Investment News 23-08-2023 01:04 10 Views

S&P downgrades multiple U.S. banks on growing liquidity worries

S&P Global followed Moody’s in cutting its credit ratings and outlook on multiple U.S. regional banks, saying higher funding costs and troubles in the commercial real estate sector will likely test the credit strength of lenders.

A relentless rate-hike campaign by the U.S. Federal Reserve has raised deposit costs at banks, which have been forced to pay out higher interest to keep depositors from fleeing to other high-yielding alternatives.

S&P on Monday cut ratings on Associated Banc-Corp and Valley National Bancorp on funding risks and higher reliance on brokered deposits.

It also downgraded UMB Financial Corp and Comerica Bank citing deposit outflows and higher interest rates. The rating agency also cut KeyCorp’s ratings on the back of constrained profitability.

KeyCorp shares fell 1% while Comerica, Valley National, UMB Financial and Associate Banc-Corp dipped between 0.3% and 0.8%.

S&P also lowered the outlook of S&T Bank and River City Bank to “negative” from “stable”, citing higher CRE exposure.

The agency’s action will make borrowing costlier for the ailing banking sector that is looking to shake off the effects of the crisis from earlier this year, when the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank sparked a loss of confidence and led to a run on deposits at several regional lenders.

Borrowing costs globally have also surged, with the U.S. Treasury yields hitting their highest in 16 years as the bond market rout entered its sixth week on Tuesday.

S&P’s action came weeks after similar downgrades by its peer Moody’s, which lowered ratings on 10 U.S. banks and placed six, including Bank of New York Mellon, US Bancorp, State Street and Truist Financial, on review for potential downgrades.

An analyst at Fitch, the last of the three chief rating agencies, told CNBC last week that several U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, could see downgrades if the sector’s “operating environment” were to deteriorate further.

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