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Riggs ratings lowered

Feb. 8, 2005 at 1:19 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Fitch Ratings of New York Tuesday lowered the individual ratings for Riggs National Corp. of Washington to D/E (evolving) from D.

Fitch also lowered the rating of Riggs Bank National Association to D/E (evolving) from D.

All other ratings for Riggs National Corp. and its subsidiaries remain unchanged. Additionally, Fitch revised Riggs rating watch to negative from evolving.

The downgrade of the individual rating reflects Fitch's continuing concerns regarding Riggs deteriorating financial condition given the company's recently announced fourth quarter 2004 results, which reflected a $60 million loss.

"The loss resulted from a substantial level of expenses related to Riggs compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and multiple investigations. The company incurred a $16 million fine (which remains subject to change) to the U.S. Department of Justice, reserved $8 million for litigation, and incurred $17 million in expenses related to the sale of its international businesses," Fitch said.

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