In what may be the next arena of expansion for the rating agencies, Moody's Investors Service has assigned its first servicer rating for a non-mortgage entity. As was the case when rival Standard & Poor's launched its non-mortgage servicer ratings last October (see ASR 10/6/03), Moody's views the credit card sector as where servicer ratings have value. Look for Moody's to move into other assets as well.

The inaugural non-mortgage servicer rating was assigned by Moody's March 4 to The First National Bank of Omaha, which received a rating of SQ3. Moody's reportedly has other credit card servicers in the pipeline, scheduled to receive ratings in the coming months, although no specific issuers were disclosed.

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