A new medium-term note program being developed by the U.S. Central Credit Union has received excellent ratings from four rating agencies.
Three rating agencies assigned their highest long-term debt rating to the program: Standard & Poor's (AAA); Fitch (AAA); and Thomson BankWatch (AAA).
Moody's assigned its second-highest rating (Aa1).
Combined with the company's short-term ratings, the new ratings make U.S. Central one of the highest-rated depository institutions in the world, said Kevin Keller, a spokesman for the credit union.
Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. of New York is the only domestic company with equivalent ratings.
U.S. Central, a corporate credit union with $27.1 billion of total assets as of June 30, 1993, developed the program in anticipation of credit-union lending needs, Mr. Keller said.
Although credit union lending is currently in a slump, U.S. Central "sees a need now - one narrow in scope," Mr. Keller said.
"We have identified a core group [of credit unions] that may be in the 80 percent-to 90 percent, loan-to-deposit ratio that are very active in mortgage lending," he said.
Mr. Keller said no date had been set for the note's release.
A medium term note gives issuers flexibility similar to commercial paper, but with terms that may range from nine months to 30 years.