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deposit rates

Another credit union gets S&P rating

Standard & Poor's has assigned a BB rating for Hamilton-based First Credit Union, keeping the not-for-profit financial institution eligible for the government's extended retail deposit guarantee scheme.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

S&P gave the credit union a BB rating on its long-term counter-party credit rating and a B rating on its short-term counter-party credit rating, both with a stable outlook.

"The stable outlook factors in our expectation that FCU will soon reduce its property-development-type lending exposures, and that its financial profile will improve in the current fiscal year as a result of increased earnings stemming from interest-margin improvement and lower loan provisioning," said S&P analyst Peter Sikora.

First Credit Union's "business position has underpinned its ability to generate good interest margins to contend with a recent increase in delinquent loans, and to contend with recent liquidity- and funding-based credit-market pressures," he said.

The BB rating will let the firm sneak into the government's extension to the retail guarantee, which was unanimously passed in Parliament yesterday and has tougher requirements than the initial guarantee set up by the Labour-led government last year.

First Credit Union will have to pay a 60 basis point fee under the extended guarantee, which comes into effect from October next year. It is covered by the existing government scheme.

Sikora said he expects the firm's business and financial profiles will come through the country's worst recession in more than 30 years, despite its exposure to lower socioeconomic customers in its personal-loan portfolio and its exposure to property-development mortgages.

FCU's Mortgage Rates can be seen here

And its Investment rates here

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