Moody’s Investors Service said it was not necessarily focusing on the red-hot issue of nonperforming loans when it downgraded some bank bond ratings and placed the ratings of another bank on review earlier this month.

“All anybody wants to talk about these days is asset quality, and asset quality isn’t what drives our ratings any more than capital is what drives our ratings,” said David Fanger, senior credit officer for the financial institutions group at Moody’s. “The asset quality by itself isn’t an issue if the institution has sufficient earnings to cover [those] problems.”

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