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Multiple US Banks Face Downgrade by Credit Agency

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Multiple US Banks Experience Credit Downgrades by Major Agency

Several US banks have faced credit rating downgrades by a major US credit agency, signaling concerns over factors such as higher interest rates. S&P Global, one of the top credit agencies, revised down the ratings of five regional US banks after assessing risks related to funding, liquidity, and asset quality. This comes after Moody's, another prominent credit agency, downgraded the ratings of ten US banks earlier this month. The agencies attribute these downgrades to the pressure on borrowers caused by higher interest rates, leading to a rise in nonperforming assets, delinquencies, and charge-offs.

Impact on Asset Quality

S&P Global warns of further deterioration in asset quality due to the prolonged period of higher interest rates. Banks with significant exposure to commercial real estate, particularly office loans, may face the greatest strains on asset quality depending on the quality of underwriting in their portfolios. Associated Banc-Corp., Comerica Inc., KeyCorp, UMB Financial Corp., and Valley National Bancorp all received one-notch downgrades, having previously been given a negative outlook. River City Bank and S&T Bank were assigned a negative outlook.

Rising Interest Rates and Quantitative Tightening

S&P Global attributes the struggles in the banking sector to rising interest rates and quantitative tightening, following the Federal Reserve's efforts to combat inflation since March 2022. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since then, aiming to curb inflation. Although inflation remained elevated at 3.2% in July, down from its peak of 9.1% in June 2022, the agency points to these factors as contributing to the challenges faced by the banking sector.

Overall Stability in the Banking Sector

Despite the downgrades, S&P Global emphasizes that about 90% of the banks it rates have stable outlooks, indicating improved stability in the US banking sector. The agency cites more modest deposit declines following the bank failures in March and April 2023, solid earnings, and relatively good funding metrics as evidence of this stability. However, Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the US credit rating from "AAA" to "AA+" due to projected fiscal deterioration and uncertainty over the next three years. In conclusion, the recent credit downgrades of multiple US banks by a major credit agency reflect concerns over higher interest rates and their impact on asset quality. While stability has improved in the banking sector, these downgrades highlight the challenges faced by banks in the current economic climate.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses

The recent credit downgrades of multiple US banks by major credit agencies could have a significant impact on new businesses. Firstly, these downgrades reflect the increasing financial pressures on banks due to factors such as higher interest rates. This could potentially lead to tighter lending conditions, making it more difficult for new businesses to secure loans or other forms of credit.

Impact on Borrowing Costs

Moreover, higher interest rates could also increase borrowing costs for businesses, affecting their profitability and growth prospects. Particularly, businesses with significant exposure to commercial real estate could face greater financial strain due to potential deterioration in asset quality.
Stability Amid Challenges
However, it's worth noting that despite these challenges, the banking sector has shown signs of stability, with 90% of rated banks having stable outlooks. This suggests that while new businesses may face some headwinds, the banking sector as a whole remains resilient. In conclusion, while the credit downgrades of US banks highlight some of the challenges in the current economic environment, they also underscore the importance of financial management and planning for new businesses. As the economic landscape continues to evolve, businesses must stay informed and adapt their strategies accordingly.
Story First Published at: https://dailycaller.com/2023/08/22/major-credit-agency-downgrades-several-us-banks/
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