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SandP assigns AA rating to U.S. Central
LENEXA, Kan. (2/6/08)--Concern over values of mortgage-related securities in U.S. Central’s investment portfolio prompted Standard & Poor’s (S&P) yesterday to assign a long-term debt rating of “AA+” to the credit union. Previously, U.S. Central was rated “AAA.” S&P’s rating of U.S. Central’s commercial paper remained unchanged at “A-1+.” “U.S. Central is a healthy and profitable financial institution with $2.4 billion in capital as of Dec. 31, 2007, and access to more than $20 billion in available liquidity,” said U.S. Central President/CEO Francis Lee. To put S&P’s rating in perspective, Lee pointed out that the “AA+” rating is shared by only two other U.S. depository institutions--and only one other has a higher rating. “We believe S&P’s rating of U.S. Central is an acknowledgement of the continued strength of our balance sheet and our high liquidity position at a time of considerable uncertainty in the financial markets,” said Lee. S&P said U.S. Central continues to be “supported by the company’s strong funding and liquidity profile, which allows it to continue to hold these securities despite the market value declines.” Meanwhile, U.S. Central said yesterday it recorded unrealized mark-to-market losses on its available-for-sale securities of $760 million on its $40 billion portfolio in the fourth quarter, "as have many other institutions in the current market climate." “Such unrealized losses had no material economic effect during 2007, and are not expected to have a material impact on U.S. Central’s profitability in the future,” said the credit union in a statement.
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