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Fitch affirms ratings for several large banks

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Fitch affirms ratings for several large banks

Fitch Ratings on Dec. 13 affirmed a number of ratings for Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and HSBC USA Inc., along with ratings for these institutions' respective units.

For BofA, the rating agency affirmed the company's long-term issuer default rating of A with a stable outlook, long-term senior debt at A, long-term subordinated debt at A-, long-term market linked securities at A emr, short-term issuer default rating and debt rating of F1, "a" viability rating, preferred stock rating of BB+, support rating at 5 and support floor at NF.

For unit Bank of America NA, affirmed were its long-term issuer default rating of A+ with a stable outlook, long-term senior debt of A+, long-term subordinated debt at A-, short-term issuer default rating and debt rating of F1, long-term deposit rating at AA-, short-term deposits at F1+, "a" viability rating, support at 5 and support floor at NF.

Bank of America California NA's ratings were also affirmed — long-term issuer default rating of A+ with a stable outlook, short-term issuer default rating of F1, "a" viability rating, support at 5 and support floor at NF.

Fitch believes that the company's core franchises will display stronger earnings and continued cuts in costs, noting BofA's focus on simplification and greater use of technology for more efficient operations.


For JPMorgan, affirmed were the company's long-term issuer default rating of A+, long-term senior debt at A+, long-term subordinated debt at A, preferred stock at BBB-, short-term issuer default rating of F1, commercial paper at F1, "a+" viability, market linked securities at A+(emr), support at 5 and support floor at NF.

Affirmed for JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, JPMorgan Chase Bank Dearborn and Chase Bank USA NA were their long-term deposits at AA, long-term issuer default ratings of AA-, short-term issuer default ratings of F1+, short-term deposits at F1+, "a+" viability, support at 5 and support floor at NF. For JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and Chase Bank USA NA, also affirmed were their long-term senior debt at AA-, long-term subordinated debt at A and short-term debt at F1+. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA's market-linked notes were affirmed at AA-(emr).

Fitch believes that the company's domestic franchise and growing international presence will result in a strong underlying earnings capacity. Funding flexibility is also believed to be strong, due to deposit raising capabilities and uninterrupted access to the global capital markets. Other positives for JPMorgan include its strong liquidity profile, solid capital ratios and experienced and strong "deep bench" management team.


For Citigroup, the rating agency affirmed the company's long-term issuer default rating of A with a stable outlook, senior unsecured at A, short-term issuer default rating at F1, subordinated at A-, preferred at BB+, market-linked notes at A(emr), "a" viability rating, support at 5 and support floor at NF.

For Citi units Citibank NA and Banamex USA, affirmed were their long-term issuer default ratings at A+ with a stable outlook, long-term deposits at AA-, short-term deposits at F1+, "a" viability ratings, short-term issuer default ratings of F1, support at 5 and support floor at NF. Additionally, Banamex USA's subordinated debt was affirmed at A-.

Fitch pointed out that the company's liquidity and capital levels are both solid, and successful efforts for it to become a smaller, simpler and safer bank are a positive development. In addition, the company is experiencing headwinds that include a low interest rate environment and relatively lackluster economic growth, while its complex operations, exposure to more volatile capital markets revenues, and its weaker relative asset quality and earnings offset its ratings strengths.


For HSBC USA and unit HSBC Bank USA NA, the rating agency affirmed the long-term issuer default rating of AA- with a stable outlook, short-term issuer default rating of F1+, support rating of 1, senior debt at AA-, subordinated debt at A+. Additionally, the company's commercial paper was affirmed at F1+ and HSBC Bank USA NA's long-term and short-term deposits were affirmed at AA and F1+, respectively.

The rating agency also withdrew the two organizations' "a-" viability ratings, as these entities were viewed to not have a significant stand-alone franchise.

Fitch wrote that HSBC USA Inc. is the largest generator of outbound revenue in the business group of its parent company, HSBC Holdings Plc.