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Financial Institutions rating definitions

Ratings assigned on Scope's Rating long-term and short-term rating scales are forward-looking opinions on the relative creditworthiness of debt instrument or of an issuer's ability to repay its financial obligations when due. Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or to debt instrument with an original maturity of one year or more whilst short term ratings are assigned to issuer or short term debt instrument of typically less than 13 months.

The long-term rating definitions are the following:

AAA Ratings at the AAA level reflect an opinion of exceptionally strong credit quality.
AA Ratings at the AA level reflect an opinion of very strong credit quality.
A Ratings at the A level reflect an opinion of strong credit quality.
BBB Ratings at the BBB level reflect an opinion of good credit quality.
BB Ratings at the BB level reflect an opinion of moderate credit quality.
B Ratings at the B level reflect an opinion of weak credit quality.
CCC Ratings at the CCC level reflect an opinion of very weak credit quality.
CC Ratings at the CC level reflect an opinion of extremly weak credit quality.
C Ratings at the C level reflect an opinion of exceptionally weak credit quality.
D Ratings at the D level refer to defaults or default-like events.

Notches

Scope's long-term ratings are expressed with symbols from 'AAA to D', with '+' and '-' as additional sub-categories for each category from AA to B (inclusive), that is, 20 levels in total.

The short-term rating definitions are the following:

S-1+ Ratings at the S-1+ level reflect an opinion of the lowest credit risk with the highest capacity to repay short-term obligations.
S-1 Ratings at the S-1 level reflect an opinion of very low credit risk with high capacity to repay short-term obligations.
S-2 Ratings at the S-2 level reflect an opinion of low credit risk with good capacity to repay short-term obligations.
S-3 Ratings at the S-3 level reflect an opinion of acceptable credit risk with fair capacity to repay short-term obligations.
S-4 Ratings at the S-4 level reflect an opinion of moderate-to-high credit risk with modest capacity to repay short-term obligations.

Rating Review

A rating can be placed under review for upgrade, downgrade, or developing outcome. Review status indicates that this rating is under consideration for a change in the near term but further analysis is needed. Review status will be resolved with a rating being upgraded, downgraded, or confirmed.

Outlook

A rating can be accompanied by a rating outlook, which can be Stable, Positive or Negative. The Positive and Negative outlooks normally refers to a time period of 12-18 months. These outlooks do not necessarily signal that rating upgrades or downgrades, respectively, will automatically follow.