Moody's May Upgrade First Bank

NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service Inc. said it placed under review for possible upgrade the ratings on long-term debt of First Bank System.

The ratings of its subsidiary banks for long-term deposits were also under review for possible upgrade, Moody's said. About $2.1 billion in securities is affected by the review, according to the rating agency.

"The analysis will incorporate the company's core earnings capability, its improved capital position, and the outlook for asset quality," Moody's said.

Some Ratings to Hold Steady

Under review are First Bank System senior debt at Baal, subordinated debt at Baa2, shelf registration for subordinated debt at prospective Baa2, and preferred stock at Baa2.

The rating of the company for commercial paper is not under review by Moody's, and remains Prime-2.

First Bank NA's long-term deposit obligations, including deposit notes and letter-of-credit-backed obligations, are rated A2. Its short-term deposit obligations are at Prime-1.

Based in Wisconsin

First Bank Milwaukee's longterm deposit obligations, including deposit notes and letter-of-credit-backed obligations, are rated A2.

The bank's rating for short-term deposit obligations is Prime-1.

First Bank System, headquartered in Minneapolis, had assets of about $17 billion as of June 30, the rating agency said.

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