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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms BSI AG's A2/Prime-1 deposit ratings, changes outlook to negative

19 Oct 2015

Affirmations follow ownership change to Brazilian Banco BTG Pactual S.A.

Frankfurt am Main, October 19, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed BSI AG's (BSI) A2/Prime-1 long- and short-term deposit ratings as well as its baa1 baseline credit assessment (BCA). The outlook on the bank's long-term deposit ratings has been changed to negative from stable. Moody's further affirmed the bank's Baa1(cr)/Prime-2(cr) Counterparty Risk Assessment.

Today's rating actions follow the change of ownership to Banco BTG Pactual S.A. (BTG; deposits Baa3 negative, BCA baa3) which became effective on 15 September 2015. The affirmation of BSI's ratings reflects the bank's overall solid standalone profile and performance while at the same time highlighting the potential for rising inter-linkages and dependencies with the new group as expressed by the negative outlook on BSI's long-term ratings.

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

RATINGS RATIONALE

-- AFFIRMATION OF THE BCA REFLECTS STANDALONE STRENGTHS

The affirmation of the bank's baa1 BCA reflects (1) BSI's relatively stable franchise development despite the uncertainties during the prolonged sale process to BTG, which lasted for more than a year; (2) the relatively low risk profile of BSI's balance sheet; and (3) the bank's solid and recently improved capital adequacy ratios, which provide significant loss absorption capacity.

Furthermore, the baa1 BCA reflects the rating agency's assessment of the improving recurring earnings power of BSI despite continued pressures on the bank's revenue base resulting from some asset under management (AuM) reductions due to foreign currency translation effects and following outflows of institutional client assets. In addition, BSI's earnings generation capacity might further be supported by (1) net new money inflows resulting from broadening its franchise as BTG's center of competence for global private wealth management and (2) due to positive effects of cost reduction efforts initiated in 2014 and becoming fully effective by end-2016. The baa1 BCA also captures typical risks that apply to private banks, such as a high sensitivity to reputational and operational risks. With regards to the latter, Moody's positively takes into account BSI's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding alleged tax evasion by its U.S. clients in late 2014.

Consequently, the rating agency affirmed BSI's adjusted BCA which captures the potential for support from its new parent BTG as well as resulting inter-linkages. Moody's assumes a high willingness of support that may be constrained by BTG's capacity to support BSI in case of need. Because BTG's BCA of baa3 is lower than BSI's, this assessment does not afford ratings uplift. Instead, the resulting two notch rating gap between both institutions' BCAs takes into account the current low dependencies and inter-linkages of BSI and its new parent in terms of business and funding risks.

-- AFFIRMATION OF THE DEPOSIT RATINGS

Moody's assessment of BSI's liability structure as a result of the rating agency's Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis continues to yield a two-notch uplift from BSI's baa1 adjusted BCA, supporting the affirmation of the bank's A2 long-term deposit ratings.

Moody's also continues to assign no rating uplift for BSI from government support, reflecting the rating agency's assumption of a low probability of government support in the event of a stress scenario given the bank's marginal importance to the domestic deposit-taking market and the Swiss payment system.

-- RATIONALE FOR THE NEGATIVE OUTLOOK REFLECTS POTENTIAL FOR STRONGER INTER-LINKAGES BETWEEN BSI AND ITS NEW OWNER

The negative outlook on BSI's long-term ratings principally reflects the negative outlook on the new owner's long-term ratings. In addition, BSI's ratings outlook expresses a degree of uncertainty regarding the effects of the sale to BTG on BSI's balance sheet, its risk appetite as well as the potential for a more pronounced convergence of BSI's and BTG's business models and thus credit profiles over time.

Moody's believes that linkages -operationally, financially and culturally- between BTG and BSI will remain limited in the foreseeable future. However, a closer alignment of BSI's key business areas with BTG, particularly resulting from BSI's positioning as the global wealth management platform for the BTG group may result in longer-term changes to BSI's overall business and risk profile. Such closer alignment may constrain the positioning of BSI's BCA versus the BCA of its new parent (currently a two-notch positive gap), given the greater probability that a deterioration in BTG's credit standing would transmit risk to BSI.

The rating agency will therefore closely monitor the integration process, specifically with regards to capital or potential transfer of risks between BTG and BSI, both off- and on-balance sheet. Other areas of close monitoring include the evolution of AuM and/or any key client or relationship officer defections following the ownership change which bear the potential of negatively affecting BSI's franchise stability and -ultimately- earnings generation capacity.

-- WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

There is limited upward pressure on BSI's ratings as indicated by the negative outlook.

BSI's deposit ratings could be downgraded as a result of any of the following: (1) a downgrade of BTG's ratings; (2) weakening of the bank's standalone creditworthiness due to e.g. currently unforeseen losses affecting BSI's capitalisation metrics or sustained weakening of its recurring earnings power and levels of operating efficiency, especially if caused by any major loss in market share or an erosion of the bank's private banking and wealth management franchise; (3) indications of rising inter-linkages between BSI and the group affecting the currently low business and funding risks; as well as (4) deposit volumes falling meaningfully and thus no longer providing the same amount of notching uplift under Moody's LGF framework.

Upward pressure on BSI's ratings remains limited and could only develop from a combination of (1) BTG's standalone creditworthiness and its ratings improving sustainably; and at the same time (2) BSI's risk profile improving further through e.g. regaining AuM growth supporting profitability while maintaining its overall sound capitalisation and funding metrics; and/or (3) if the volume of subordinated debt classes constituting the bank's waterfall rises substantially so it provides a higher uplift to deposit ratings under Moody's LGF framework.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

BSI AG:

The following ratings were affirmed:

- Long-term bank deposit ratings (local and foreign currency) at A2, outlook changed to negative from stable

- Short-term bank deposit ratings (local and foreign currency) at Prime-1

- Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) at baa1

- Adjusted BCA at baa1

- Counterparty Risk Assessment at Baa1(cr)/Prime-2(cr)

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in March 2015. Please see the Credit Policy 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 rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular 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 rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this 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.

Michael Rohr
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's affirms BSI AG's A2/Prime-1 deposit ratings, changes outlook to negative
No Related Data.
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