January Credit Update: Upgrades Significantly Outnumber Downgrades

Credit Benchmark has published the latest monthly credit consensus data (from December 2017), with 20 contributor banks now providing bank-sourced credit views (CBCs*) on more than 14,000 separate legal entities over the past 12 months.


Monthly consensus upgrades and downgrades:

  • 449 obligors improved their credit standing by at least one notch.
  • 324 obligors deteriorated.
  • 78 moved more than one notch.
  • The frequency of upgrades and downgrades has increased.


This compares with the previous month which showed improvements across 304 obligors and deterioration across 223, with 58 moving by more than one notch.



  • Upgrades dominate downgrades in eight out of ten reported industries.
  • The improvements in credit quality are:
  • Oil and Gas with 20 upgrades and nine downgrades.
  • Basic Materials with 16 upgrades and eight downgrades.
  • Consumer Goods with 27 upgrades and 15 downgrades.
  • Utilities with 15 upgrades and eight downgrades.
  • Industrials with 33 upgrades and 24 downgrades.
  • Telecommunication with four upgrades and three downgrades.
  • Health Care with nine upgrades and eight downgrades.
  • For Financials, upgrades outnumber downgrades by seven to six.


  • Technology is the only industry where downgrades dominate, with 11 upgrades and 14 downgrades.


  • The number of upgrades and downgrades in Consumer Services is balanced.



* 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.

Follow us on:

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.