July 22, 2014 / 2:51 PM / 3 years ago

Fitch Assigns 2 German Savings Banks 'A+' IDRs; Stable Outlooks

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency) LONDON, July 22 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Hamburger Sparkasse AG (Haspa) and Sparkasse Vogtland (Vogtland) Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of 'A+' with Stable Outlooks and Short-term IDRs of 'F1+'. This adds to the 360 member banks of Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (Sparkassen; A+/Stable/F1+) that are already rated by Fitch (see 'Fitch Affirms Sparkassen and S-Verbund HT at 'A+'; Outlook Stable' dated 28 January 2014 at www.fitchratings.com). KEY RATING DRIVERS - IDRs Haspa's and Vogtland's IDRs reflect their being member banks of Sparkassen (for more details on the rating drivers and sensitivities for Sparkassen see the rating action commentary referenced above). As a mutual banking group, Fitch assigns group ratings to Sparkassen in accordance with its "Banking Structures Backed by Mutual Support Mechanisms" criteria. While Sparkassen is generally a less cohesive group than some of its peers, notably due to the absence of consolidated accounts and the limited integration of some of its members, Sparkassen's support track record is extensive and strong. As a result, Sparkassen meets all of Fitch's requirements for assigning group ratings, notably at least annual accounts, a common strategy, a risk management system with a degree of cohesion, supervision by the local regulator as single "risk" unit and the existence of a mutual support mechanism. In line with these criteria, Viability Ratings are assigned only to the groups but not the individual members of the group. Therefore, we have not assigned Viability Ratings to Haspa and Vogtland. Sparkassen's group ratings apply only to the savings banks and not to other entities of the public banking sector. RATING SENSITIVITIES - IDRs Haspa and Vogtland's IDRs are identical to those of Sparkassen and therefore sensitive to any changes in Sparkassen's ratings. With an end-2013 balance sheet of around EUR40.5bn and EUR30bn in loans and EUR29bn in deposits, Haspa is Germany's largest savings bank. However, due to the size and granularity of Sparkassen, Haspa only accounts for a fraction of its total balance sheet. With assets of EUR3.1bn at end-2013, Vogtland is a medium-sized savings bank in Saxony and a member of the East German Savings Banks Association. Both banks have leading market shares in their respective regions. With leading nationwide franchises in retail and small business banking, Sparkassen is an integral part of both the German banking sector and the SFG, an unconsolidated group of 600 institutions with over EUR2.4trn of aggregate balance sheet assets (excluding leasing and insurance subsidiaries), around 50m customers and around 350,000 employees at end-2013. Contact: Primary Analyst Christian Kuendig Senior Director +44 20 3530 1399 Fitch Ratings Limited 30 North Colonnade London E14 5GN Secondary Analyst Michael Dawson-Kropf Senior Director +49 69 768076 113 Committee Chairperson Alain Branchey Senior Director +33 1 44 29 91 41 Media Relations: Elaine Bailey, London, Tel: +44 203 530 1153, Email: elaine.bailey@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com Applicable criteria 'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria', dated 31 January 2014, and 'Banking Structures Backed by Mutual Support Mechanisms', dated 18 December 2013 are available at www.fitchratings.com. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria here Banking Structures Backed by Mutual Support Mechanisms here Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (Sparkassen) here Additional Disclosure Solicitation Status here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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