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01 Dec 2008
Moody's will assign backed-Aaa ratings to debt securities covered by the Australian Government's guarantee
Sydney, December 01, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service announced that it will assign backed-Aaa
and backed Prime-1 ratings to eligible debt securities under the
Australian Government's Guarantee Scheme for Large Deposits and
Wholesale Funding, which are issued within the guarantee period.
The backed-Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings reflect the irrevocable
guarantee from the Aaa-rated Australian Government for Eligible
Securities, in accordance with the Government's publicly stated
aims of (i) maintaining public confidence in Eligible Institutions and
foreign Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions that operate in
Australia, and (ii) to maintain the stability of Australian wholesale
The outlook for the backed-Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings
is stable, in line with that of the Australian Government.
Moody's will assign backed-Aaa and backed Prime-1 ratings,
with a stable outlook, only to eligible debt securities of institutions
which do not already carry such ratings for their non-guaranteed
debt obligations. Backed ratings will be assigned to specific securities
once the applicable Eligibility Certificate has been posted to www.guaranteescheme.gov.au.
To reflect the underlying credit profile of guaranteed institutions --
and the exposure of creditors once the guarantee is withdrawn --
Moody's will continue to publish non-backed ratings for all rated
Australian financial institutions.
The new Guarantee Scheme replaced an Interim Government Guarantee on 28
Under the new Guarantee Scheme, the Australian Government undertakes
to pay, after the expiry of the applicable grace period, any
sums due under the terms of an Eligible Security that remain unpaid despite
the Beneficiary having made a claim on the Eligible Institution,
and upon receipt of documentary evidence. An Appropriation Bill
has been passed to provide the Government with unlimited borrowing power
to finance claims payments if necessary, and to ensure that timely
payment of claims can be made.
Moody's regards the new Guarantee Scheme as providing positive support
to the Bank Financial Strength Ratings of Eligible Institutions,
as well as to the ratings of their non-guaranteed debt and non-guaranteed
deposit obligations. The new Guarantee Scheme should reinforce
market confidence in the liquidity of Eligible Institutions -- at
least during the guarantee period.
In addition, the implementation of the new Guarantee Scheme does
not threaten the Aaa rating of the Australian Government. The likelihood
that a situation could unfold where a large-scale activation of
the Guarantee would materially impair the Australian Government's balance
sheet is sufficiently remote as not to weigh on its Aaa rating.
Furthermore, Australia's low debt load provides the Government
with significant financial flexibility to fund guarantee payments,
as discussed in Moody's Special Comment "Moody's Australian
Government Ratings Unaffected by Recent Measures to Support Banks",
published 15 October 2008.
Blanket backed deposit ratings will not be assigned under the new Guarantee
Scheme. Moody's deposit ratings are assigned at an institution
level and address non-guaranteed, uninsured deposit obligations.
Under the new Guarantee Scheme, not all deposits are automatically
covered: deposits over AUD1 million are only guaranteed on a customer
opt-in basis. Therefore, because some deposits will
not be guaranteed, Moody's deposit ratings will remain at
the non-guaranteed rating level.
In contrast, the Australian Government's Interim Guarantee
covered all deposits. Following the introduction of the Interim
Guarantee, Moody's had on 14 October 2008 assigned backed
Prime-1 ratings, with a stable outlook, to the deposits
of three institutions not already so-rated. They were Heritage
Building Society, Newcastle Permanent Building Society and Investec
Bank Australia Limited. (This was the most recent rating action
affecting the Australian bank and building society sectors.)
Now that the Interim Guarantee has been replaced by the new Guarantee
Scheme, and not all deposits are now necessarily guaranteed,
these institution-level backed Prime-1 ratings will be withdrawn.
Moody's notes however that under the new Guarantee Scheme,
Eligible Institutions may, on a case by case basis, offer
specific deposit products which are fully Government-guaranteed
and which do not offer a customer-by-customer opt-in/out
feature. Moody's would consider such products to be government
risk for the duration of the guarantee period, and will consider
whether to assign product-specific backed-ratings if feasible.
There is no change to Moody's other ratings for the three institutions:
Heritage Building Society continues to carry a Bank Financial Strength
Rating (BFSR) of C and non-backed debt and deposit ratings of A3/P-2
with a stable outlook
Newcastle Permanent Building Society continues to carry a BFSR of C+
and non-backed debt and deposit ratings of A2/P-1 with a
Investec Bank (Australia) Limited's continues to carry a BFSR of
C- and non-backed debt and deposit ratings of Baa1/P-2
with a stable outlook
The principal methodologies used in rating the Australian banks and building
societies affected by the Australian Government's Guarantee Scheme
for Large Deposits and Wholesale Funding were "Bank Financial Strength
Ratings: Global Methodology", February 2007, and
"Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank
Ratings: A Refined Methodology", March 2007, which
can be found at www.moodys.com in the Credit Policy &
Methodologies directory, in the Ratings Methodologies subdirectory.
Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process
of rating these institutions can also be found in the Credit Policy &
Details of the Australian Government's Australian Government's
Guarantee Scheme for Large Deposits and Wholesale Funding are available
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Pty Ltd
JOURNALISTS: (612) 9270-8102
SUBSCRIBERS: (612) 9270-8100
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Pty Ltd
JOURNALISTS: (612) 9270-8102
SUBSCRIBERS: (612) 9270-8100
No Related Data.
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