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S&P affirms Butterfield’s ratings

Standard & Poor’s has affirmed Butterfield’s long-term credit rating at A- and its short-term customer deposit rating at A-2.

In its report, the credit rating agency cited Butterfield’s strong competitive positions in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, the Bank’s improved capital position and its first and second quarter 2011 profits as positive factors contributing to the ratings affirmation.

Butterfield reported profits of $20.2 million for the first six months of 2011. At 30 June 2011, Butterfield’s total capital ratio was 22.8 percent, its tier one capital ratio was 16.7 percent and its tangible common equity ratio stood at 6.19 cent.

Commenting on the strength of Butterfield’s balance sheet, the S&P report noted that Butterfield’s “loan performance has improved in recent quarters, notably in the hospitality loan portfolio, despite a weakening local economy”.

S&P also made positive reference to Butterfield’s strong liquidity, citing a “large and highly liquid portfolio of investment securities” and relatively low loan-to-deposit ratio.

S&P also wrote that they “expect the bank to remain profitable for the remainder of 2011 and through 2012” based on its forecast of gradually improving net interest margins, growth in fee-based revenue and additional expense reductions.

Butterfield’s net interest margin improved from 184 basis points in the second quarter of 2010 to 233 basis points in the second quarter of 2011.

Brad Kopp, Butterfield’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased that S&P has affirmed our short-term and long-term deposit ratings in their latest report on the Bank.

“The ratings validate that, against a backdrop of economic difficulties in our key markets, Butterfield has done and continues to do the right things to strengthen our capital position, manage risks and liquidity and trim expenses.

“Those actions, and adhering to our strategy of focused investment in our core businesses of retail banking and wealth management, have returned the bank to profitability in 2011 and position us for continued growth.”

Butterfield Bank: Ratings affirmed

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Published September 09, 2011 at 9:28 am (Updated September 09, 2011 at 9:28 am)

S&P affirms Butterfield’s ratings

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