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Fitch takes action on 3 community banks following peer group review

Fitch Ratings affirmed the ratings of Rockland, Mass.-based Independent Bank Corp. and Honolulu-based Central Pacific Financial Corp., and upgraded Ontario-based CVB Financial Corp. following a periodic review of the large community bank peer group.

The rating agency affirmed Independent Bank and unit Rockland Trust Co.'s long-term issuer default ratings at BBB and short-term issuer default ratings at F2. The affirmation reflects, among other things, Independent Bank's "disciplined execution of a strategy that has yielded stable operating performance and profitability over time, while achieving lower loan losses than peers," Fitch said.

Additionally, Fitch affirmed Central Pacific Financial and unit Central Pacific Bank's long-term issuer default ratings at BBB- and short-term issuer default ratings at F3. In affirming the ratings, Fitch noted the company's sound risk management framework and low-risk appetite, nominal levels of net charge-offs as well as management's efforts to reduce nonperforming assets.

The outlook on Independent Bank and Central Pacific Financial's ratings is stable.

Fitch upgraded CVB Financial and unit Citizens Business Bank's long-term issuer default ratings to BBB+ from BBB and affirmed their short-term issuer default ratings at F2. The ratings outlook was revised to stable from positive.

The rating agency cited CVB Financial's solid earnings profile as a key rating strength and said the upgrade reflected the company's continued above-peer earnings and capital ratios, persistent strong asset quality performance, and disciplined organic growth, among other things.