March Credit Update: Upgrades Outnumber Downgrades

Credit Benchmark has published the latest monthly credit consensus data (from February 2018), with 21 contributor banks now providing bank-sourced credit views (CBCs*) on almost 15,000 separate legal entities over the past 12 months.


Monthly consensus upgrades and downgrades:

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

This compares with the previous month, which showed improvements across 265 obligors and deterioration across 254, with 63 moving by more than one notch.



  • Upgrades dominate downgrades in six out of ten reported industries.
  • The improvements in credit quality are:
    • Basic Materials with 10 upgrades and five downgrades.
    • Consumer Goods with 21 upgrades and 16 downgrades.
    • Consumer Services with 26 upgrades and 22 downgrades.
    • Oil and Gas with 36 upgrades and seven downgrades.
    • Technology with 17 upgrades and 11 downgrades.
    • Financials with 74 upgrades and 61 downgrades.


  • The deteriorations in credit quality include:
    • Health Care with 10 upgrades and 11 downgrades.
    • Industrials with 32 upgrades and 35 downgrades.
    • Telecommunications with one upgrade and four downgrades.
    • Utilities with 14 upgrades and 20 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.