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Rating Action - Servicer:

MOODY'S ASSIGNS SQ2- RATING TO CASDEN AS PRIMARY SERVICER OF RESIDENTIAL HOUSING LOANS

 The document has been translated in other languages

16 Sep 2005
MOODY'S ASSIGNS SQ2- RATING TO CASDEN AS PRIMARY SERVICER OF RESIDENTIAL HOUSING LOANS

First assignment of Moody's servicer quality rating in France.

Paris, September 16, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a servicer quality ("SQ") rating of SQ2- to CASDEN Banques Populaires ("CASDEN") as a Primary Servicer of residential housing loans in France. CASDEN has existing Aa3/P-1 long- and short-term deposit ratings. This is the first SQ rating assigned by Moody's to a servicer in France.

The SQ2- rating reflects CASDEN's strong financial stability, the experience of its staff and management in servicing loans to its specific customer base of civil servants in the French educational sector as well as the quality of its newly created amicable recovery department in terms of staff, tools and processes. However, the rating also takes into account the need for CASDEN to complete its implementation of improvements in its IT and reporting systems as well as its organisational structure, and specifically in its litigation processes. Moody's views positively the rapid pace at which current reorganisation efforts are being made at CASDEN and will update its overall assessment as more changes are implemented. Moody's will review CASDEN's SQ rating on a periodic basis.

BACKGROUND -- CASDEN

CASDEN was originally established as a cooperative financial institution for civil servants in the French educational sector. Although it has been part of the Banques Populaires ("BP") Group since 1974, it has also retained a specific ownership structure, with all of its clients owning part of the bank's equity in the form of "social capital". While all other banks in the BP Group, except recent joiner Credit Cooperatif, are generalist banks with a regional focus, CASDEN is unique in that it caters to a specific professional group across France, including overseas territories.

There are broadly two kinds of residential housing loans, in addition to consumer loans, that can be serviced by CASDEN: (i) residential housing loans originated and serviced by CASDEN and (ii) residential housing loans originated by other banks in the BP Group but guaranteed by CASDEN. These loans are serviced by the originating banks unless the guarantee is called, usually after three months of arrears, at which point they are transferred to CASDEN's pre-litigation department.

STRENGTHS

In general Moody's found CASDEN's servicing operations to be of a good standard. CASDEN benefits from the extensive experience and strong motivation of its staff and management, its focus on its specific customer base of civil servants and the use of efficient electronic data management tools. Additionally, Moody's found the newly created amicable recovery team to be above the French standard, in terms of both IT tools and staff management.

Moreover, CASDEN benefits from a strong financial stability, reflected in its credit rating of Aa3/P-1, which applies to all banks in the BP Group, which are linked by a solidarity mechanism. For more details and updates on these credit ratings, see Moody's website or Moody's latest credit report on Groupe Banque Populaire.

CHALLENGES

Moody's notes, however, that CASDEN also faces a number of challenges, notably the following: i) it is still currently in the process of rolling out a new organisational structure and IT tools; ii) in particular, until the reorganisation of CASDEN's litigation process is completed, it will remain difficult to obtain a full measure of its performance; iii) a small portion of CASDEN's stock of old delinquent loans is still in the process of being dealt with. However, the majority of this stock has just been disposed of, freeing up resources and improving the level and relevance of recovery figures; and iv) coordination or benchmarking with other entities in the BP Group, including those involved in the servicing process, could be further increased. However, most of these points are currently being addressed and are thus expected to record improvements in the near future.

MOODY'S SQ RATINGS

Moody's Servicer Quality ratings are opinions regarding the ability of a loan servicer to effectively prevent or mitigate losses in a securitisation transaction. The SQ approach evaluates how effective a servicer is at either preventing defaults from occurring or maximizing recoveries to the transaction once defaults have occurred. SQ ratings also consider the operational and financial stability of a servicer. This assessment is based on a company's organisational structure and management characteristics, its financial profile, operational controls and procedures as well as its strategic goals.

SQ ratings are provided for companies who act as Primary Servicer (servicing the loans from beginning to end), Special Servicer (servicing only delinquent loans), or Master Servicer (overseeing the performance and reporting of all of the servicers). For Primary Servicers, the rating will apply only to the loan types identified in the Servicer Quality Opinion. SQ ratings are reviewed at least annually in order to address potential changes in a servicer's strategy, portfolio, operational guidelines or overall performance.

The rating scale ranges from SQ1 (strong) to SQ5 (weak). Where appropriate, a "+" or "-" modifier will be appended to the SQ2, SQ3, and SQ4 rating category and a "-" modifier will be appended to the SQ1 rating category. A "+" modifier indicates the servicer ranks in the higher end of the designated rating category. A "-" modifier indicates the servicer ranks in the lower end of the designated rating category.

For details about Moody's SQ methodology, see "Residential Mortgage Servicer Quality ("SQ") Ratings in EMEA: Moody's Methodology," published October 2003.

For details about Moody's SQ rating analysis of CASDEN, see the Servicer Report on Moodys.com.

Paris
Yaron Ernst
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Ariel Weil
Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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