Volkswagen Bank Ratings Lowered To 'A-/A-2'; Outlook Negative

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1 Research Update: Volkswagen Bank Ratings Lowered To 'A-/A-2'; Outlook Negative Primary Credit Analyst: Salla von Steinaecker, Frankfurt (49) ; Secondary Contact: Bernd Ackermann, Frankfurt (49) ; Table Of Contents Overview Rating Action Rationale Outlook Ratings Score Snapshot Related Criteria And Research Ratings List OCTOBER 12,

2 Research Update: Volkswagen Bank Ratings Lowered To 'A-/A-2'; Outlook Negative Overview On Oct. 12, 2015, we lowered our ratings on Volkswagen AG (VW AG) to 'A-/A-2' from 'A/A-1'. We consider VW Bank core to VW AG's strategy but our ratings on VW Bank do not receive any uplift from those on the parent, according to our criteria. We are lowering the ratings on VW Bank to 'A-/A-2' from 'A/A-1' and removing them from CreditWatch negative. The negative outlook reflects potential risks to VW Bank's financial profile resulting from adverse developments at the parent company VW AG. Rating Action On Oct. 12, 2015, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long- and short-term ratings on Germany-based Volkswagen Bank GmbH to 'A-/A-2' from 'A/A-1'. The outlook is negative. We removed the ratings from CreditWatch negative, where we had placed them on Sept. 24, Rationale The downgrade follows a similar rating action on the parent company Volkswagen AG (VW AG; A-/Watch Neg/A-2). We consider VW Bank a core subsidiary of VW AG. However, as VW Bank's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) is already at the same level as the rating on the parent, this does not translate into additional support notches for VW Bank. We consider that VW Bank's 'a-' SACP is underpinned by very strong capitalization and a sound funding profile. As a monoline auto finance provider, VW Bank's business position is concentrated, in our view, and it remains reliant on its parent in terms of unit sales and brand recognition. The current events at VW Group could affect the group's car sales in Europe and therefore affect VW Bank's business prospects and profitability. However, we consider that the bank holds a substantial capital buffer to withstand slower growth and potentially increased risk and refinancing costs. Notwithstanding the above, we continue to forecast that VW Bank will maintain OCTOBER 12,

3 very strong capitalization by our metrics. We believe that VW Bank's risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratio, our measure of capitalization, will remain above our 15% threshold in the next months compared with 18.4% as of year-end We expect VW Bank will maintain decent asset quality. We believe that the bank's coverage of nonperforming loans is above that of other European auto captive finance companies and the bank additionally holds a substantial risk buffer for unexpected losses in peripheral European countries. We anticipate the bank's cost of risk will remain stable at around basis points in At VW Bank, there is only a small portion of leasing business, mainly in the French and Italian markets. The risks related to decreasing residual values would in our view have a minor impact on the bank's financial profile. VW Bank's sound funding profile benefits from an elevated level of customer deposits. These stood at 25.1 billion or 65% of the total funding base as of June 30, 2015, and we assume they will stay at this level. While we consider direct bank customer deposits to be more price-sensitive and less sticky than those of large retail networks, we observe that VW Bank's deposit base has been stable over the past years despite downward adjustments in interest rates paid to customers. Furthermore, we understand that the majority of the customer deposits are protected under the German deposit insurance scheme, and as such we anticipate the deposit base will remain less volatile. We therefore expect VW Bank will maintain its sound funding and liquidity metrics, reflected in a Standard & Poor's stable funding ratio of close to 100% and liquidity ratio (broad liquid assets to short-term wholesale funding) of 1.1x as of June 30, In line with our expectation that VW Bank will remain core to the group's strategy, this supports our "average" funding and "adequate" liquidity assessment on VW Bank. Our ratings on VW Bank are based on the bank's 'a-' anchor, its "weak" business position, "very strong" capital and earnings, "adequate" risk position, "average" funding, and "adequate" liquidity, as our criteria define these terms. The SACP is 'a-'. The ratings on VW Bank no longer include any additional parental support because the 'a-' SACP is already at the level of the parent rating. Should VW Bank's SACP fall below the parent rating, we could reapply additional notches of support to equalize the rating with that on VW AG, owing to VW Bank's core group status. On the other hand, a negative rating action on VW AG would not automatically lead to a downgrade of VW Bank. The rating on the bank could potentially diverge positively from that on VW AG if the bank's SACP was higher than the group credit profile. This is because we assess it as "insulated" in line with our group rating methodology, reflecting VW Bank's regulatory status as a bank and its independent funding prospects from the group. Although we in general view the captive's default risk as indistinguishable from that of its parent, the presence of any regulatory restrictions regarding liquidity, capital, or OCTOBER 12,

4 funding could prevent the subsidiary from supporting the group and, as such, we could rate the bank above the parent. Although we consider the possibility as extremely remote, we could call into question our view of VW Bank as a "core" entity within the VW group if we saw weaker commitment from VW AG to support its subsidiaries. This could happen if VW AG were to relinquish its majority ownership in VW Bank or if the captive-finance operations were to cease to be pivotal to the VW group's worldwide strategy. Outlook The negative outlook on VW Bank reflects potential risks to the bank's financial and funding profile arising from the events at the parent company VW AG. While we consider the bank's financial profile to be stable, its business prospects are reliant on the unit sales and reputation of the wider group that, over time, could potentially weaken its SACP. Given that VW Bank is a regulated entity, a negative rating action on VW AG would not automatically lead to a downgrade of VW Bank. There is also potential for VW Bank to have a higher rating than the parent given that we consider it an "insulated" subsidiary protected by regulatory restrictions and able to stand on its own operationally in times of stress. We could revise the outlook to stable if we observed that VW Bank's operations and financial profile were not negatively affected by the events at parent group, and if the bank is able to maintain its granular and stable customer deposit base. Ratings Score Snapshot Volkswagen Bank GmbH To From Issuer Credit Rating A-/Negative/A-2 A/Watch Neg/A-1 SACP a- a- Anchor a- a- Business Position Weak (-2) Weak (-2) Capital and Earnings Very Strong (+2) Very Strong (+2) Risk Position Adequate (0) Adequate (0) Funding and Average (0) and Average (0) and Liquidity Adequate (0) Adequate (0) Support 0 +1 GRE Support 0 0 OCTOBER 12,

5 Group Support 0 +1 Sovereign Support 0 0 Additional Factors 0 0 Related Criteria And Research Related Criteria Group Rating Methodology - November 19, 2013 Banks: Rating Methodology And Assumptions - November 09, 2011 Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Methodology And Assumptions - November 09, 2011 Bank Capital Methodology And Assumptions - December 06, 2010 Methodology For Mapping Short- And Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings For Banks - May 04, 2010 Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks - September 14, 2009 Related Research German Automaker Volkswagen Ratings Lowered To 'A-/A-2' On Governance; L-T Ratings Remain On Watch Neg On Ongoing Risks, Oct. 12, 2015 Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Update, October, Oct. 7, 2015 Germany-Based Automaker Volkswagen Placed On CreditWatch Negative On 6.5 Billion Charge For Global Recall, Sept. 24, 2015 Volkswagen Bank GmbH, July 24, 2015 Volkswagen Financial Services AG, July 24, 2015 Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Germany, July 23, 2015 Ratings List Downgraded; CreditWatch/Outlook Action To From Volkswagen Bank GmbH Counterparty Credit Rating A-/Negative/A-2 A/Watch Neg/A-1 Senior Unsecured A- A/Watch Neg Commercial Paper A-2 A-1/Watch Neg Additional Contact: Financial Institutions Ratings Europe; Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect at and at spcapitaliq.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following Standard & Poor's numbers: Client Support Europe (44) ; London Press Office (44) ; Paris (33) ; Frankfurt (49) ; Stockholm OCTOBER 12,

6 (46) ; or Moscow 7 (495) OCTOBER 12,

7 Copyright 2015 Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial. All rights reserved. No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P). The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. S&P and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents (collectively S&P Parties) do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content. S&P Parties are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for the results obtained from the use of the Content, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an "as is" basis. S&P PARTIES DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT'S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Credit-related and other analyses, including ratings, and statements in the Content are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact. S&P's opinions, analyses, and rating acknowledgment decisions (described below) are not recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. S&P assumes no obligation to update the Content following publication in any form or format. The Content should not be relied on and is not a substitute for the skill, judgment and experience of the user, its management, employees, advisors and/or clients when making investment and other business decisions. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. To the extent that regulatory authorities allow a rating agency to acknowledge in one jurisdiction a rating issued in another jurisdiction for certain regulatory purposes, S&P reserves the right to assign, withdraw, or suspend such acknowledgement at any time and in its sole discretion. S&P Parties disclaim any duty whatsoever arising out of the assignment, withdrawal, or suspension of an acknowledgment as well as any liability for any damage alleged to have been suffered on account thereof. S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain nonpublic information received in connection with each analytical process. S&P may receive compensation for its ratings and certain analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge), and and (subscription) and (subscription) and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at OCTOBER 12,

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