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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Danske Bank's ratings and upgrades long-term deposit ratings; outlook positive

12 Oct 2016

London, 12 October 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today upgraded Danske Bank A/S's long-term deposit ratings to A1 from A2, its long-term deposit note/ CD program rating to (P)A1 from (P)A2 and affirmed all other ratings. The rating agency also changed the outlook to positive from stable on Danske Bank A/S's long-term deposit ratings, long-term issuer rating and senior debt ratings. At the same time, the rating agency affirmed the bank's standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) at baa1.

For a full list of affected credit ratings please see below.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The affirmation of Danske Bank A/S's baa1 BCA reflects the progressive strengthening of the bank's performance in recent years following its challenges during the financial crisis, both domestically and abroad. The continued improvements include a strengthening of its asset quality, capitalisation and profitability, as the bank benefits from a balanced and well-diversified lending portfolio.

Danske Bank A/S has continued to improve its asset quality in recent quarters: group problem loans as a percentage of gross loans (as calculated by the bank) declined to 2.6% at end-June 2016 from 3.0% at end-2015 and 3.7% at end-2014. The bank's high historic problem loans ratio reflected weak asset quality at its operations in the Republic of Ireland (government bond rating A3 positive) and to some extent in Northern Ireland (UK government bond rating Aa1 negative) and the impact of the financial crisis in Denmark on its domestic portfolio. The Irish and Northern Irish exposure have significantly decreased and now represent only around 1% of the loan book. The bank's domestic asset quality is expected to record moderate improvements, supported by the domestic economy, which Moody's forecast to grow by 1.3% in 2016, following growth of 1.2% in 2015.

The bank's capital ratios have also improved, increasing the bank's ability to absorb potential future losses. At end-June 2016, its Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio was 15.8%. well-above regulatory requirements. The bank's regulatory capital should benefit from a normalization of the bank's profitability in 2016 and going forward.

Although still below that of similairly-rated peers, profitability has also improved. Management's focus on reducing operating cost and a contained cost of credit should continue to support a positive profitability trend, mitigating margin pressure resulting from the current low interest-rate environment in Denmark.

RATIONALE FOR THE UPGRADE OF THE DEPOSIT RATINGS

The upgrade of Danske Bank A/S's long-term deposit ratings to A1 from A2 reflects an increase in the volume of deposits since end-2015 and the planned issuance of unsecured debt, which we believe offers further loss absorption for deposit liabilities issued by the bank.

Taking account of the group's consolidated balance sheet structure at end-June 2016 and its near-term funding plan, Moody's Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis indicates that Danske Bank A/S's deposits are likely to face very low loss-given-failure, due to the loss absorption provided by subordinated debt and, potentially, by senior unsecured debt should deposits be treated preferentially in a resolution, as well as the substantial volume of deposits and senior debt themselves. This results in a Preliminary Rating Assessment (PRA) of a2 for deposits, two notches above the BCA, and one notch higher than under the previous analysis, which was based on end-2015 data.

Danske Bank A/S's senior unsecured debt, issued at the bank level, is likely to face low loss-given-failure due to the loss absorption provided by its own volume and the amount of debt subordinated to it. This results in a PRA of a3, one notch above the BCA, unchanged versus the previous analysis.

Moody's assumption of a moderate probability of government support for Danske Bank A/S's senior unsecured debt and deposits results in a one-notch uplift, leading to long-term deposit ratings of A1 and long-term issuer rating of A2.

RATIONALE FOR THE POSITIVE OUTLOOK

The positive outlook on Danske Bank A/S's senior ratings reflects the bank's improvements in financial metrics to date and the expectation of a continuation of the positive trend. Moody's considers the recent positive trends in asset quality, capital and profitability to be sustainable. In addition, the bank has shown improving recurring earnings in the first half of 2016, supported by its balanced and well-diversified business mix.

RATIONALE FOR THE CR ASSESSMENT

As part of today's action, Moody's also affirmed Danske Bank A/S's long-term CR Assessment at Aa3(cr), four notches above the BCA of baa1, and the short-term CR Assessment at P-1(cr). The CR Assessment is driven by the banks' standalone assessment based on the substantial cushion against default provided to the senior obligations represented by subordinated instruments, accounting for three notches of uplift relative to the BCA, as well as one notch of government support, in line with the agency's support assumptions on the bank's deposits and senior unsecured debt.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Upward rating pressure could develop from a continuation of the positive trends in the bank's financial performance, including: (1) an improvement in Moody's asset risk assessment, especially with regards to more volatile segments, such as agriculture and commercial real estate; and (2) an increase in profitability and reduced earnings volatility, supported by revenues, without a material increase in risk provisioning; (3) an improvement in the capital leverage position, currently constrained by the large nominal size of the bank's balance sheet.

Downward rating pressure could arise from: (1) any renewed pressure on asset quality, particularly in one of the bank's core markets; (2) any indication that the firm will not deliver the anticipated improvement in profitability; or (3) any sign that the improvements achieved in recent years are not sustainable.

--- Danske Bank Plc

Moody's has today upgraded Danske Bank Plc's long-term deposit ratings to A1 from A2 and affirmed all other ratings. The rating agency also changed the outlook to positive from stable on Danske Bank Plc's long-term deposit ratings, long-term issuer rating and senior debt ratings. At the same time, the rating agency affirmed Danske Bank Plc's BCA at baa1.

The affirmation of Danske Bank Plc's standalone BCA of baa1 reflects the bank's solid market position as Finland's third-largest bank, stable earnings generation and moderate asset risk. Danske Bank Plc's profitability is relatively low. However, Moody's expects that the implementation of restructuring measures to improve cost efficiency and profitability, set against the low pace of economic growth in the country, will drive a positive trend in profits.

The upgrade of Danske Bank Plc's long-term deposit ratings to A1 from A2 is based on the results of Moody's Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis. Danske Bank is subject to the Bank Recovery Resolution Directive (BRRD) and Moody's expects its resolution to take place with a Single Point of Entry (SPE) approach. Therefore, Moody's performs the LGF analysis on the consolidated balance sheet of Danske Bank group, including the Finnish operations. Moody's LGF analysis for Danske Bank Plc indicates a very low loss-given-failure, resulting in a two-notch uplift from the bank's adjusted BCA to the long-term deposits and a one-notch uplift to senior unsecured ratings.

The change in outlook to positive from stable on Danske Bank Plc's senior ratings reflects that Moody's, under its affiliate support analysis, positions Danske Plc's BCA is in line with that of its parent Danske Bank A/S.

As with its parent, Danske Bank A/S, Moody's continues to believe that the probability of government support for Danske Bank plc's long-term deposits and senior unsecured debt is moderate, resulting in a one-notch uplift included in the bank's A2 long-term senior unsecured debt and A1 long-term deposit ratings.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Upward pressure on the ratings might develop if the bank is able to strengthen its earnings generation without increasing its risk profile.

Downward rating pressure would emerge if: (1) the bank's profitability deteriorates; (2) its asset quality deteriorates; and/or (3) its risk profile increases, for example as a result of increased exposures to more volatile sectors or increased involvement in more risky operations such as capital market activities.

List of Affected Ratings

Issuer: Danske Bank A/S

Upgrades:

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program (Local & Foreign Currency), Upgraded to (P)A1 from (P)A2

....LT Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Upgraded to A1 Positive from A2 Stable

Affirmations:

....LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2, Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

....ST Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A2, Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

....Other Short Term (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)P-1

....Junior Subordinated Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Baa3 (hyb)

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A2

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Ba1 (hyb)

....Commercial Paper (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....BACKED ST Deposit Note/CD Program (Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....ST Deposit Note/CD Program (Local Currency), Affirmed (P)P-1

....ST Deposit Note/CD Program (Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Danske Bank Plc

Upgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Upgraded to A1 Positive from A2 Stable

Affirmations:

....LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2, Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

....ST Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Local Currency), Affirmed A2, Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A2

....Subordinate MTN (Local Currency), Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative (Local Currency), Affirmed Ba1 (hyb)

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Danske Bank A/S (London Branch)

Upgrades:

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program (Foreign Currency), Upgraded to (P)A1 from (P)A2

Affirmations:

....ST Deposit Note/CD Program (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)P-1

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Leonia Corporate Bank plc

Affirmations:

....BACKED Senior Unsecured (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A2, Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Danske Corporation

Affirmations:

....ST Commercial Paper (Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, None

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.

Moody's considers a rated entity or its agent(s) to be participating when it maintains an overall relationship with Moody's. On this basis Danske Bank A/S or their agents are considered to be participating entities. These rated entities or their agents generally provide Moody's with information for their ratings process.

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.

Alessandro Roccati
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
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

Sean Marion
MD - Financial Institutions
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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