Current Report No. 7/2011

5 Apr, 2011

Change of Fitch rating

Bank Zachodni WBK S.A. hereby informs on the rating change.


Fitch Ratings-London/Warsaw-05 April 2011: Fitch Ratings has upgraded Poland-based Bank Zachodni WBK S.A.'s (BZ WBK) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'A+' from 'BBB+'.

Fitch has simultaneously removed the rating from Rating Watch Positive and assigned a Stable Outlook. A full list of rating actions is provided at the end of this release.
The upgrade reflects the potential support the bank could receive if needed from its majority shareholder, Banco Santander SA (Santander; 'AA'/Stable/'F1+') following the completion on April 1 2011 of the tender offer, in which Santander acquired a 95.67% stake in BZ WBK.
Fitch's view of potential support takes into account Santander's ability to provide support, as reflected in its own ratings, and also the fact that following the BZWBK acquisition, Santander's banking operations in Poland have gained a critical mass and become strategically important. The ratings also reflect the early stage of integration of BZ WBK into Santander, and potential Polish country risks, given the sovereign foreign currency Long-term IDR of 'A-'/Stable.

The rating actions are as follows:

  • Long-term foreign currency IDR: upgraded to 'A+' from 'BBB+'; off RWP; Outlook Stable
  • Short-term foreign currency IDR: upgraded to 'F1' from 'F2'; off RWP
  • Support Rating: upgraded to '1' from '3'; off RWP
  • Individual Rating: not affected
  • Support Rating Floor: affirmed at 'BB' and withdrawn

Legal basis:

Par 5 cluase 1 point 26 of the Finance Minister’s of 19 February 2009 on current and periodic reports published by the issuers of securities and the rules of equal treatment of the information required by the laws of non-member states.

Santander Bank Polska S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw, al. Jana Pawła II 17, 00-854 Warszawa, registered by the District Court for the capital city of Warsaw, 12th Commercial Division, set up under regulation of the Council of Ministers of 11 April 1988 on setting up Bank Zachodni in Wrocław (Journal of Laws of 1 July 1988, No. 21, item 142), registered under KRS number 0000008723, REGON 930041341, NIP 896 000 56 73, share capital of PLN 1,020,883,050 paid-up in full. Helpline: 1 9999 – fee as per the operator’s tariff.

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