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Fitch Rates Westpac's Basel III Sub-Debt Issue 'A+'
March 13, 2014 / 4:41 AM / in 3 years

Fitch Rates Westpac's Basel III Sub-Debt Issue 'A+'

4 Min Read

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) SYDNEY, March 12 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned a rating of 'A+' to Westpac Banking Corporation's (Westpac, AA-/Stable) Basel-III compliant Tier 2 instrument, which will be issued on 14 March 2014. The direct, unsecured and subordinated obligations will be issued under Westpac's unlimited domestic Debt Issuance Programme, and sized at AUD1bln. The notes can be called after five years subject to regulatory approval by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). Final maturity is 14 March 2024. The notes include a non-viability clause and will qualify as regulatory Tier 2 capital for the bank. KEY RATING DRIVERS & RATING SENSITIVITIES Westpac's Tier 2 instrument is classified as subordinated debt and is rated one notch below the bank's Viability Rating (VR) of 'aa-' to reflect its below-average recovery prospects compared to senior unsecured instruments. The notes will convert to equity in part or full should APRA consider this step necessary to maintain the bank's viability (that is, at the point of non-viability). Should conversion not occur, the notes will be written down in part or in full. The agency believes no additional notching from the VR for non-performance is required to capture the point of non-viability as it is broadly the same as that expressed in the VR. Under Fitch's methodology, the instrument does not qualify for any equity credit. Westpac's subordinated debt ratings are broadly sensitive to the same considerations that might affect Westpac's VR (see Rating Action Commentary dated 23 October 2013). Contacts: Primary Analyst Andrea Jaehne Director +61 2 8256 0343 Fitch Australia Pty. Ltd., Level 15, 77 King Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Tim Roche Senior Director +61 2 8256 0310 Committee Chairperson Mark Young Managing Director +65 6796 7229 Applicable criteria, "Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria", dated 31 January 2014 and "Assessing and Rating Bank Subordinated and Hybrid Securities", dated 31 January 2014 are available at www.fitchratings.com. Media Relations: Iselle Gonzalez, Sydney, Tel: +61 2 8256 0326, Email: iselle.gonzalez@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria here Assessing and Rating Bank Subordinated and Hybrid Securities Criteria 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 FREE WEB SITE AT 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. Fitch Australia Pty Ltd holds an Australian financial services licence (AFS licence no. 337123) which authorises it to provide credit ratings to wholesale clients only. Credit ratings information published by Fitch is not intended to be used by persons who are retail clients within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001.

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