NA : Trend Upgraded to Positive by DBRS

DBRS has announced that it:

changed the trend on all ratings of National Bank of Canada (National or the Bank) and its related entities to Positive from Stable, as well as confirmed all ratings, including the Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Rating at AA (low) and Short-Term Issuer Rating at R-1 (middle). National’s Long-Term Issuer Rating is composed of an Intrinsic Assessment of A (high) and a Support Assessment of SA2, reflecting the expectation of timely systemic support from the Government of Canada (rated AAA with a Stable trend by DBRS). The SA2 designation results in a one-notch uplift to the Long-Term Issuer Rating. Under the Canadian Bank Recapitalization Regime, DBRS expects to eventually remove the uplift from systemic support once the Bank has issued a sufficient level of bail-inable senior debt, which would provide an adequate buffer for non-bail-inable obligations and is expected to offset the removal of systemic support.

The Positive trend and confirmation of the ratings recognize National’s dominance in its home province, the Province of Québec (Québec; rated A (high) with a Positive trend by DBRS), which continues to experience strong economic growth, in addition to the successful expansion of the Bank’s footprint in targeted markets across the rest of Canada, especially in Wealth Management (WM) and Financial Markets (FM). Furthermore, the Bank benefits from strong earnings, to which Personal and Commercial (P&C) and WM are now larger contributors, while transformation efforts in its P&C business and growth of its WM business have driven growth in client deposit capture.

The ratings also consider the longevity of the current credit cycle and the potential negative impacts on the Québec economy that might arise due to escalations in trade disputes between Canada, the United States and China. Lastly, DBRS notes that National’s FM business segment is an important contributor to the Bank’s franchise. Although the majority of transactions are client driven, which DBRS views positively, the segment’s activities do expose the Bank to increased capital markets risk from significant market downturns or other adverse events.

Affected issues are: NA.PR.A, NA.PR.C, NA.PR.E, NA.PR.G, NA.PR.S, NA.PR.W and NA.PR.X.

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