NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Rating Group assigned its A-plus long- term and A-1 counterparty ratings to Sanwa Bank California.

Separately, Moody's Investors Service assigned its A-1 rating to the bank's long-term deposits and a prime-1 rating to its short-term deposits. Moody's gave Sanwa an A2 counterparty rating.

They were the first ratings issued on debt of the Los Angeles unit of Sanwa Bank Ltd.

The rating agencies noted the bank's strong capitalization and improving asset quality and liquidity trends. Counting against Sanwa were below average growth in earning assets, a low level of noninterest income, high operating expenses, and an overreliance on wholesale funds.

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