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BANK OF NEW YORK CO. SENIOR DEBT RAISED TO 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bank of New York Co., Inc.'s (NYSE: BK) senior debt is raised to `A+' from `A'. In addition, the company's subordinated debt is raised to `A' from `A-' and preferred stock to `A-' from `BBB+'. The `F-1' commercial paper is affirmed. The credit trend is stable.
 Bank of New York has orchestrated a meaningful decline in nonperforming assets (NPAs) since year-end 1991. Aggregate NPAs as of March 31, 1993 were almost 64 percent below the $1.35 billion in problem credits reported Dec. 31, 1991. Fitch expects total NPAs to decline further in 1993 even after including nonperforming loans from the acquisition of National Community Banks, Inc. of New Jersey scheduled for third-quarter. Also, asset quality benefits as the company has the lowest percentage of commercial real estate in its loan portfolio of any major domestic banking institution.
 While driving down total NPAs via sales and aggressive chargeoffs, the company's loan loss reserve now exceeds 150 percent of nonperforming loans. With the likelihood of further NPA reductions during 1993, the provision for possible loan losses is expected to drop about 30 percent compared to 1992, although still allowing for reserve growth.
 Capital ratios have strengthened, with the tangible equity ratio an above-peer 7.32 percent at March 31, 1993, while the 7.65 percent regulatory leverage ratio was well above regional banking peers' average.
 Profitability improved considerably during the past two years. Return on average assets of 1.18 percent for first-quarter 1993 is evidence of better profits, in part reflecting a materially lower overhead expense ratio compared to peers. Bank of New York's core earnings profile is somewhat unique in that fee income represents more than 45 percent of total revenues, much higher than similarly sized regional banking competitors, especially when considering loans account for about 68 percent of Bank of New York's total assets. Earnings for 1993 are expected to maintain the current momentum and should be well above 1992's net income.
 Addition of Barclays Bank PLC's New York operations near year-end 1992, coupled with the pending acquisition of National Community Banks' branches, will result in an aggregate increase of 175 branches, bringing the total to nearly 400 in suburban New York City. This will further increase core retail funding. Liquidity of the banking subsidiaries and the parent company is high. Double leverage at the holding company has declined and is expected to be 100 percent-103 percent by year-end 1993.
 -0- 6/7/93
 /CONTACT: Fred W. DeBussey of Fitch, 212-908-0521/
 (BK)


CO: Bank of New York Co., Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: RTG

TM -- NY076 -- 6171 06/07/93 15:58 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 7, 1993
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