Friday, February 22, 2013

Bank Ratings: U.S. Bancorp Tops, Morgan Stanley Last

Bank Ratings Through December 31, 2012

The 10 Largest USA Banks have reported fourth quarter 2012 financial results, i.e., financial performance for the quarter ending 12-31-12 and financial position at 12-31-12. There were several changes in the quarterly ratings: 4 upgrades and 2 downgrades. The median score is "D" and the average score for the quarter ending December 2012 is "C+", an increase from the average score of "C" for the prior quarter ending September 2012.

Largest USA Banks Rankings The 10 Largest USA Banks ratings are presented below in a percentage format. The ratings range from A+ (100%) to G- (0%).

Rating, Bank, Change
A     U.S. Bancorp
A-    Wells Fargo
A-    Capital One
A-    PNC Financial Services, upgrade from B+
B+   BNY Mellon, upgrade from B
B-    Citigroup, upgrade from E+
C+   Bank of America, downgrade from B-
D     JPMorgan Chase
D     Goldman Sachs, upgrade from F-
G     Morgan Stanley, downgrade from E-
B+   Average

Above Average U.S. Bancorp is the sole leader at "A", followed by Wells Fargo, Capital One, and PNC Financial Services at "A-". These 4 banks have moved positively beyond the 2008 financial crisis. BNY Mellon and Citigroup are next at "B+" and "B-", respectively.

Average Bank of America is at the average of "C+".

Below Average JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are next at "D", which is the median rating. Trailing the field is Morgan Stanley at a dismal "G".

Based on fundamental analysis of both financial position and performance on a short-term and long-term basis, the largest 10 USA banks rankings have been updated with a composite score. There is no subjectivity involved from quarter to quarter, just objective data. The ratings are the result of the output from a model, with the latest quarterly financial statement data input.

The score can range from a high of A+ to a low of G-, a total of 21 tiers. The median score is D in this rating system. The average score can vary each quarter.

Financial position is weighted more than financial performance. Therefore, the rating is primarily a gauge of financial position, balance sheet strength, which indicates the ability of the bank to withstand a downturn in financial performance from internal and/or external events. The rating is secondarily a gauge of financial performance, both short-term and long-term. A measure of financial safety and soundness, not future financial performance, is the predominant intent of the ratings.


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