Volkswagen Financial Services Outlook To Stable, 'BBB+' Ratings Affirmed; VW Bank Ratings Affirmed, Outlook Negative

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1 Research Update: Volkswagen Financial Services Outlook To Stable, 'BBB+' Ratings Affirmed; VW Bank Ratings Affirmed, Outlook Negative Primary Credit Analyst: Harm Semder, Frankfurt (49) ; Secondary Contact: Heiko Verhaag, CFA, Frankfurt (49) ; Table Of Contents Overview Rating Action Rationale Outlook Ratings Score Snapshot Related Criteria Ratings List NOVEMBER 6,

2 Research Update: Volkswagen Financial Services Outlook To Stable, 'BBB+' Ratings Affirmed; VW Bank Ratings Overview On Nov. 6, 2017, we revised the outlook on Volkswagen AG (VW AG) to stable from negative and affirmed our 'BBB+' ratings. As a result, we are revising our outlook on Volkswagen Financial Services (VW FS) to stable and affirming the 'BBB+/A-2' ratings. This reflects our view that VW FS is a core subsidiary of VW AG and therefore its outlook and ratings mirror those on its parent. At the same time, we are affirming the 'A-/A-2' ratings on VW Bank GmbH, which became directly 100%-owned by VW AG on Sept. 1, The affirmation reflects our continued assessment of VW Bank as an insulated group subsidiary. The negative outlook on VW Bank reflects a one-in-three risk within the next two years that VW Bank's much-enlarged core businesses hosting VW's European banking activities could attract a higher-than-expected share of greater economic risks outside German markets. Rating Action On Nov. 6, 2017, S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Germany-based Volkswagen Financial Services AG (VW FS) to stable from negative. We affirmed the 'BBB+/A-2' long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on VW FS. At the same time, we raised our ratings on VW FS' senior subordinated debt to 'BBB+' from 'BBB' and reclassified the debt as senior unsecured. We also affirmed the long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on Volkswagen Bank GmbH (VW Bank) at 'A-/A-2'. The outlook remains negative. Finally, we affirmed the 'K-1' Nordic national scale rating on Sweden-based Volkswagen Finans Sverige AB (VWFS AB). Rationale The outlook revision of VW FS follows a similar rating action on its parent, the carmaker Volkswagen AG (VW AG; BBB+/Stable/A-2; see "German Automaker Volkswagen Outlook Revised To Stable From Negative; 'BBB+/A-2' Ratings Affirmed," published Nov. 6, 2017). We view VW FS as a core subsidiary of VW AG, with little likelihood of this status changing, and we consequently equalize the NOVEMBER 6,

3 ratings and its outlook with those on VW AG. Effective September 2017, VW FS transferred its 100% ownership in VW Bank to VW AG. This is part of a strategic reorganization within VW group to consolidate, more efficiently manage, simplify, and better-insulate European banking activities relevant to European Central Bank (ECB) authority under VW Bank. As a result, VW FS' share in European business decreased materially and we estimate that total assets will initially decline year-on-year by 47% to about 70 billion as of Dec. 31, However, we anticipate that VW FS' total assets could substantially increase by up to 50% by This mainly reflects our current base-case expectation that VW's banking operations in the U.K. might no longer be under the supervision of the ECB following Brexit, and could potentially be transferred into VW FS from VW Bank in line with their role within VW AG group. Our rating action on the senior subordinated debt issued by VW FS reflects our reclassification of this debt as senior unsecured. This is because we understand from VWFS that, due to the separation of all ECB-supervised banking business together with VW Bank, VW FS is no longer subject to direct ECB banking regulation and to the German law that, as of Jan. 1, 2017, turned certain long-term senior unsecured bonds into subordinated instruments in a resolution and liquidation scenario (see "Various German Banks' Snr Unsecured Debt Lowered/Affirmed After Notes Review; Off Watch; Four Banks Remain On Watch," published on Feb. 9, 2017). In line with our group methodology and similar peer ratings, we no longer assign a stand-alone credit profile (SACP) to VW FS because, following its reorganization, VW FS is now a pure captive finance and core subsidiary of VW AG. As a result, the ratings on VW FS will move solely in tandem with those on its parent. The previous SACP reflected its ownership of VW Bank, the ratings on which are currently one notch higher than the ratings on VW AG because of VW Bank's partial insulation and higher stand-alone creditworthiness. Our ratings affirmation on VW Bank reflects that we continue to assess VW Bank as insulated, in line with our group rating methodology. This assessment mainly reflects ring-fencing from its regulatory status as a bank and its independent funding prospects from the group. Although we generally view the captive's default risk as indistinguishable from that of its parent, we believe VW Bank's recent reorganization has strengthened the presence of regulatory restrictions regarding liquidity, capital, or funding that could prevent the subsidiary from supporting the group. As such, we believe that it would be able to stand on its own operationally in times of stress. The reorganization has materially increased VW Bank's European banking business. We estimate a total asset increase initially of 42% year-on-year to about 80 billion as of year-end We estimate that total assets could then decrease by up to one-third until 2020, despite VW Bank's accelerated growth campaign, mainly because we currently expect its U.K. banking operations to be transferred to VW FS following the U.K.'s exit from the EU. We continue to assess VW Bank's business position as weak despite its NOVEMBER 6,

4 increased regional diversity in European business. This is because we consider its narrow operations from its core role as VW AG's captive finance company and its dependence on the fortunes of VW AG and the automotive cycles. Considering VW AG's commitment to high capital ratios in its EU banking business, we continue to expect that VW Bank will sustain a very strong capital and earnings position. We project that the bank's risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratio will remain in the range of 18%-20% (before diversification) in the coming years. We view the risk position as a neutral rating factor because we think that VW Bank's domestic and European auto loans and dealer financings are adequately captured in our RAC ratio, the auto loans are highly collateralized, and the bank's loss experience is in line with that of its peers. We believe that VW Bank maintains an average funding profile and adequate liquidity position that strongly benefit from the bank's substantial access to granular and stable customer deposits. This makes VW Bank less dependent on confidence-sensitive wholesale funding markets, in contrast to its captive finance peers. Our affirmation of the 'K-1' Nordic regional scale rating on VWFS AB reflects its established business position as a captive finance company for VW AG and its core group status to VW Bank, its new direct parent following a transfer from VW FS as part of VW's reorganization. Outlook The stable outlook on VW FS mirrors that on its parent, VW AG. A revision of the outlook on VW AG would result in a similar action on VW FS. Our negative outlook on VW Bank incorporates a one-in-three risk within the next two years that VW Bank's much-enlarged core businesses hosting VW's European banking activities could attract a higher share of greater economic risks outside German markets. If average economic risk exposures heightened more than we currently anticipate, we would likely lower the ratings by one notch. We could revise the outlook to stable if we have more confidence that VW Bank's European banking activities and related economic risk remain commensurate with its current rating level, and the bank maintains its very strong capitalization to buffer its niche risks. Ratings Score Snapshot Volkswagen Bank GmbH To From Issuer Credit Rating A-/Negative/A-2 A-/Negative/A-2 NOVEMBER 6,

5 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 Liquidity Average Average and Adequate (0) and Adequate (0) Support 0 0 ALAC Support 0 0 GRE Support 0 0 Group Support 0 0 Sovereign Support 0 0 Additional Factors 0 0 Related Criteria General Criteria: S&P Global Ratings' National And Regional Scale Mapping Tables, Aug. 14, 2017 Criteria - Financial Institutions - General: Risk-Adjusted Capital Framework Methodology, July 20, 2017 General Criteria: Methodology For Linking Long-Term And Short-Term Ratings, April 7, 2017 General Criteria: Guarantee Criteria, Oct. 21, 2016 Criteria - Financial Institutions - Banks: Bank Rating Methodology And Assumptions: Additional Loss-Absorbing Capacity, April 27, 2015 General Criteria: National And Regional Scale Credit Ratings, Sept. 22, 2014 General Criteria: Group Rating Methodology, Nov. 19, 2013 Criteria - Financial Institutions - Banks: Quantitative Metrics For Rating Banks Globally: Methodology And Assumptions, July 17, 2013 Criteria - Financial Institutions - Banks: Banks: Rating Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011 Criteria - Financial Institutions - Banks: Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011 General Criteria: Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 2009 Criteria - Financial Institutions - Banks: Commercial Paper I: Banks, March 23, 2004 Ratings List Ratings Affirmed; CreditWatch/Outlook Action To From Volkswagen Financial Services AG Counterparty Credit Rating BBB+/Stable/A-2 BBB+/Negative/A-2 NOVEMBER 6,

6 Upgraded To From Volkswagen Financial Services AG Senior Subordinated BBB+ BBB Ratings Affirmed Volkswagen Bank GmbH Counterparty Credit Rating A-/Negative/A-2 Senior Subordinated BBB+ Commercial Paper A-2 Volkswagen Finans Sverige AB Counterparty Credit Rating Nordic Regional Scale --/--/K-1 Volkswagen Finans Sverige AB Volkswagen Financial Services AG Skofin s.r.o. Commercial Paper[1] A-2 Volkswagen Bank RUS Senior Unsecured[1] BB+ Volkswagen Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd. Senior Unsecured[1] BBB+ Volkswagen Financial Services Japan Ltd. Volkswagen Financial Services N.V. Volkswagen Leasing GmbH Senior Unsecured[1] BBB+ Commercial Paper[1] A-2 [1]Guaranteed by Volkswagen Financial Services AG Additional Contact: Industrial Ratings Europe; Certain terms used in this report, particularly certain adjectives used to express our view on rating relevant factors, have specific meanings ascribed to them in our criteria, and should therefore be read in conjunction with such criteria. Please see Ratings Criteria at for further information. Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect at All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on the S&P Global Ratings' public website at Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following S&P Global Ratings numbers: NOVEMBER 6,

7 Client Support Europe (44) ; London Press Office (44) ; Paris (33) ; Frankfurt (49) ; Stockholm (46) ; or Moscow 7 (495) NOVEMBER 6,

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