Moody's on Jan. 30 affirmed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Standard Bank Plc's Baa3 long-term local- and foreign-currency issuer and bank deposit ratings and revised the outlook on both ratings to stable from negative.
The rating agency also assigned the bank a "b1" baseline credit assessment, a "baa3" adjusted baseline credit assessment and Baa2(cr)/Prime-2(cr) long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments. The bank's short-term local- and foreign-currency deposit ratings were affirmed at Prime-3.
The ratings actions follow a change in the methodology used to assess ICBC Standard Bank, reflecting the U.K.'s "very strong" macro profile, the bank's financial profile and qualitative factors, Moody's advanced loss-given failure analysis and a low probability of government support for the bank.
The bank's baseline credit assessment incorporates relative strength of the global markets business in several capital markets products, adequate capital position and strong liquidity profile.
On the other hand, the BCA is constrained by weak earnings performance for the global markets business and uncertainty around the execution of the business plan, which encompasses increasing trade volumes and an expanded client base due to a new ownership structure without a planned increase in risk appetite.
Additional constraints on the BCA come from the bank's limited business diversification.
The adjusted BCA reflects a high probability of support coming from the bank's major shareholder, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.
The stable outlook on ICBC Standard Bank, on one end, reflects the negative outlook on Industrial & Commercial Bank of China's BCA and, on the other, the expected ICBC Standard Bank's liability structure, which will likely involve an increase in its deposit base, providing additional protection to creditors in case of default.