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(The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, January 23 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Fulton Financial Corp.'s (FULT) ratings at 'BBB /F2'. The affirmation reflects FULT's stable performance, established franchise and relatively low risk appetite. Fitch includes accruing restructured loans in its NPAs, which, as of 3Q16, measured 1.43% of total loans and is in line with the Fitch mid-tier regional bank peer group median.
The rating action follows a periodic review of the mid-tier regional banking group, which includes Bank United Inc. (BOKF), Cathay General Bancorp (CATY), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First Republic Bank (FRC), First Horizon National Corp. Should rates normalize further, Fitch would expect some degree of reversion in asset quality for most banks in the peer group, which is already incorporated in the ratings.
KEY RATING DRIVERS Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs), VRs and SENIOR DEBT The ratings reflect our view of FULT's comparatively low risk appetite, proven track record and stable overall performance.In the 1950s the Georgia state banking laws changed to limit banking consolidations across city and county lines, and bank mergers slowed until the 1970s, when acquisition of banks across county lines was again the bank was transferred to a new bank holding company, First National Holding Corporation, in December 1968, and the holding company was renamed First Atlanta Corporation in 1979.