February 13, 2012 / 7:05 PM / 7 years ago

TEXT-S&P cuts 15 Spanish banks

(The following statement was released by the rating agency)	
    Feb 13 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it has lowered its
ratings on 15 Spain-based financial institutions and revised the outlook to
negative from stable on one financial institution. 	
We also removed the ratings on 13 financial institutions from CreditWatch with 	
negative implications, where we placed them on Dec. 8, 2011, and assigned 	
negative outlooks to the ratings on 11 and a stable outlook to the ratings on 	
We kept the ratings on two financial institutions on CreditWatch negative. 	
Both CreditWatch placements reflect our view that pending acquisitions and 	
their integration could have a negative impact on each entity's 	
The rating actions follow the lowering of the long- and short-term sovereign 	
credit ratings on the Kingdom of Spain (A/Negative/A-1; see "Spain's Ratings 	
Lowered To 'A/A-1'; Outlook Negative," published Jan. 13, 2012, on 	
RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal) and our subsequent revision of our 	
Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on Spain to group '5' from 	
group '4' and of our industry risk score--a component of the BICRA--to '5' 	
from '3' (see "BICRA On Spain Revised To Group '5' From Group '4' Following 	
Sovereign Downgrade," published Feb. 13, 2012).	
We also assigned ratings to newly created Kutxabank S.A., and withdrew the 	
ratings on Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK) and Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de 	
Gipuzkoa y San Sebastian (Kutxa) on their request. 	
We lowered our long-term counterparty credit ratings on 10 financial 	
institutions by one notch based on our lowering of our assessments of their 	
stand-alone credit profiles (SACPs) by one notch following our BICRA revision 	
and change of the "anchor" we apply to banks operating primarily in Spain to 	
'bbb-' from 'bbb' (we determine a bank's "anchor" based on the our calculation 	
of the weighted average of the economic risk scores of the countries where the 	
bank operates and the industry risk score of the bank's country of domicile; 	
see "Banks: Rating Methodology And Assumptions" for definition). 	
We lowered our long-term ratings on five financial institutions by two notches 	
following the revised SACPs and "anchor," as well as changes in the number of 	
notches of uplift we incorporate in the ratings from the SACP to reflect our 	
view of the possibility of the banks receiving extraordinary government 	
support. We reduced the number of notches we factor into the ratings on some 	
banks, and for others, we ceased to include any notches from the SACPs.	
See the list below for the ratings on these financial institutions and their 	
relevant subsidiaries.	
We will publish individual research updates on the banks identified below, 	
including a list of ratings on affiliated entities, as well as the ratings by 	
debt type--senior, subordinated, junior subordinated, and preferred stock. 	
The ratings below are counterparty credit ratings.	
                       To                   From	
Banco Santander S.A.   A+/Negative/A-1      AA-/Watch Neg/A-1+	
 Banco Espanol de Credito S.A. 	
                       A+/Negative/A-1      AA-/Watch Neg/A-1+	
 Santander UK PLC      A+/Negative/A-1      AA-/Watch Neg/A-1+	
 Santander Consumer Finance, S.A.                       	
                       A/Negative/A-1       A+/Watch Neg/A-1	
 Santander Holdings U.S.A Inc.                       	
                       A/Negative/A-1       A+/Watch Neg/A-1	
 Sovereign Bank         A/Negative/A-1      A+/Watch Neg/A-1	
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. 	
                       A/Negative/A-1       A+/Watch Neg/A-1	
CaixaBank S.A.         BBB+/Stable/A-2      A/Watch Neg/A-1	
Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona                        	
                       BBB-/Stable/A-3      BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Bankinter S.A.         BBB/Negative/A-2     BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Ibercaja Banco S.A.    BBB/Negative/A-2     BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Banco de Sabadell S.A.                 	
                       BBB-/Watch Neg/A-3   BBB/Watch Neg/A-2	
Banco Popular Espanol S.A.                        	
                       BBB-/Watch Neg/A-3   BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Banca Civica S.A.      BBB-/Negative/A-3    BBB/Watch Neg/A-2	
Bankia S.A.            BBB-/Negative/A-3    BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Banco Financiero y de Ahorros S.A.                 	
                       BB-/Negative/B       BB+/Watch Neg/B	
Downgraded; Ratings Withdrawn                        	
                       To                   From	
Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK)                       	
                       BBB/Negative/A-2     BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Gipuzkoa y San Sebastian (Kutxa)	
                   BBB/Negative/A-2     BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2	
Outlook Action	
                        To                  From	
Barclays Bank S.A.      A/Negative/A-1      A/Stable/A-1	
New Rating	
Kutxabank S.A.            BBB/Negative/A-2    	
NB. This list does not include all ratings affected.	
 (Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)
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