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Announcement:

Moody's reviews Santander UK's A1 long term debt and deposit rating

21 Feb 2012

Subordinated debt also placed on review for downgrade. The P-1 short term rating is affirmed

London, 21 February 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed on review for possible downgrade the A1 long term bank deposit and senior debt ratings of Santander UK, as well as the A3 dated subordinated debt rating, the Baa1 junior subordinated debt rating and the Baa1/Baa2 preference share ratings. The P-1 short term rating and the standalone Bank Financial Strength Rating of C-/Baa1 is not affected by this action.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The review of Santander UK's long-term ratings follows the February 15, 2012 announcement that the standalone bank financial strength rating (BFSR) and the Aa3 long-term ratings of its parent (Banco Santander SA) have been placed on review for possible downgrade, along with many other European banks. As the review of Banco Santander SA is not expected to result in a downgrade of more than two notches of its long-term rating (currently Aa3) Moody's does not expect Santander UK to be downgraded by more than one notch and therefore the short-term Prime-1 rating is not affected. The review of Santander UK's ratings is driven by the review and outcome for the ratings of its parent, and will focus on the impact that the potential lower creditworthiness of Banco Santander may have on the current parental support uplift of 2 notches in Santander UK's ratings.

Santander UK's subordinated debt, junior subordinated debt and preference shares have also been placed on review as they are driven by the bank's "adjusted" standalone rating (which includes parental support).

The rating actions on the European banks reflect, to differing degrees, the combined pressures from (i) the adverse and prolonged impact of the euro area crisis, which makes the operating environment very difficult for European banks; (ii) the deteriorating creditworthiness of euro area sovereigns, which led to the adjustment of the ratings for nine European sovereigns on 13 February 2012; and (iii) longer-term, the substantial challenges faced by banks and securities firms with significant capital market activities (for further details please see "Moody's Reviews Ratings for European Banks", published on 15 February 2012).

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

As a result of the review for downgrade an upgrade of the banks senior debt and deposit ratings is unlikely at the current time. A downgrade of Banco Santander is likely to lead to downgrade of Santander UK's senior ratings. With regard to the stand-alone rating of Santander UK positive pressure could come from maintaining the bank's good asset quality even in the face of deteriorating economic conditions, or credible evidence of a more favourable economic environment in the UK both of which could positively affect our credit loss estimates. Also consistent generation of strong new business flows which would help strengthen the bank's franchise as well as sustained improvements in profitability could positively impact the BFSR. Negative pressure on the BFSR would likely stem from (i) a worse than expected deterioration in asset quality, and/or failure to control or maintain the asset quality which could lead to higher potential losses relative to capital, (ii) evidence of growing risks arising from the bank's recent acquisitions and exposures to new markets, (iii) a significant decline in pre-provision income, or higher costs, which would limit the bank's ability to replenish its capital cushion and (iv) deterioration in the bank's funding position.

The methodologies used in these ratings were Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology published in February 2007, Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology published in March 2007, and Moody's Guidelines for Rating Bank Hybrid Securities and Subordinated Debt published in November 2009. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant 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 relevant 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 relevant 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.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entities or their designated agents and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

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Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning the ratings is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

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Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for information on (A) MCO's major shareholders (above 5%) and for (B) further information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities as well as (C) the names of entities that hold ratings from MIS that have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%. A member of the board of directors of this rated entity may also be a member of the board of directors of a shareholder of Moody's Corporation; however, Moody's has not independently verified this matter.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

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.

Marjan Riggi
VP - Senior Credit Officer
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

Johannes Wassenberg
MD - Banking
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

Moody's reviews Santander UK's A1 long term debt and deposit rating
No Related Data.
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