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Rating Action:

Moody's upgraded PSA Banque France's long-term deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings to Baa1; outlook stable

08 Mar 2017

Adjusted BCA affirmed at baa3

London, 08 March 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded PSA Banque France (PSA BF)'s long-term deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings to Baa1 with a stable outlook from Baa2 with a positive outlook. Moody's affirmed PSA BF's baseline credit assessment (BCA) at ba1, its adjusted BCA at baa3 and its short-term deposit, deposit note program and issuer ratings at Prime-2. The bank's counterparty risk assessment was also affirmed at A3(cr)/Prime-2(cr).

The upgrade of the long-term deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings was driven by the increase in their respective Loss Given Failure (LGF) uplift from the adjusted BCA to two notches from one notch previously.

These rating actions have been taken in conjunction with the action on Banque PSA Finance (BPF, A3 stable, baa3), PSA BF's 50% parent company. For further details on BPF's rating action, please refer to the press release "Banque PSA Finance's deposit and senior unsecured debt upgraded to A3, stable outlook"; Link https://www.moodys.com/research/Banque-PSA-Finances-deposit-and-senior-unsecured-debt-upgraded-to--PR_362731

These rating actions are not driven by the action taken on Peugeot S.A. (PSA Group, Ba2 stable), which followed the announcement of 6 March 2017 that PSA Group will acquire GM's Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and that Banque PSA Finance (A3/A3 stable, baa3) jointly with BNP Paribas Personal Finance (A1/A1 stable, ba1) will acquire GM Financial's European operations, and do not take account of any potential impact of this transaction. For further details on PSA Group's rating action, please refer to the press release "Moody's affirms Peugeot's Ba2 CFR; stable outlook", published on 6 March 2017 (https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_362419).

A full list of affected ratings can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The outstanding volume of senior unsecured debt at PSA BF has increased as a result the substitution of part of the funding provided by Santander Consumer Finance S.A. (Santander CF, A3/A3 stable, baa2) by senior unsecured debt raised on the wholesale market. Hence PSA BF's deposits and senior unsecured benefit from a very low loss-given-failure thanks to the greater loss absorption provided by the additional senior unsecured debt, reflected in a LGF uplift of two notches relative to the bank's adjusted BCA of ba1.

The BCA of ba1 reflects PSA BF's sound asset quality, adequate capitalization in view of the risks undertaken and good profitability. The bank's reliance on wholesale funding, although mitigated by the broadly match-funded nature of its balance sheet, constraints the BCA. The BCA is also constrained, as is the case for the other auto captive banks, by its monoline business model, resulting in a negative qualitative adjustment of one notch. Moody's also makes an additional negative adjustment for "opacity and complexity" in view of the relatively complex governance of the joint-venture, with a split of responsibilities between its two parent companies, namely Banque PSA Finance and Santander CF.

Moody's believes there is a high probability that Santander CF would extend extraordinary support to PSA BF in case of need. The substantial funding currently provided by Santander CF to PSA BF underpins the level of support coming from Santander CF. This assumption is reflected in one-notch uplift from the bank's BCA, resulting in an adjusted BCA of baa3.

RATIONALE FOR THE OUTLOOK

The stable outlook on PSA BF's ratings is underpinned by the stable outlook on the rating of PSA Group and the fact Moody's does not expect any significant change in the bank's fundamentals, nor any development in its liability structure that could affect the LGF analysis over the outlook horizon.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

Given its status as a captive bank, PSA BF has close ties with Peugeot's credit strength. As a result, an upgrade of PSA BF's BCA could only be contemplated if PSA Group is upgraded. In such case, the BCA could be upgraded (1) if Moody's concluded that the negative adjustment for "opacity and complexity" could be removed as a result of a proven track-record of sound and efficient governance, or (2) as a result of a material improvement in asset quality or solvency. An upgrade of the BCA would likely prompt an upgrade of PSA BF's deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings.

The bank's BCA could be downgraded in the case of a significant increase in loan loss charges affecting its profitability and solvency. Due to the bank's close ties with PSA Group's credit strength, a downgrade of PSA Group would likely lead to a downgrade of PSA BF's BCA. A downgrade of the BCA would likely cause a similar downgrade of the bank's deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: PSA Banque France

..Upgrades:

....Long-term Deposit Ratings, upgraded to Baa1 Stable from Baa2 Positive

....Long-term Issuer Ratings, upgraded to Baa1 Stable from Baa2 Positive

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, upgraded to Baa1 Stable from Baa2 Positive

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, upgraded to (P)Baa1 from (P)Baa2

..Affirmations:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed A3(cr)

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed P-2(cr)

....Short-term Deposit Rating, affirmed P-2

....Short-term Issuer Rating, affirmed P-2

....Short-term Deposit Note/CD Program, affirmed P-2

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed baa3

....Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed ba1

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Stable from Positive

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Yasuko Nakamura
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's France SAS
96 Boulevard Haussmann
Paris 75008
France
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Nicholas Hill
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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