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FIRST BANK SYSTEM RATINGS RAISED BY THOMSON BANKWATCH

 FIRST BANK SYSTEM RATINGS RAISED BY THOMSON BANKWATCH
 MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- First Bank System, Inc.


(NYSE: FBS) announced that Thomson BankWatch raised the issuer rating on the company on Aug. 14 to "B" from "B/C." The senior debt, subordinated debt and preferred stock ratings also were raised to "A+," "A" and "A-," respectively.
 Thomson BankWatch said that it had raised the ratings on First Bank System, "in recognition of a balance sheet restructuring that has produced predictable and increasing earnings, favorable asset quality trends and strong capital rations." Additionally BankWatch noted, "The company is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities to build its Midwest banking franchise. Presently, FBS has two significant in- market acquisitions pending; Bank Shares Inc. in the Twin Cities area and Western Capital Investment Corporation in Colorado. We believe both transactions are strategically sound, offering compelling expense savings opportunities while boosting market penetration."
 First Bank System's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John F. Grundhofer said, "We are pleased with Thomson's rating action and recognition of the company's accomplishments. Recently, we reported record net income in the second quarter of 1992. Going forward, we will remain focused on achieving results that will enhance shareholder value and continue to place us in the ranks of top-performing regional banks."
 First Bank System is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Minneapolis with assets of $18 billion. The company provides complete financial services to individuals and institutions through 28 banks and trust companies with more than 159 offices located in Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Washington and California.
 -0- 8/17/92
 /CONTACT: Wendy Raway (media), 612-370-5154, or Thomas Rice (investor), 612-370-3596, both of First Bank System/
 (FBS) CO: First Bank System, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: FIN SU:


KH -- MN007 -- 0390 08/17/92 09:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1992
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