January Credit Update: Consensus Upgrades Outweigh Downgrades for Financials

Credit Benchmark has published the latest monthly credit consensus data (from December 2018), with 30 contributor banks. The set of bank-sourced credit views (CBCs*) now covers over 25,300 separate legal entities.

The monthly upgrades and downgrades overview is now based on data adjusted for changes in contributor mix.


Monthly consensus upgrades and downgrades:

  • 346 obligors improved their credit standing by at least one notch.
  • 312 obligors deteriorated.
  • 38 moved more than one notch.
  • The frequency of upgrades and downgrades is larger than usual.

Last month showed improvements across 190 obligors and deterioration across 163, with 26 moving by more than one notch.



  • Upgrades dominate downgrades in five out of ten reported industries.
  • The industries showing an improvement in credit quality include:
    • Financials with 102 upgrades and 60 downgrades.
    • Health Care with 10 upgrades and four downgrades
    • Oil & Gas with 28 upgrades and 14 downgrades.
  • The industries showing deteriorations are:
    • Consumer Services with 23 upgrades and 35 downgrades.
    • Industrials with 27 upgrades and 43 downgrades.
    • Telecommunications with five upgrades and seven downgrades.


* CBC = Credit Benchmark Consensus; a 21-category classification which is explicitly linked to probability of default estimates sourced from major banks. A CBC of bbb+ is broadly comparable with BBB+ from S&P and Fitch or Baa1 from Moody’s.

Disclaimer: Credit Benchmark does not solicit any action based upon this report, which is not to be construed as an invitation to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. This report is not intended to provide personal investment advice and it does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of a particular person who may read this report.

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Credit Benchmark brings together internal credit risk views from over 40 leading global financial institutions. The contributions are anonymized, aggregated, and published in the form of consensus ratings and aggregate analytics to provide an independent, real-world perspective of credit risk. Risk and investment professionals at banks, insurance companies, asset managers and other financial firms use the data for insights into the unrated, monitoring and alerting within their portfolios, benchmarking, assessing and analyzing trends, and fulfilling regulatory requirements and capital.