DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS Morningstar) revised its trend on Intesa Sanpaolo SpA’s (ISP or the Bank) Long-Term and Short-Term Issuer ratings to Stable from Negative. Concurrently, the Bank’s Long-Term and Short-Term Issuer ratings were confirmed at BBB (high)/R-1 (low), respectively. The Intrinsic Assessment (IA) of the Bank is maintained at BBB (high) and the Support Assessment at SA3. A full list of rating actions is included at the end of this press release.
KEY RATING CONSIDERATIONS
The trend change to Stable from Negative follows DBRS Morningstar’s rating action on the Republic of Italy. On October 29, 2021, DBRS Morningstar confirmed the Republic of Italy’s Issuer Ratings at BBB (high)/R-1 (low) and revised the trend to Stable from Negative (see “DBRS Morningstar Revises Italy’s Trend to Stable, Confirms BBB (high) Rating”).
ISP’s Long-Term Senior Debt rating and its Deposit ratings are both positioned in line with the sovereign rating of Italy. While we continue to recognise the strengths of ISP’s business model, its leading market positions and solid capital levels, ISP’s ratings are highly correlated with any changes made to the sovereign rating, given its high exposure to Italian sovereign bonds and concentration in the domestic banking market. The Stable trend is in line with the trend on DBRS Morningstar’s Italian sovereign rating.
An upgrade would likely be driven by an upgrade of Italy’s sovereign rating, assuming the Bank maintains its current fundamentals including adequate profitability, its improved asset quality and solid capital position.
A downgrade would result from a downgrade of Italy’s sovereign rating or a material deterioration in the Bank’s risk profile and capital position.
As Italy’s largest provider of financial services to businesses and individuals, Intesa maintains a solid competitive position underpinned by its large domestic franchise, well diversified business model and solid reputation. Revenue diversification towards fee-driven activities, such as asset management, corporate and investment banking (CIB) and insurance, as well as strong cost discipline have been key drivers of the Bank’s resilient pre-provision income, particularly during this period of very low interest rates. The risks for the Bank’s profitability and asset quality stemming from the pandemic proved lower than previously envisaged and remained well managed at this point in time, benefiting from the gradual recovery in the Italian economy.
As of end-September 2021 the Bank has continued to weather the pandemic well, with its stock of gross NPLs reducing by 12.6% to around EUR 18.3 billion compared to end-2020. As a result, gross and net NPL ratios were 3.8% and 2% respectively at end-September 2021, down from 4.4% and 2.3% at end-2020. Profitability has remained solid, with net attributable income of around EUR 4 billion in 9M 2021, up 29% Year-on-Year (YoY) when excluding the accounting effects from the acquisition of UBI Banca in Q3 2020. The Bank’s liquidity and capital positions remained robust as of end-September 2021, with around EUR 181 billion of available unencumbered liquid assets and around 650 bps of buffer over the SREP minimum requirement for CET1 ratio, based on a pro-forma fully loaded CET1 ratio of 15.1%.
Franchise Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Strong/Good
Earnings Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good/Moderate
Risk Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good/Moderate
Funding and Liquidity Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good/Moderate
Capitalisation Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good/Moderate
Further details on the Scorecard Indicators and Building Block Assessments can be found at https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/387545.
A description of how DBRS Morningstar considers ESG factors within the DBRS Morningstar analytical framework can be found in the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk Factors in Credit Ratings at https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/373262.
All figures are in EUR unless otherwise noted.
The principal methodology is the Global Methodology for Rating Banks and Banking Organisations (19 July 2021) https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/381742/global-methodology-for-rating-banks-and-banking-organisations and the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Guarantees and Other Forms of Support (31 May 2021) https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/379424/dbrs-morningstar-criteria-guarantees-and-other-forms-of-support.
Other applicable methodologies include the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk Factors in Credit Ratings (3 February 2021) https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/373262/dbrs-morningstar-criteria-approach-to-environmental-social-and-governance-risk-factors-in-credit-ratings.
The sources of information used for this rating include Intesa Sanpaolo 9M 2021 Results Press Release, Intesa Sanpaolo 9M 2021 Results Presentation, Intesa Sanpaolo Annual Reports 2017-2020, Intesa Sanpaolo H1 2021 Non-Financial Statement, and S&P Global Market Intelligence. DBRS Morningstar considers the information available to it for the purposes of providing this rating to be of satisfactory quality.
DBRS Morningstar does not audit the information it receives in connection with the rating process, and it does not and cannot independently verify that information in every instance.
Generally, the conditions that lead to the assignment of a Negative or Positive trend are resolved within a 12-month period. DBRS Morningstar's outlooks and ratings are under regular surveillance.
For further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in a central repository, see: http://cerep.esma.europa.eu/cerep-web/statistics/defaults.xhtml. DBRS Morningstar understands further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates may be published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on its webpage: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/credit-rating-agencies.
The sensitivity analysis of the relevant key rating assumptions can be found at: https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/387547.
This rating is endorsed by DBRS Ratings Limited for use in the United Kingdom.
Lead Analyst: Nicola De Caro, Senior Vice President – Global FIG
Rating Committee Chair: Ross Abercromby, Managing Director - Global FIG
Initial Rating Date: September 19, 2013
Last Rating Date: June 11, 2021
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