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Fitch upgrades Virgin Money Holdings' support rating

Fitch Ratings on March 15 upgraded Virgin Money Holdings (UK) PLC's support rating to 2 from 5, following the completion of the bank's acquisition by CYBG PLC in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The rating agency maintained Virgin Money's BBB+ long-term issuer default rating on Rating Watch Negative, where it was placed March 1.

At the same time time, Fitch affirmed the bank's F2 short-term issuer default rating, "bbb+" viability rating and No Floor support rating floor, and subsequently withdrew the viability rating and the support rating floor.

The agency said it has revised its approach to assessing potential support for Virgin Money from CYBG, focusing now on CYBG's ability to offer support for senior creditors on Virgin Money's stand-alone balance sheet rather than the consolidated balance sheet.

The withdrawal of support rating floor reflects Fitch's view that the bank will highly likely receive support from its new parent, the agency said, adding that it withdrew the viability rating because it is no longer relevant to coverage.