Moody’s has downgraded the long-term debt ratings of 10 German public-sector banks (primarily Landesbanken), extended the review of one and confirmed the ratings of another.
The downgrades stem from its assumption that the banks have a lower likelihood of external support.
This comes in part from reduced government willingness to support the banks, and because of restricted ability to support, because of conditions set by the European Commission.
Here’s a summary of the rating actions on the long-term debt ratings of 12 banks from the Moody’s release:
- Confirmed the ratings of one bank, Landesbank Berlin AG (LBB);
- Downgraded by one notch the rating for one bank, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale (DekaBank);
- Downgraded by two notches the ratings for three banks, Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen GZ (Helaba), Landesbank Saar (SaarLB) and HSH Nordbank AG (HSH);
- Downgraded by three notches the ratings for six banks, Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB), Deutsche Hypothekenbank (Deutsche Hypo), Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ (NORD/LB), Norddeutsche Landesbank Luxembourg S.A. (NLBL) and Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ (BremerLB);
- Extended the review, direction uncertain, of the ratings of one bank, WestLB AG (WestLB).
- With respect to the banks’ short-term ratings, we have downgraded to Prime-2 the ratings for six banks, namely BayernLB, Deutsche Hypo, HSH, NLBL, SaarLB, and WestLB. The short-term ratings of the other banks were unaffected.
“However, even after today’s downgrades and the lowering of our support assumptions, the senior ratings of Landesbanken continue to incorporate support assumptions that are very high. This is because all Landesbanken are government-owned, directly or indirectly, with varying combinations of ownership from (i) savings banks, which are mostly owned by municipalities; and/or (ii) regional and local governments (RLGs).”