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Fitch downgrades International Personal Finance

Fitch Ratings on June 8 downgraded International Personal Finance Plc's long-term issuer default rating and senior debt ratings to BB from BB+ and removed the ratings from Rating Watch Negative.

The outlook on the long-term issuer default rating is negative. The rating agency also affirmed the company's short-term issuer default rating at B.

The downgrade reflects Fitch's view that IPF's ability to maintain stability of its earnings has lessened, owing to added pressure from regulators on its business model and inconsistent performance in some of its home-collected credit markets.

Fitch noted that it placed the ratings on Rating Watch Negative in December 2016 after the Polish Ministry of Justice initiated a 14-day consultation period for a draft bill restraining non-interest costs chargeable for unsecured consumer loans, after which progress on a decision has stalled. The agency said that the law, if enacted, may have a material impact on IPF's business.