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Rating Action:

Moody's has taken rating actions on 58 sub-sovereign entities after UK's sovereign action

21 Oct 2020

London, 21 October 2020 -- Moody's Public Sector Europe, ("Moody's") has today taken rating actions on 58 sub-sovereign entities (and 37 special purpose vehicles (SPVs)) covering the following sectors: (1) local authorities, (2) universities, (3) housing associations and public sector pool financings; (4) mass transit and (5) non-profits.

This rating action follows Moody's downgrade of the Government of the United Kingdom's (UK's) sovereign bond rating to Aa3 from Aa2 and change in outlook to stable from negative on 16 October 2020. For further information on the sovereign rating action, please refer to Moody's press release published on 16 October 2020: https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_434172

Please click on this link https://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_ARFTL434691 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and identifies each affected issuer.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING THE RATINGS FOR FIVE LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Moody's has downgraded the ratings by one notch and changed the outlooks to stable from negative for five local authorities: Aberdeen City Council (Aberdeen), Cornwall Council (Cornwall), Guildford Borough Council (Guildford), Lancashire County Council (Lancashire), and Warrington Borough Council (Warrington).

The downgrades reflect the impact of the deterioration in the institutional strength of the UK government on local authorities; namely lack of clarity on long-term funding for the sector, and delayed policy decisions on devolution and social care. The downgrade also reflects Moody's expectation of a weaker economic climate in the UK which worsens local authorities' fiscal outlook by reducing tax revenues, commercial income, and fees received for services while simultaneously increasing demand for, and expenditure on, services, especially for social care and housing and homelessness services.

The Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) for Aberdeen was downgraded to a3 from a2. The BCAs for Cornwall and Guildford were downgraded to a2 from a1. Lancashire's BCA was downgraded to baa1 from a3.

The BCA for Warrington was downgraded by two notches to baa2 from a3. The two-notch BCA downgrade for Warrington reflects the sector-wide drivers above in addition to its high risk appetite, significant exposure to economic and commercial risk through a large investment portfolio and recent sharp increase in debt to very high levels which Moody's also expects to further increase over the next three years to levels close to 500% of operating revenues. This level of debt is atypical for the local authority sector and exposes Warrington to significant risk if its commercial investments are not as successful as expected.

Final ratings incorporate uplift provided by Moody's assessment of a high likelihood of support from the UK government, as per the application of Moody's Joint Default Analysis (JDA).

RATIONALE FOR CHANGING OUTLOOKS TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

The change in outlooks for the five local authorities to stable from negative reflects the stable outlook on the UK sovereign in addition to Moody's view that rated local authorities have sufficient budgetary buffers, in the form of usable reserves and expenditure flexibility, to be able to offset the medium term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Environmental considerations are not material to local authority credit profiles. Social considerations are material to local authority credit profiles and include the risks related to the coronavirus outbreak and the measures put in place to contain it. The most significant financial impact on local authorities will be increased costs of provision of adult and children's social care and housing, and lost revenues from fees, charges and sales, commercial property and council tax and business rates. Governance considerations are also material for local authority credit profiles. Standards of governance are high, with governance of capital finance directed by the sector's Prudential Code, designed to ensure capital plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable.

PUBLICATION OF RATING ACTIONS ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES

The downgrade of the Government of the United Kingdom's sovereign bond rating to Aa3 from Aa2 and change in outlook to stable from negative on 16 October 2020 prompted the publication of this credit rating action on Cornwall Council, Guildford Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Aberdeen City Council and Warrington Borough Council on a date that deviates from the previously scheduled release date in the sovereign release calendar, published on www.moodys.com.

The specific economic indicators, as required by EU regulation, are not available for these entities. The following national economic indicators are relevant to the sovereign rating, which was used as an input to this credit rating action.

Sovereign Issuer: United Kingdom, Government of

GDP per capita (PPP basis, US$): 48,727 (2019 Actual) (also known as Per Capita Income)

Real GDP growth (% change): 1.3% (2019 Actual) (also known as GDP Growth)

Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): 1.3% (2019 Actual)

Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -2.1% (2019 Actual) (also known as Fiscal Balance)

Current Account Balance/GDP: -4.3% (2019 Actual) (also known as External Balance)

External debt/GDP: [not available]

Economic resiliency: a1

Default history: No default events (on bonds or loans) have been recorded since 1983.

SUMMARY OF MINUTES FROM RATING COMMITTEE

On 16 October 2020, a rating committee was called to discuss the rating of the Aberdeen City Council; Cornwall Council; Guildford Borough Council; Lancashire County Council; Warrington Borough Council. The main points raised during the discussion were: The issuers' fiscal or financial strength, including their debt profile, has materially decreased. The systemic risk in which the issuers operate has materially increased.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

An upgrade is unlikely for Cornwall and Guildford because they are rated at the same level as the UK sovereign and lack the fiscal autonomy or strength to warrant a rating above the sovereign. For Aberdeen, Lancashire and Warrington, upward pressure on the ratings could be driven by material reductions in projected debt levels, material improvement in operating performance, reduction in risk levels in capital programmes or material improvements in reserves levels. For all local authorities, we would consider an upgrade if the UK sovereign rating was upgraded given the funding and institutional linkages.

Downward pressure could result from a material increase in debt levels beyond that currently anticipated, an inability to achieve balanced budgets without material depletion of usable reserves, increasing risk exposure or weak performance of commercial investments, or a downgrade of the UK sovereign rating or a weakening of the UK's strong institutional framework for local authorities.

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING RATING OF UK MUNICIPAL BONDS AGENCY FINANCE COMPANY DAC

The downgrade of the rating to A1 from Aa3 and outlook change to stable from negative for the long-term debt rating assigned to the UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC reflects the rating action on Lancashire's rating detailed above as the rating is based solely on the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee provided by Lancashire. As such, any movement in Lancashire's rating will affect the rating on the UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC's rating.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR UK MUNICIPAL BONDS AGENCY FINANCE COMPANY DAC

Moody's considers that ESG considerations for UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC reflect those of its guarantor, Lancashire. Nevertheless, ESG considerations are not material to UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC's rating, which is based on the guarantee.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN FOR UK MUNICIPAL BONDS AGENCY FINANCE COMPANY DAC

The guaranteed senior unsecured debt rating of UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC is linked to that of Lancashire. Any change in the rating of Lancashire would be expected to translate into a rating change on the bonds.

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING RATINGS ON SEVEN UNIVERSITIES

Moody's has downgraded the long-term ratings by one notch and changed the outlooks to stable from negative for seven universities: Cardiff University (Cardiff), De Montfort University (De Montfort), Keele University (Keele), University of Leeds (Leeds), The University of Liverpool (Liverpool), The University of Manchester (Manchester), and University of Southampton (Southampton).

The downgrade reflects Moody's expectation that the combination of a weaker economy, ongoing policy uncertainty and coronavirus effects will negatively impact university income over the medium term. A weaker economic outlook is likely to negatively impact research and teaching funding, donations and investment income. The lack of long-term policy direction over tuition fees and inability to increase fees in line with inflation will continue to inhibit universities' ability to plan and manage costs. Universities' thin margins and limited expenditure flexibility in addition to the income pressures will result in lower profitability. Lastly, the coronavirus outbreak will likely result in lower tuition fee income, especially from international students, and lower campus-based income given social distancing restrictions, further pressuring university budgets. The effects are likely to start being visible in the current financial years and may endure over the next few years.

Moody's has affirmed the BCA for Cardiff reflecting actions taken by the university to improve its operating performance prior to the coronavirus outbreak which strengthen its resilience. This, combined with the university's diverse revenues, strong market position, and relatively low indebtedness result in metrics and credit quality aligned with those of its a2 BCA peers.

The BCAs for Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Southampton were downgraded to a2 from a1. The BCAs for De Montfort and Keele were downgraded to a3 from a2.

Final ratings incorporate uplift provided by Moody's assessment of a high likelihood of support from the UK government, as per the application of Moody's JDA.

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING RATINGS FOR UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE AND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Moody's has downgraded the long-term ratings for University of Cambridge (Cambridge) and University of Oxford (Oxford) to Aa1 from Aaa. The BCAs for Cambridge and Oxford were also downgraded to aa1 from aaa.

The downgrades reflect the downgrade to the UK sovereign rating and Moody's methodological approach to domiciled issuers' ratings, including government-related issuers' ratings, which are generally not rated more than two notches above the sovereign given the multiple channels of shared exposure.

Maintaining the ratings at two notches higher than the sovereign reflects Moody's view that both Cambridge and Oxford have exceptionally strong standalone credit profiles given their extraordinary market positions among the best universities in the world, diverse and global revenues which provide some resilience to a weakening UK economy, and very strong balance sheets with high levels of cash and investments.

Maintaining the ratings at no more than two notches higher than the sovereign reflects Moody's view that although Cambridge and Oxford's credit quality is less vulnerable to adverse domestic dynamics including a weaker UK economy, their credit quality is influenced by the UK government through policy determining tuition fees and affecting immigration, teaching funding, domestic research funding and priorities, and regulation. Their roles as public universities also make them susceptible to public scrutiny on social issues such as widening access and participation to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

RATIONALE FOR CHANGING OUTLOOKS TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE FOR SEVEN UNIVERSITIES

The change in the outlooks to stable from negative for these universities reflects the stable outlook on the sovereign rating in addition to sector-wide supportive trends and challenges. Over the next few years, universities will benefit from strong underlying trends, including a high and growing domestic participation rate and a favourable turn from 2021 in demographics for the university-aged population in the UK. However, credit quality will remain constrained by weak profitability owing to structurally high costs, especially staff costs, and lower income.

RATIONALE FOR CHANGING OUTLOOKS TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE FOR CAMBRIDGE AND OXFORD

The change in the outlooks to stable from negative for Cambridge and Oxford reflects the stable outlook on the sovereign rating. It also reflects Moody's view that the financial strength of these universities and their global appeal will support income and provide resilience against adverse domestic funding or policy changes.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR UNIVERSITIES

Environmental considerations are not material to rated universities' credit profiles. Social risks are material to rated universities' credit profiles, including demographics, socially-driven government policy, changing student preferences, and labour relations. The university-age population in the UK will grow from 2021 driving higher student demand. Universities are susceptible to government policy on tuition fees and immigration which affect student demand and income. Universities are also exposed to labour relations risks including limited expenditure flexibility as a result of its highly skilled, unionised workforce.

The public health and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak have led to higher uncertainty around student enrolment and retention for the current academic year, especially for postgraduate and international students, which may result in lower income, especially for those universities with weaker market positions.

Governance considerations are material to rated universities' credit profiles. UK universities benefit from the regulatory framework governing the sector under the Office for Students in England, which monitors financial viability, and HEFCW in Wales. In addition, effective execution of strategy is assessed as part of the Strategic Positioning factor in the scorecard.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR SEVEN UNIVERSITIES

Upward pressure on the ratings for these universities could arise as a result of an improvement in the creditworthiness of the UK sovereign, material improvements in operating performance including sustained strong revenue growth and improved operating cash flow margins, or a significant improvement in wealth and liquidity.

Downward pressure could arise from a further deterioration of the creditworthiness of the UK sovereign or a dilution of support for the higher education sector, weaker operating performance, material deterioration in market position leading to lower student demand and tuition fee income, or a material increase in debt.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE AND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

A strengthening in the rating of the UK sovereign would exert positive pressure on the ratings for Cambridge and Oxford.

Downward pressure could result from a further deterioration in the creditworthiness of the UK sovereign, a material deterioration in market positions negatively impacting global competitiveness and the ability to attract top students and staff, a significant deterioration in wealth and liquidity, or a material increase in debt.

RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING RATINGS FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

Moody's has affirmed the ratings and outlooks for 39 housing associations and 36 special purpose vehicles (SPVs).

The affirmations reflect Moody's view that housing associations will remain resilient to the main drivers of negative pressures on the UK sovereign rating underpinned by continued high demand for social housing, high operating margins, and strong governance and management with a track record of effectively adjusting to external shocks. While housing associations are likely to face lower revenue from market sales than previously expected and an increase in arrears, the sector benefits from a high degree of expenditure flexibility which enables management to reduce costs and alter development programmes in response to a weaker economic climate to protect financial performance.

The affirmation also reflects the sector's generally strong liquidity position and policies which ensure resilience against medium term income pressures driven by weaker economic conditions such as higher arrears or lower market sales income.

In addition, the affirmation reflects the stable and generally supportive policy environment and Moody's expectation of no significant change to government funding for the sector. Moody's also expects strong oversight of the sector to continue through the regulatory framework which remains robust.

The BCAs for housing associations were also affirmed.

Final ratings incorporate uplift provided by Moody's assessment of a strong likelihood of support from the UK government, as per the application of Moody's JDA.

RATIONALE FOR MAINTAINING STABLE OUTLOOKS FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

The stable outlooks for housing associations and SPVs reflect Moody's expectation that although a weaker economic climate may lead to higher arrears and voids and lower market sales income, the high baseline operating margins and demand for social housing will support continued strong operating cash flows. The stable outlooks also reflect Moody's view that housing associations can and will adapt to a weaker economic environment to protect financial performance. Lastly, it reflects the stable policy environment and supportive regulatory framework.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

Environmental considerations are not material to housing associations' credit profiles. Social risks are material to housing associations' credit profiles. In particular, the sector is exposed to risks stemming from socially-driven policy agendas affecting social rents, benefits and capital grants in addition to the impact of demographic trends on demand which are captured in our assessment of the operating environment. We expect the coronavirus outbreak to cause ongoing operational disruptions for housing associations but do not expect a material credit impact as higher arrears and lower market sales receipts may be offset by cash savings from reduced capital spending on development and repairs. Governance considerations are also material to housing associations' credit profiles and are captured in our assessment of governance and management. In general, housing association governance is strong with multi-year strategies supported by detailed forecasts, conservative liquidity policies, and robust risk management including effective stress testing.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

Upward pressure on housing association ratings could result from a material reduction in debt, a significant improvement in interest cover ratios, or a significant increase in government support for the sector, especially significantly higher levels of capital grant.

Downward pressure on housing association ratings could result from debt growing more quickly than forecasts, weaker liquidity, a weakening in interest cover ratios, or a failure to adapt strategies and risk appetite to mitigate against weaker economic conditions and operating performance. Lower government support for the sector or a dilution of the regulatory framework would also exert downward pressure on the ratings.

RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING RATING AND MAINTAINING OUTLOOK FOR bLEND FUNDING PLC

Moody's has affirmed the ratings and maintained the outlook on bLEND Funding plc, a debt aggregator for the housing association sector. The affirmation reflects Moody's view that the underlying participants in the pool, comprised of UK housing associations, are resilient to the economic and fiscal weakening of the sovereign for the same reasons as highlighted above for the wider housing association sector.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR bLEND FUNDING PLC

The ESG considerations for bLEND are the same as for the wider housing association sector, detailed above.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR bLEND FUNDING PLC

Upward pressure on the ratings would arise from an improvement in the credit quality of one or more of the underlying pool participants or a different pool composition, including the addition or removal of pool participants, and adjustments in the proportion of borrowing between pool participants resulting in a stronger borrowing pool.

Downward pressure on the ratings would arise from an erosion of the credit quality of one or more of the underlying pool participants and/or a different pool composition, including the addition or removal of pool participants, and adjustments in the proportion of borrowing between pool participants resulting in a weaker borrowing pool.

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING RATINGS FOR TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

Moody's has downgraded the long-term ratings for Transport for London (TfL) to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to negative. Today's rating action concludes the rating under review for downgrade initiated on 2 June 2020.

The downgrade to A1 from Aa3 reflects TfL's vulnerability to a weaker economic climate and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which will continue to depress fare revenues and other income over the medium term. The negative impact on TfL's budget has reversed its progress towards operational self-sufficiency, with TfL now reliant on continued support from the UK government.

TfL's short-term issuer and Commercial Paper ratings were affirmed at P-1. The BCA for TfL was also affirmed at a3.

The final rating incorporates uplift provided by Moody's assessment of a very high likelihood of support from the UK government, as per the application of Moody's Joint Default Analysis (JDA).

RATIONALE FOR CHANGING TO A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK TO TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

The negative outlook reflects the significant uncertainty that remains about TfL's ability to adapt to the post-coronavirus environment including a potentially permanent reduction in passenger numbers due to changes in lifestyle and working patterns. It also reflects ongoing uncertainty about whether the UK government will provide sufficient financial support to ensure TfL's viability over the medium to long term. Both these factors will continue to put negative pressure on TfL's credit quality over the medium term until they are resolved.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

Environmental considerations are material to TfL's credit profile. TfL is central to the Mayor of London's ambition to achieve a zero carbon London and improve air quality which will entail significant capital expenditure. Social considerations are also material to TfL's credit profile including socially-driven policy, which can influence passenger fares, and the coronavirus outbreak which Moody's considers a social risk given its health and safety implications. The outbreak and associated economic recession will impact TfL's ridership given its strong correlation with the health of London's economy and population growth. Governance considerations are material to TfL's credit profile. TfL has high standards of financial management and governance.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN FOR TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

An upgrade is unlikely given the negative outlook. The outlook could return to stable if it became increasingly likely that sufficient compensation from the UK government will ensure that TfL can maintain its financial performance over the next few years or if changes to TfL's funding framework support its fiscal sustainability over the longer term.

Downward pressure on the ratings could result from a high likelihood that funding support from the government or TfL's expenditure savings will only partially offset the persistent revenue shortfall in the near and medium term, likely leading to weaker debt metrics, net margin and further erosion of its cash buffer.

RATIONALE FOR DOWNGRADING RATINGS AND CHANGING OUTLOOK TO STABLE FROM NEGATIVE ON PRS FINANCE PLC

Moody's has downgraded PRS Finance plc Guaranteed Senior Secured Bond Programme's ratings by one notch and changed the outlook to stable from negative.

The downgrade of the senior secured MTN programme rating to (P)Aa3 from (P)Aa2 and of the senior secured debt rating to Aa3 from Aa2 and change in the outlook to stable from negative reflect the rating action on the UK sovereign rating, as the rating is based solely on the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee provided by the UK Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. As such, any movement in the UK sovereign rating will affect PRS Finance plc's ratings.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRS FINANCE PLC

Moody's considers that ESG considerations for PRS Finance plc reflect those of its guarantor, the Government of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, ESG considerations are not material to PRS Finance plc's rating, which is based on the guarantee.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN FOR PRS FINANCE PLC

The guaranteed senior debt rating of PRS Finance plc is linked to that of the Government of the United Kingdom. Any change in the UK sovereign rating would translate into a rating change on the bonds.

RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING RATINGS FOR WELLCOME TRUST

Moody's has affirmed the long-term ratings and maintained the stable outlooks for Wellcome Trust Limited (The) (Wellcome) and Wellcome Trust Finance plc reflecting Moody's view that Wellcome is insulated from economic and fiscal pressures facing the UK sovereign.

Wellcome's resilient credit profile is due to a substantial majority of its cash flows being derived from outside the UK (over 80%), its lack of reliance on domestic funding sources including UK government funding and the lack of financial or other ties to the UK government resulting in the organisation's resilience to adverse domestic policy changes. In addition, Wellcome's exceptional liquidity, at around 20 years' worth of operating expenditure, and spending flexibility further support the affirmation of the ratings.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING DOWN FOR WELLCOME

Downward pressure on the rating could result from a significant and sustained deterioration in the value of its investment assets, a significant increase in leverage, or an increase in exposure to the UK sovereign environment through an increase in investment assets domiciled in the UK or allocated in sterling.

ESG CONSIDERATIONS FOR WELLCOME

Environmental considerations are not material to Wellcome's credit profile. Social considerations, except for the coronavirus outbreak, are not material to Wellcome's credit profile. The outbreak is expected to have a material impact on Wellcome's operations given its prominence as a provider and facilitator of funding support for research into treatments and vaccines. The high level of market volatility and potential reductions in valuations for its property assets could have a modest impact on the value of Wellcome's assets, however its exceptionally high liquidity levels and robust risk management approach will mitigate credit impact. Governance considerations are material to Wellcome's credit profile and are reflected in its scores for financial strategy. Moody's considers Wellcome's governance to be strong and well-defined, with robust risk modelling and portfolio allocation strategies which govern its investment decisions.

The principal methodologies used in rating Abri Group Limited, Affinity Sutton Capital Markets plc, Alliance Homes Group, B3 Living Limited, Bromford Housing Group Limited, Circle Anglia Social Housing 2 Plc, Circle Anglia Social Housing Plc, Citizen Housing Group Limited, Citizen Treasury Plc, Clarion Funding plc, Clarion Housing Group Limited, ClwydAlyn Housing Limited, Connexus Housing Limited, Cottsway Housing Association Limited, Flagship Housing Group Limited, GenFinance II Plc, Grand Union Group Funding plc., Grand Union Housing Group, Great Places Housing Group, Hastoe Capital Plc, Hastoe Housing Association, Herefordshire Capital Plc, Hightown Housing Association Limited, Jigsaw Homes Group Limited, L&Q Group, Libra (Longhurst Group) Treasury No 2 plc, Libra (Longhurst Group) Treasury plc, LiveWest Homes Limited, LiveWest Treasury Plc, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, Longhurst Group Ltd, Midland Heart, Midland Heart Capital plc, Moat Homes, Moat Homes Finance Plc, Newlon Housing Trust, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Optivo, Optivo Finance plc, Orbit Capital Plc, Orbit Group Limited, Paragon Asra Housing Ltd, Paragon Treasury Plc, Peabody Capital No 2 plc, Peabody Capital Plc, Peabody Trust, PenArian Housing Finance Plc, Places for People Capital Markets PLC, Places for People Homes Limited, Places for People Treasury Plc, Poplar HARCA, Poplar HARCA Capital Plc, Radian Capital Plc, Radius Housing Association Limited, Riverside Finance Plc, Riverside Group, Saffron Housing Finance Plc, Saffron Housing Trust, Sanctuary Capital Plc, Sanctuary Housing Association, Saxon Weald, Saxon Weald Capital plc, Southern Housing Group Limited, Sovereign Housing Association, Sovereign Housing Capital, PLC, Stonewater Funding plc, Stonewater Limited, The Guinness Partnership Ltd., Together Housing Finance Plc, Together Housing Group, Walsall Housing Group Ltd, WHG Treasury plc, Yarlington Treasury Services PLC, Yorkshire Housing Finance plc, and Yorkshire Housing Limited were European Social Housing Providers published in April 2018 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1113602, and Government-Related Issuers Methodology published in February 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1186207. The principal methodology used in rating Warrington Borough Council, Aberdeen City Council, Cornwall Council, Guildford Borough Council, and Lancashire County Council was Regional and Local Governments published in January 2018 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1091595. The principal methodologies used in rating Cardiff University, De Montfort University, Keele University, The University of Liverpool, The University of Manchester, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, and University of Southampton were Government-Related Issuers Methodology published in February 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1186207 and Higher Education published in May 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBM_1175020. The principal methodologies used in rating Transport for London were Government-Related Issuers Methodology published in February 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1186207 and Mass Transit Enterprises Methodology published in December 2017 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBM_1105431. The principal methodology used in rating PRS Finance plc and UK Municipal Bonds Agency Finance Company DAC was Rating Transactions Based on the Credit Substitution Approach: Letter of Credit-backed, Insured and Guaranteed Debts published in May 2017 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1068154. The principal methodology used in rating Wellcome Trust Finance plc and Wellcome Trust Limited (The) was Nonprofit Organizations (Other Than Healthcare and Higher Education) published in May 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBM_1160889. The principal methodology used in rating bLEND Funding plc was Public Sector Pool Programs and Financings Methodology published in April 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBM_1171420. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

The weighting of all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this credit rating action, if applicable.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The List of Affected Credit Ratings announced here are a mix of solicited and unsolicited credit ratings. Additionally, the List of Affected Credit Ratings includes additional disclosures that vary with regard to some of the ratings. Please click on this link https://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_ARFTL434691 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:

• Rating Solicitation

• Issuer Participation

• Participation: Access to Management

• Participation: Access to Internal Documents

• Disclosure to Rated Entity

• Endorsement

• Lead Analyst

• Releasing Office

• Person Approving the Credit Rating

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Jennifer A. Wong, CFA
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Sub-Sovereign 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

Mauro Crisafulli
Associate Managing Director
Sub-Sovereign 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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