Wednesday, July 30th13.7°C
22568

Canadian banks downgraded

Five big Canadian banks and a credit union were downgraded Monday by Moody's rating agency, which believes they will be more vulnerable than in the past if there's a major shock to the economy.

The downgrades, which Moody's had warned were likely to happen, reflect the agency's ongoing concern that Canadian household debt has risen to historical highs -- putting pressure on the institutions' mortgage businesses.

"The Canadian consumer is leveraged almost to the extent that the U.S. consumer was ahead of the housing crash down there some years ago," said Moody's vice-president David Beattie.

As a result, Moody's thinks it's likely that consumers will slow down their borrowing, a major source of business for the banks.

There's also a remote possibility defaults could jump to a dangerous level for the banks if there's a major economic shock that causes a lot of unemployment and a dramatic drop in real estate prices, he said.

"If we thought it was a higher probability, we wouldn't rank the banks as high as we do," Beattie said.

He noted the five banks and the Quebec-based Desjardins credit union remain among the most highly rated of those tracked by Moody's.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD) is the highest rated of the six, at AA1 (down from AAA). Scotiabank and Desjardins drop to AA2 (from AA1), CIBC (TSX:CM), Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) and National Bank (TSX:NA) slip to AA3 (from AA2).

A downgrade by a credit rating agency usually means investors will demand a higher interest rate when a company goes to raise cash by issuing bonds or other debt.

The rating agency said National, BMO and Scotiabank face additional risk from the amount of their profit that comes from capital markets operations, which lend large amounts to corporations and advise businesses on debt and stock issues.

Royal Bank wasn't on the list because its long-term deposit rating had already been dropped to Aa3 from Aa1 in June as part of a move to cut the credit ratings of 15 of the world's largest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

21337


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15446.55+1.33
S&P CDNX1016.50-3.35
DJIA16912.11-70.48
Nasdaq4442.698-2.211
S&P 5001969.95-8.96
CDN Dollar0.9202-0.0014
Gold1310.00+6.70
Oil101.22+0.25
Lumber322.20-0.80
Natural Gas3.73-0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.185-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.20+0.05
Cantex0.085+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.2675+0.0025
Metalex Ventures0.085+0.005
Russel Metals35.29+0.14
Copper Mountain Mining2.86-0.11
Colorado Resources0.2250.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.035+0.015
Mission Ready Services0.155-0.035

 





FEATURED Property
19645031805 Scott Crescent
4 bedrooms 5 baths
$924,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...


Geopolitical tensions rattle markets

The Big Picture Geopolitical tensions rattle markets The spectre of rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza cast a shadow over an otherwise positive week in the markets. News that a passenger...


Learn to delegate effectively

Photo: ContributedI have the pleasure of witnessing people delegate tasks quite often. Sometimes with tremendous success and sometimes with disastrous consequences. I have chaired a lot of committees...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22685