NEW YORK, July 16 Fitch Ratings on Wednesday
cut its ratings on Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), citing losses
from marking down assets including home loans and the potential
for other losses including in its credit card portfolio.
Fitch also upgraded its ratings on Countrywide Bank FSB and
its affiliates to equalize them with Bank of America's
"The primary point of pressure to date has been Bank of
America's sizable home equity loan portfolio with significant
exposure to the most problematic U.S. housing markets,
including California and Florida," Fitch said in a statement.
Looking forward, Bank of America NA, a subsidiary of Bank
of America Corp, is likely to see credit pressure from its
credit card portfolio, the option adjustable rate mortgage
portfolio it acquired from Countrywide Bank FSB and from
commercial loans, Fitch said.
Pending litigation on Countrywide Bank and Countrywide
Financial Corp also adds an additional risk to Bank of America,
Fitch cut Bank of America Corp's issuer default rating two
notches to "A-plus," the fifth highest investment grade, from
"AA." The outlook is stable, indicating an additional rating
change is not anticipated over the coming two years.
(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)