New York: US bank stocks declined after Moody’s Investors Service lowered its ratings for 10 small and midsize lenders and said it may downgrade major firms including US Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, and Truist Financial.
Higher funding costs, potential regulatory capital weaknesses and rising risks tied to commercial real estate are among strains prompting the review, Moody’s said late Monday.
“Collectively, these three developments have lowered the credit profile of a number of US banks, though not all banks equally,” the rating company said.
Shares declined for firms that had their ratings cut, including M&T Bank Corp., down 3.2 per cent, and Webster Financial Corp., which lost 1.3 per cent. Moody’s also adopted a “negative” outlook for 11 lenders, including PNC Financial Services Group, Capital One Financial and Citizens Financial Group Among those, PNC was down 2.2 per cent and Capital One lost 2.4 per cent.
Investors, rattled by the collapse of regional banks in California and New York this year, have been watching closely for signs of stress in the industry as rising interest rates force firms to pay more for deposits and bump up the cost of funding from alternative sources. At the same time, those higher rates are eroding the value of banks’ assets and making it harder for commercial real estate borrowers to refinance their debts, potentially weakening lenders’ balance sheets.
“Rising funding costs and declining income metrics will erode profitability, the first buffer against losses,” Moody’s wrote in a separate note explaining the moves. “Asset risk is rising, in particular for small and midsize banks with large CRE exposures.”
Some banks have curbed loan growth, which preserves capital but also slows the shift in their loan mix toward higher-yielding assets, Moody’s said.
Banks that depend on more concentrated or higher levels of uninsured deposits are more exposed to these pressures, especially banks with high levels of fixed-rate securities and loans.