Moody’s Investors Service this week said it is reviewing for possible downgrade more than 1,000 U.S. municipal obligations supported by global banks that are under their own downgrade review.
On Feb. 15, Moody’s announced it was considering downgrading 17 banks and securities firms with global capital markets operations. The same day, it said it was considering downgrades for 114 European financial institutions.
In connection with these bank reviews, Moody’s said Tuesday that it is reviewing for possible downgrade the ratings of linked U.S. public finance sector securities. About $60 billion of debt is affected.
The possible downgrades stem from a variety of connections between the banks and the securities.
Some of the potential downgrades would be for securities whose ratings are based solely on the banks’ support, usually in the form of a letter of credit.
Other possible downgrades would be of short-term ratings of securities with ratings based on standby bond purchase agreements and similar liquidity facilities provided by the banks. Moody’s long-term ratings of these obligations are not affected by these reviews.
Moody’s is also considering downgrades of the short-term ratings of tender-option bonds whose ratings are based on liquidity facilities from the reviewed banks.
Moody’s said it is also considering downgrades on the long-term ratings of 261 U.S. public finance transactions whose ratings are based on a joint default analysis. The transactions are supported by the banks’ letters of credit.
Similarly, Moody’s is also considering downgrades for the short-term ratings of 84 LOC-supported obligations whose long-term ratings were based on a joint default analysis.
Of the banks with global capital markets operations under review, Moody’s warned that four may have their long-term rating downgraded by one notch: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Société Générale.
It also warned that 10 banks may be downgraded by up to two notches: Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Goldman, Sachs & Co., HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macquarie, and Royal Bank of Canada.
Finally, it warned that Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and UBS may be downgraded by up to three notches.