BNZ retains its AA rating with a one notch move from AA to AA- after the S&P Global Rating Methodology Review

Friday 2 December 2011, 4:55PM

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has announced BNZ’s long term credit rating change of one notch from AA to AA- outlook stable and leaves unchanged BNZ’s short term rating of A1+.

BNZ Treasurer Tim Main says, “The one notch reduction in BNZ’s long term rating reflects a change in global rating methodology by Standard & Poor’s (S&P). The rating of AA- continues to reflect BNZ’s strong ability to repay principal and interest in a timely manner.

“BNZ’s short term rating of A1+ is the highest S&P can ascribe to a bank globally and reflects the bank is well capitalised and in a strong position to continue to support customers.

“For BNZ, significant improvements have occurred since 2008 which have seen a strengthening in our overall balance sheet position. A higher proportion of customer deposits are now being raised and term wholesale funding has been lengthened and diversified, with a consequent reduction in short term wholesale funding. These changes have been accelerated under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new liquidity policies, and in particular, under the core funding ratio (CFR) that requires all banks to maintain a minimum level of stable funding to support lending assets.

“BNZ retains an AA- long term credit rating which ensures, subject to market conditions, our good access to offshore funding and a strong capacity to meet our financial commitments.”