The troubles bedeviling subprime auto lending have stung a thrift. On Monday, Western Financial Bank, Irvine, Calif., had its long-term debt downgraded to B1 from Ba3 and its rating for deposits cut to Ba2 from Ba1 by Moody's Investors Service.

Western Financial is a unit of Westcorp Inc., which owns 83% of subprime auto lender WFS Financial Inc. The thrift, which has 26 offices in California, does its auto lending through WFS.

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