Del Casino
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Robert Young
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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