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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades the ratings of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and upgrades the ratings of National Westminster Bank Plc.

04 Apr 2018

Moody's also converts into definitive from provisional Adam & Company plc's long-term deposit rating of A1.

On April 10, 2018, the List of Affected Credit Ratings accessible via hyperlink from the press release was corrected as follows: the Junior Subordinate Ratings, including shelf's and Programmes (Foreign Currency) rating was removed for issuer The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Revised release follows.

London, 04 April 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) today downgraded the long-term senior unsecured debt ratings to Baa2 (from A3 , on review for downgrade) and the long-term deposit ratings to Baa2 (from A2 , on review for downgrade) of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS plc) --to be renamed NatWest Markets Plc - and The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. (RBS NV). At the same time, the agency upgraded the long-term issuer ratings to A2 (from A3 on review for upgrade) and the long-term deposit ratings to A1 (from A2 on review for upgrade) of National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest Bank) and Ulster Bank Limited (UBL). Today's rating actions conclude the respective reviews initiated on the banking entities on 30 January 2018.

Moody's also assigned a notional group BCA to The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBSG) of baa3 and affirmed all RBSG's ratings. Concurrently, Moody's converted into definitive its provisional long-term and short-term deposit ratings on Adam and Company PLC (Adam & Co) -- to be renamed RBS plc -, which are now A1 and Prime-1 respectively.

All long term deposit and senior unsecured ratings of the affected banking entities now carry stable outlooks.

RBSG is reorganising its legal structure under the UK's "ring-fencing" legislation. The legislation is intended to make economically vital banking services more resilient to financial shocks. On 22 March 2018, the Edinburgh Court of Session approved the intra-group transfer of assets, a key legal requirement.

"As a result of ring-fencing implementation and the separation of different activities into distinct legal entities, the creditworthiness of RBS plc and RBS NV will diverge from that of the NatWest Bank and UBL", said Alessandro Roccati, Senior Vice President at Moody's. "Under ring-fencing, RBS plc's and RBS NV's credit profiles will be weaker, as they are focused mostly on capital markets and wholesale activities and have a greater reliance on wholesale funding. Conversely, NatWest Bank's and UBL's credit profiles will be stronger, due to their mostly retail, SME and large corporate banking activities and largely deposit-based funding profiles" added Mr. Roccati.

The Baa2 long-term senior unsecured debt ratings and the Baa2 long-term deposit ratings of RBS plc and RBS NV incorporate ba2 standalone BCAs and ba1 adjusted BCAs (previously baa3 on review for downgrade). The BCAs and adjusted BCAs reflect the banks' fundamentals and high probability of support from RBSG. The senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings also incorporate two notches of uplift resulting from Moody's advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis. However the debt instruments of these smaller non-ring-fenced banks no longer benefit from potential support from the government of the United Kingdom (Aa2 stable), as the probability of such support is now low, in Moody's view.

The A1 long-term deposit ratings of NatWest Bank, UBL and Adam & Co incorporate baa1 standalone BCAs and baa1 adjusted BCAs. The BCA and adjusted BCAs reflect both the similarity of the three banks' fundamentals but also the support agreements between the entities. It also incorporates a two-notch uplift resulting from Moody's advanced LGF analysis and includes one notch of government support, reflecting Moody's assessment of a moderate probability of support for these entities' senior instruments from the UK government.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_198935 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and identifies each affected issuer.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_198935 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

• Principal Methodology

RBSG is reorganising its legal structure as a result of the forthcoming requirement to separate its retail and business banking businesses from its other operations by 1 January 2019, under the UK's "ring-fencing" regulation. The regulation is intended to making economically vital banking services more resilient to financial shocks. A key step in this plan was approved on 22 March 2018 by the Edinburgh Court of Session, paving the way for the transfers.

RBS plc will transfer most of its Personal & Business Banking and Commercial & Private Banking operations to a ring-fenced banking sub-group (under an intermediate holding company, NatWest Holdings Limited (NWH, unrated), a direct subsidiary of RBSG. The ring-fenced sub-group, which will account for around 80% of group risk-weighted assets, will include NatWest Bank, UBL, Adam & Co, Coutts & Company and Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (LT deposits Baa2 on review for upgrade).

The group's capital market activities will remain with RBS plc. At the same time as the legal transfer of assets and liabilities, RBS plc will be renamed NatWest Markets Plc (NatWest Markets), and Adam & Co will be renamed The Royal Bank of Scotland plc.

RBS plc, RBS NV

Under ring-fencing, RBS plc (to be renamed NatWest Markets) will likely have a significantly weaker credit profile than it does currently, as it will become the group's principal entity for conducting capital markets and some other wholesale activities. Moody's considers these activities to be typically riskier than retail and commercial banking. RBS plc will become largely market funded, have a sizeable derivatives and repo book, and provide broker-dealer capabilities. Moody's will continue to align the ratings of Dutch entity RBS NV with those of the current RBS plc, based upon the agency's expectation that RBS NV will likely become the main entity for the group's wholesale activities in the European Union outside the UK.

RBS plc's and RBS NV's BCAs of ba2 reflect Moody's expectation that the implementation of "ring-fencing" in the UK will weaken RBS plc's credit profile: (1) asset risk will be weaker due to its large capital markets activities, which represent a source of volatility and tail-risk; (2) business will be inherently less diversified and subject to greater volatility; (3) profitability will be poor due to continued high restructuring costs, and losses on legacy assets; and (4) usage of wholesale funding will be high, albeit mitigated by sound liquidity.

Under Moody's advanced LGF analysis, the long-term senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings of RBS plc and RBS NV incorporate two notches of uplift, reflecting very low losses in the event of the bank's failure. The CRA also incorporates a one-notch uplift for government support, given Moody's view that there is a moderate probability of support for the bank's holders of operational liabilities from the UK government, due to the interconnectedness of the bank's capital markets activities with other parts of the global financial system.

NatWest Bank, UBL and Adam &Co

Conversely, under "ring-fencing", NatWest Bank, its subsidiary UBL and Adam & Co will have stronger credit profiles as these two entities will retain mostly retail, SME and large corporate banking activities, will have largely deposit-based funding, and will be more profitable. Moody's will continue to align the ratings of UBL with those of NatWest Bank, based upon the high level of integration of the two banks.

The BCAs of baa1 for NatWest Bank, UBL and Adam & Co reflect Moody's expectation that the ring-fenced banks will benefit from: (1) moderate asset risk, with legacy exposures mitigated by the bank's predominantly retail and small business lending activities; (2) robust capitalisation and modest leverage; (3) good and stable profits from the retail and business banking activities, underpinned by the banks' strong franchises, albeit challenged by the weakening operating conditions in the UK and possible further conduct and litigation costs; and (4) the strong funding profile and ample liquidity of the ring-fenced sub-group.

Under Moody's advanced LGF analysis, the long-term senior unsecured debt rating of NatWest Bank incorporates a one-notch uplift, reflecting the low loss-given-failure for senior creditors; the long-term deposit ratings of NatWest, UBL and Adam & Co incorporate a two-notch uplift, as junior depositors will face very low losses in the event of the bank's failure. The long-term senior ratings of the three entities also incorporate a one-notch uplift in respect of government support, reflecting Moody's assessment of a moderate probability of support for the bank's junior depositors from the UK government, based upon the ring-fenced sub-group's systemic importance for the country.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

RBS plc, RBS NV

RBS plc's and RBS NV's ba2 BCA could be upgraded if the banks' asset risk profile were to be much stronger than Moody's currently expects, or if its profitability and efficiency improved on a sustainable basis and/or its capitalisation were to be significantly higher; an upgrade of the BCA would likely lead to an upgrade of all ratings. An upgrade could also result from an upgrade of the notional BCA of RBSG, the support provider.

An upgrade of RBS plc's and RBS NV's long-term senior unsecured debt and deposit rating could also result from a higher-than-expected stock of more junior bail-in-able liabilities that would provide greater protection for those classes of liabilities.

RBS plc's and RBS NV's ba2 BCAs could be downgraded in the event of: (1) a substantial increase in riskier trading activities; (2) a decline in capitalisation; (3) large losses from its book of legacy assets; (4) a material weakening of the liquidity profile; or (5) large unexpected additional restructuring costs. A downgrade of the BCA would likely lead to a downgrade of all ratings. A downgrade could also result from a downgrade of the BCA of RBSG, the support provider.

The ratings could also be downgraded due to a reduction in the stock of bail-in-able liabilities that would reduce the degree of protection for junior depositors.

NatWest Bank, UBL and Adam &Co

NatWest Bank's, UBL's and Adam & Co's baa1 BCAs could be upgraded if the banks' ultimate asset risk profiles were likely to be much stronger than Moody's currently expect, and/or if profitability were to be significantly higher. An upgrade of NatWest Bank's long-term senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings and UBL's and Adam & Co's long-term deposit ratings could also result from a higher-than-expected stock of more junior bail-in-able liabilities at the ring-fenced sub-group that would provide greater protection for the bank's junior depositors.

NatWest Bank's, UBL's and Adam & Co's baa1 BCAs could be downgraded in the event of: (1) a deterioration in operating conditions in the UK, beyond Moody's current expectations, leading to higher asset risk and lower profitability; (2) a decline in capitalisation; (3) large losses from its book of legacy assets; (4) a material weakening of the sub-group's liquidity profile; or (5) a weakening of the intra-group capital and liquidity support mechanisms. The ratings could also be downgraded due to a reduction in the stock of bail-in-able liabilities that would reduce the degree of protection for senior creditors.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_198935 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

• Releasing Office

• Person Approving the Credit Rating

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.

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
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

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

No Related Data.
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