Kroll Bond Rating Agency Affirms First Bank Investment Grade Rating
HAMILTON, N.J., Aug. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Bank (Nasdaq Global Market: FRBA) today announced that the Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating
Organization (NRSRO) registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has affirmed the Bank’s credit ratings and stable outlook. The announcement was made by Patrick L. Ryan,
President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Bank’s favorable ratings and a stable outlook were maintained with a Deposit rating of BBB+, Senior Unsecured Debt rating of BBB+, Subordinated Debt rating of BBB, Short-Term Deposit rating of K2 and a Short-Term Debt rating of K2. KBRA’s report and additional details on their rating scale can be found at their website at www.krollbondratings.com. According to KBRA’s report, “the Bank’s ratings are supported by a seasoned management team and their successful execution of strategy in recent years – utilizing M&A and organic growth to build scale within footprint. This has resulted in enhanced operating leverage and relatively stable pre-tax, pre-provision earnings in recent periods despite the challenging interest rate environment. FRBA’s ratings also reflect a relatively favorable credit position entering the COVID-19 pandemic – with minimal credit losses in recent years. The negligible net charge off activity is, in part, due to the prolonged benign credit environment, though also due to conservative underwriting criteria. Moreover, the Bank is well situated from a loss absorption standpoint – with a comparatively higher level of loan loss reserves (1.68% to total loans, including existing marks from acquired portfolios and excluding PPP) and a TCE ratio of 10% (excluding PPP) as of 2Q20.”
Mr. Ryan stated: “We are very pleased with the results of the KBRA annual ratings review, which validates our strategic vision of growth and improving profitability while maintaining a safe and sound operating environment. We believe that our favorable credit ratings helped to facilitate our recent successful subordinated debt offering, will continue to provide us with additional capital markets flexibility and provide current and future customers additional comfort on our sound operating environment.”
About Kroll Bond Rating Agency
KBRA was established in 2010 in an effort to restore trust in credit ratings by creating new standards for assessing risk and by offering accurate and transparent ratings. KBRA is registered with the SEC as a NRSRO and is recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commission as a Credit Rating Provider. KBRA is a full-service rating agency whose mission is to set a standard of excellence and integrity.