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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades VW Financial Services' and VW Bank's senior ratings to A2; ratings remain on review for upgrade

20 Mar 2015

Frankfurt am Main, March 20, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded to A2/Prime-1 from A3/Prime-2 the long and short-term debt ratings of Volkswagen Financial Services AG (VW FS AG) and the debt and deposit ratings of Volkswagen Bank GmbH (VW Bank).The rating action was prompted by an upgrade of the long-term issuer rating of both entities' ultimate parent, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (Volkswagen) to A2 (stable) from A3 (positive). For further details, please refer to the press release "Moody's upgrades Volkswagen's ratings; stable outlook", published 16 March 2015 (https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_320739).

Concurrently, Moody's also raised the adjusted baseline credit assessment (adjusted BCA) of VW Bank to a2 from a3. Following this, Moody's upgraded VW Bank's subordinated debt rating to A3 (stable) from Baa1 (positive).

The long-term ratings of VW FS AG and VW Bank remain on review for upgrade, where they were placed on 17 March 2015 to assess the impact of the introduction of Moody's new banking rating methodology. The review will focus on Moody's Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis, which will incorporate 2014 full-year data, and entail further analysis of the banks' securities for which subordination levels and volume thresholds are likely to lead to some LGF notching benefits. Subsequently, this could result in a further upgrade of both entities' ratings from their current levels. For the short-term ratings of VW FS AG and VW Bank, the upgrade to Prime-1 concludes the rating review.

For a list of all affected ratings, please refer to the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

UPGRADE OF THE LONG-TERM SENIOR AND SUBORDINATED RATINGS

The upgrade to A2 of VW FS AG's and VW Bank's long-term senior unsecured ratings as well as the upgrade to A3 of VW Bank's subordinated debt ratings follows the upgrade of Volkswagen's long-term issuer rating.

VW FS AG benefits from a domination and profit-and-loss transfer agreement with Volkswagen that reflects the entity's core strategic role for Volkswagen. In turn, VW Bank also operates under a profit-and-loss transfer agreement with its direct parent VW FS AG. Because of the strength of the contractual and strategic links between Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, Moody's expects both VW FS AG and VW Bank to benefit from "affiliate backing", the highest degree of affiliate support, which leads to an alignment of VW Bank's a2 adjusted BCA with Volkswagen's A2 long-term issuer rating.

LONG-TERM RATINGS REMAIN UNDER REVIEW FOR UPGRADE

This rating action extends the review for upgrade initiated on 17 March 2015 for VW FS AG's and VW Bank's long-term senior unsecured ratings. This review was prompted by the expected impact on these ratings of the implementation of Moody's new global bank rating methodology. For both entities, the rating impact from the new methodology is positive for their senior debt and deposit ratings. This positive effect stems from the introduction of LGF, which takes into account the loss expectation for the various debt classes resulting from a potential failure of the bank.

FOREIGN-CURRENCY DENOMINATED LONG-TERM BONDS REMAIN UNDER REVIEW FOR UPGRADE

Turkish Lira (TRY) denominated senior unsecured bonds issued by VW FS AG's financing vehicle Volkswagen Financial Services N.V. (VW FS NV) remain on review for upgrade at a level of A3. The bonds are currently rated at the A3 level of the local-currency country ceiling, applicable for the Republic of Turkey (Baa3 negative). During the ongoing review, Moody's will assess the potential for the rating of these financial instruments to exceed the current A3 local-currency country ceiling given the factors that mitigate many of the risks addressed by the ceiling, despite the absence of alternative currency settlement provisions in the bond documentation.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

The upward pressure on the long-term ratings -- as indicated by the review -- is driven by the positive effects from Moody's LGF analysis, which may result in up to two notches of rating uplift.

There is currently limited upward pressure on VW Bank's standalone BCA. The bank's business model displays a number of characteristics commonly associated with BCAs lower than baa3, consistent with the rating levels of a number of non-bank auto finance companies with similar business models. Even if the operating environment improves, the bank's narrow business focus would suggest a BCA no higher than the baa category.

A downward adjustment of VW Bank's standalone BCA could be triggered by one, or a combination of the following factors (1) Moody's view that the current rating levels may not adequately reflect the pressure points, if the operating environment weakens; (2) asset-quality deterioration, especially considering the bank's large exposure to car dealers and the resulting burden that this may exert on both profitability and capitalisation; and (3) the possibility of refinancing challenges in the context of reduced availability of wholesale-market funding in an adverse scenario.

VW Bank's and VW FS AG's long-term ratings could be downgraded if VW Group's long-term ratings come under pressure, or if Moody's re-assesses its parental support assumptions.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

The following ratings of VW FS AG were upgraded:

- Senior Unsecured ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Commercial Paper to Prime-1 from Prime-2;

- adjusted baseline credit assessment to a2 from a3

The following ratings and rating inputs of VW Bank were upgraded:

- Senior Debt and Deposit ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Short-Term Deposit ratings to Prime-1 from Prime-2

- Other Short-Term ratings to (P) Prime-1 from (P) Prime-2

- Commercial Paper to Prime-1 from Prime-2

- Subordinate Debt ratings to A3 from Baa1, outlook changed to stable from positive

- adjusted baseline credit assessment to a2 from a3

The following rating input of VW Bank remains unaffected:

- baseline credit assessment of baa2

The following ratings of VW Leasing GmbH were upgraded:

- Backed Senior Unsecured ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Backed Other Short-Term ratings to (P) Prime-1 from (P) Prime-2

The following ratings of VW Financial Services Australia Ltd were upgraded:

- Backed Senior Unsecured ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Backed Other Short-Term ratings to (P) Prime-1 from (P) Prime-2

The following ratings of VW Financial Services Japan Ltd. were upgraded:

- Backed Senior Unsecured ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Backed Other Short-Term ratings to (P) Prime-1 from (P) Prime-2

- Backed Commercial Paper to Prime-1 from Prime-2

The following ratings of VW Financial Services N.V. were upgraded:

- Backed Senior Unsecured ratings to A2 from A3; remain on review for upgrade

- Backed Commercial Paper to Prime-1 from Prime-2

The following ratings of VW Financial Services N.V. remain on review:

- ISINs XS0998177710, XS1072481374 and XS1107805670, representing Senior Unsecured bonds denominated in Turkish Lira (TRY) and rated A3, on review for upgrade

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.

Bernhard Held
Asst Vice President - Analyst
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 upgrades VW Financial Services' and VW Bank's senior ratings to A2; ratings remain on review for upgrade
No Related Data.
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