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Rating Action:

Moody's reviews Huntington for downgrade on 4Q08 loss

22 Jan 2009

New York, January 22, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service placed the ratings of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (Huntington) and subsidiaries on review for downgrade following the bank's reported fourth quarter 2008 (4Q08) loss of $417 million. Huntington is rated A3 for long-term debt and P-2 for short-term obligations. Huntington's lead bank, Huntington National Bank, is rated C+ for financial strength, A2 for long-term deposits, and P-1 for short-term deposits.

Today's rating action reflects that Huntington's results were worse than Moody's had incorporated into its ratings in several areas. First, in 4Q08 Huntington's $12.9 billion Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loan portfolio suffered charge-offs well in excess of Moody's, and Huntington's, expectations. Second, charge-offs in Huntington's $10.1 billion commercial real estate and $4.6 billion auto loan & lease portfolios intensified in the fourth quarter beyond what Moody's had anticipated. Finally, the bank took a $454 million charge-off for its exposure Franklin Credit Management Corporation - a national distressed mortgage acquirer and sub-prime mortgage lender. This amount exceeded Moody's previous stress loss estimate by approximately $100 million.

The fourth quarter loss was readily absorbable within Huntington's regulatory capital base, with the benefit of a $1.4 billion injection via the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) received in the fourth quarter. However, Moody's remains concerned that continued negative performance in excess of expectations could quickly reduce this capital buffer. Moody's notes that Huntington operates in a region of the United States - the Midwest and, predominantly, Ohio - that will likely experience a more severe economic downturn than elsewhere in the country, perhaps heralding a long period of higher loan losses tied to the deteriorating Midwestern economy. Additionally, there is pressure on the company's tangible common equity to risk weighted assets ratio (as calculated in accordance with Moody's methodology) as Huntington is currently at its Moody's hybrid equity credit cap of 25%.

The review will focus on quantifying stress losses from Huntington's C&I loan portfolio and refining the stress loss assumptions on other exposures, especially Franklin Credit Management Corporation.

Below are the rating actions taken on Huntington by Moody's:

On Review for Possible Downgrade:

..Issuer: Huntington Bancshares Capital Trust I

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington Bancshares Incorporated

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently a range of Baa1 to A3

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa2

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Subordinate Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Huntington Capital II

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington Capital III

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington Capital IV

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington Capital V

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington Capital VI

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Huntington National Bank

....Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C+

....Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....OSO Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently P-1

....Deposit Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently P-1

....OSO Senior Unsecured OSO Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....Multiple Seniority Bank Note Program, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently a range of A3 to P-1

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

....Senior Unsecured Bank Note Program, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently a range of A2 to P-1

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Note/Takedown, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Huntington Preferred Capital, Inc.

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Sky Bank

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Sky Financial Capital Trust I

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Sky Financial Group, Inc.

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Huntington Bancshares Capital Trust I

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Bancshares Incorporated

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Capital II

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Capital III

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Capital IV

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Capital V

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Capital VI

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington National Bank

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Huntington Preferred Capital, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Sky Bank

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Sky Financial Capital Trust I

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Sky Financial Group, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

The last Huntington rating action was on May 13, 2008 when Moody's changed Huntington's outlook to stable from negative.

The principal methodologies used in rating Huntington were "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology" and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating Huntington can also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.

Headquartered in Columbus, OH, Huntington Bancshares Incorporated had reported assets of $54.3 billion as of December 31, 2008.

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 reviews Huntington for downgrade on 4Q08 loss
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