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Rating Action:

Correction to Text, Dec. 21, 2010 Release: Moody's downgrades the senior tranche of the Emergence Offset Notes issued by Avondale Securities SA to Baa2 (sf) from A3 (sf)

06 Jan 2011

Paris, January 06, 2011 -- Substitute tenth paragraph reference to principal methodology with the following: "The Emergence Offset Notes' ratings were assigned by evaluating factors believed to be relevant to the credit profile of the Notes such as (i) the financial strength of Bank of Ireland Life, (ii) performance of the securitised book of business, (iii) review of independent actuarial report, including assumptions underlying projected cash flows, (iv) expected loss and probability of default estimated via stochastic and deterministic modeling of the cashflows, focusing principally on equity risk, persistency risk and mortality risk, and (v) other factors believed to be applicable to the assessment of the creditworthiness of the transaction, such as a review of the structural, legal, and regulatory risks." Revised release follows.

Moody's Investors Service today announced that it has downgraded the long-term rating of the Class A-1 Emergence Offset Notes (senior tranche), the life insurance-linked notes issued by Avondale Securities SA, a special purpose Luxembourg societe anonyme sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to Baa2 (sf) from A3 s(f). This rating remains under review for further possible downgrade. The Baa3 (sf) long-term rating of the Class A-2 Notes (junior tranche) also remains under review for possible downgrade.

The following rating have been downgraded and placed under review for further possible downgrade:

- EUR380,000,000 Class A-1 Floating Rate Emergence Offset Notes due 2032 -- long-term secured rating at Baa2 (sf) from A3 (sf).

The last rating action on the Class A-1 Emergence Offset Notes was on March 12, 2009, when Moody's downgraded the notes to A3 (sf) from A1 (sf).

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade of the Class A-1 Notes reflects the strong linkage between the ratings of the Notes and the underlying business risk associated with Bank of Ireland Life. Moody's said that the financial strength of Bank of Ireland Life has deteriorated following (i) the financial and economic turmoil in the Irish economy and lower credit quality of Irish government bonds (as reflected in Moody's downgrade of the Irish government bond rating to Baa1 with a negative outlook), and the resulting reduced asset quality and weakened economic capitalisation of the life company and (ii) the deterioration of the financial strength of Bank of Ireland (as reflected by Moody's downgrade of Bank of Ireland's BFSR to D and its long term deposit and senior debt ratings to Baa2 with a negative outlook) and the implications in terms of capitalisation and financial flexibility for Bank of Ireland Life, as a 100% owned subsidiary of the bank.

The review for further possible downgrade on both tranches reflect the economic uncertainties in the Irish economy, and the uncertain consequences of the austerity measures implemented by the Irish government, which could provoke a long term increase in lapse rates and in paid-up policy rates at Bank of Ireland Life, which would affect the value-in-force (VIF) of the securitised book of business and more generally the profitability of Bank of Ireland Life.

Moody's rating of the notes continues to reflect a) the role that Bank of Ireland, as owner of Bank of Ireland Life and provider of various support mechanisms and covenants to the transaction, plays within the issuance, b) the underlying expected loss on the notes, resulting from the assessment of the expected emergence of the cashflows from the reference book of policies under a variety of deterministic stress scenarios, as well as using a Moody's-derived stochastic model to simulate a wider range of possible outcomes, c) the transaction's legal structure and d) the financial strength of the various parties to the transaction, including Bank of Ireland Life, originator of the securitised book of business.

Moody's mentioned that Bank of Ireland Life's assets portfolio (excluding unit-linked investments) was exposed to Irish investments. Therefore, following the financial and economic turmoil in the Irish economy and lower credit quality of Irish bonds, Moody's expects that the asset quality and the capitalisation of the insurance company has weakened. Furthermore, following the downgrade of Bank of Ireland's Bank Financial Strength and deposit Ratings, Moody's believes that, as a fully-owned subsidiary, Bank of Ireland Life faces additional financial and capitalisation pressures.

Moody's review will continue to focus on the assessment of the financial strength of Bank of Ireland Life, originator of the securitised book of business, as well as on reviewing the expected loss of each tranche in the light of the most recent data available, reviewing especially future developments on lapse rates in the coming months.

Commenting on what could change the rating of the Class A-1 Notes down, Moody's mentioned either a deterioration of the financial strength of Bank of Ireland Life, or revised long-term assumptions (eg higher level of lapses or reduced level of investment returns) driven by the new economic environment prevailing in Ireland which would negatively affect the expected loss of the Notes.

The Emergence Offset Notes' ratings were assigned by evaluating factors believed to be relevant to the credit profile of the Notes such as (i) the financial strength of Bank of Ireland Life, (ii) historical performance of the securitised book of business, (iii) review of independent actuarial report, including assumptions underlying projected cash flows, (iv) expected loss and probability of default estimated via stochastic and deterministic modeling of the cashflows, focusing principally on equity risk, persistency risk and mortality risk, and (v) other factors believed to be applicable to the assessment of the creditworthiness of the transaction, such as a review of the structural, legal, and regulatory risks.

Moody's Investors Service did not receive or take into account a third-party due diligence report on the underlying assets or financial instruments related to the monitoring of this transaction in the past six months

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Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

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Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

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Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

London
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MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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Correction to Text, Dec. 21, 2010 Release: Moody's downgrades the senior tranche of the Emergence Offset Notes issued by Avondale Securities SA to Baa2 (sf) from A3 (sf)
No Related Data.
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