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Fitch affirms national ratings of Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia

Fitch Ratings on April 11 said it affirmed long- andshort-term national ratings of Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia SA at AAA(col) andF1+(col), respectively.

Fitch maintained the stable outlook on the long-term rating.

The ratings reflect the support the bank will get from itsparent, Banco SantanderSA, should it be necessary. For Fitch, the Colombian operation ofBanco Santander is strategically important for the consolidation of theSantander group's franchise in Latin America. Aside from capital backing,benefits that the Colombian bank receives as part of the group includetechnological synergies, operatives, risk control and best practices.

The unit's business model is distinguished by its low riskphilosophy and the pursuit of operational efficiency, maximizing economies ofscale by Santander group membership, Fitch said. One of the most importantstrengths of the bank in terms of risk management is the synergies achieved bythe group and the resulting transfer of best practices, the agency noted.Furthermore, Fitch said the bank has a healthy and sufficient level of capitalto sustain growth.