RIGA - International ratings agency Moody’s said that it has downgraded the ratings on several Swedish and a Norwegian bank by up to two notches, citing concerns over their funding position and modest earnings, reports AFP. Moody’s said in a statement late May 24 that it was cutting the ratings on Sweden’s Nordea Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken by one notch to Aa3, with agricultural sector bank Landshypotek cut by two notches to Baa2.
Moody’s confirmed the debt and deposit ratings on Swedish groups SEB and Swedbank. Norway’s DNB Bank was lowered one notch to A1. The rating outlook on all the groups was put at ‘stable.’
The agency, one of the top three credit assessors, said the rating actions followed a review of some 114 European financial institutions that began on Feb. 15.
Swedbank’s Chief Financial Officer Goran Bronner told reporters at a banking conference in Stockholm on May 25 that Sweden’s banks shouldn’t pay too much attention to Moody’s Investors Service because the rater’s assessments tend to be outdated, reports Swedish Wire.
“Moody’s in general is very backward-looking; they are often stating things that are well recognized from the financial community for a long time,” Bronner told the Bloomberg newswire. “I don’t think Swedish banks should put any particular emphasis on it.”
Nordea Bank, Swedbank, SEB and DnB Bank all operate in the Baltics.