TEXT-S&PBulletin: Cuscal Rtgs Unaffected By Service Disruptions

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:20pm EST

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(The following was released by the rating agency)

MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor's) Dec. 11, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' said today that its ratings and outlook on the finance company Cuscal Ltd. (A+/Stable/A-1) are currently not affected by recent disruptions to the company's payments and processing services. Cuscal provides essential core banking services to a number of credit unions through its payments and processing platform.

We understand that Cuscal has had two notable disruptions in its payments and processing services since migrating to a new payments and processing platform in November. The first instance was a foreseen and minor problem that affected only some of those cardholders whose PINs were longer than four digits prior to their migration to Cuscal. The second instance was an unforeseen problem and one that has affected a small but noteworthy number of consumers who bank with Cuscal's credit union customers; we believe this second incident has since been addressed.

We believe that these problems are within a tolerance level expected by Cuscal and its credit union customers as part of the roll out of its new platform. Consequently, emergence of any further minor issues is unlikely to affect our ratings on Cuscal. Although Cuscal's service contracts with its credit union customers support the company's business stability, any material disturbances--particularly closer to the Christmas period, during which a large proportion of cardholders would be affected--may hurt customer confidence, in our view. This could also affect our assessment of Cuscal's risk-management capabilities given the company's critical services to its credit union customers. In such an event, our ratings on Cuscal may come under negative pressure.

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