Financial Strength Ratings

CI's financial strength ratings provide an opinion of a bank's inherent financial strength, soundness and risk profile. These ratings do not address sovereign risk factors, including transfer risk, which may affect an institution's capacity to honour its financial obligations, be they local or foreign currency. Financial strength ratings also exclude support factors, which are addressed by foreign and local currency ratings, as well as CI's support ratings. However, financial strength ratings do take into account the bank's operating environment including the economy, the structure, strength and stability of the financial system, the legal system, and the quality of banking regulation and supervision. Financial strength ratings do not assess the likelihood that specific obligations will be repaid in a timely manner.

The following rating scale applies to the financial strength rating.

AAA Financially in extremely strong condition with positive financial trends; significant strengths in other non-financial areas. Operating environment likely to be highly attractive and stable.
AA Financially in very strong condition and significant strengths in other non-financial areas. Operating environment likely to be very attractive and stable.
A Strong financial fundamentals and very favourable non-financial considerations. Operating environment may be unstable but institution's market position and/or financial strength more than compensate.
BBB Basically sound overall; slight weaknesses in financial or other factors could be remedied fairly easily. May be limited by unstable operating environment.
BB One or two significant weaknesses in the bank's financial makeup could cause problems. May be characterised by a limited franchise; other factors may not be sufficient to avoid a need for some degree of temporary external support in cases of extraordinary adversity. Unstable operating environment likely.
B Fundamental weaknesses are present in the bank's financial condition or trends, and other factors are unlikely to provide strong protection from unexpected adversities; in such an event, the need for external support is likely. Bank may be constrained by weak market position and/or volatile operating environment.
C In a very weak financial condition, either with immediate problems or with limited capacity to withstand adversities. May be operating in a highly volatile operating environment.
D Extremely weak financial condition and may be in an untenable position.


Capital Intelligence appends "+" and "-" signs to financial strength ratings in the categories from "AA" to "C" to indicate that the strength of a particular institution is, respectively, slightly greater or less than that of similarly rated peers.

Outlook - expectations of improvement, no change or deterioration in a rating over the 12 months following its publication are denoted Positive, Stable or Negative.