Press Release

DBRS Morningstar Assigns “A” Rating to Series 8 of Unione di Banche Italiane S.p.A. Covered Bonds (OBG - Mortgages - Programme 2)

Covered Bonds
December 05, 2019

DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS Morningstar) assigned an “A” rating to the Series 8 (ISIN IT0005393944) Obbligazioni Bancarie Garantite (OBG; the Italian legislative covered bonds) issued under the Unione di Banche Italiane S.p.A. Covered Bonds Programme 2 (UBI OBG2 or the Programme).

As of today, and including the newly issued series, there were six series of OBG under the Programme, totalling an outstanding nominal amount of EUR 2.15 billion. The series are guaranteed by UBI Finance CB2 S.r.l. All covered bonds issued under the Programme rank pari passu with each other and are currently rated “A” by DBRS Morningstar.

The ratings are based on the following analytical considerations:
-- A Covered Bonds Attachment Point (CBAP) of A (low), which is the Long-Term Critical Obligations Rating of Unione di Banche Italiane S.p.A. (UBI). UBI is the Issuer and Reference Entity for the Programme. DBRS Morningstar classifies Italy as a jurisdiction in which covered bonds are a particularly important funding instrument and deems the cover pool (CP) strategic for the core activity of the Issuer.
-- A Legal and Structuring Framework (LSF) Assessment of “Average” associated with the Programme.
-- An LSF-Implied Likelihood (LSF-L) floored at A (low).
-- A one-notch uplift for good recovery prospects.
--No committed overcollateralisation (OC). The minimum-observed OC level during the past 12 months is 28.8%. However, DBRS Morningstar gives credit to a limited level of OC equal to 2%, which is considered to be sustainable based on information from the Issuer and expected market developments.

The transaction was analysed with the DBRS Morningstar European Covered Bond Cash Flow tool. The main assumptions focused on the timing of defaults and recoveries of the assets and interest rate stresses.

Everything else being equal, a one-notch downgrade of the CBAP would lead to a one-notch downgrade of the LSF-L, resulting in a one-notch downgrade of the covered bonds rating.

In addition, all else unchanged, the ratings of the covered bonds would be downgraded if the quality of the CP and the level of OC were no longer sufficient to support a one-notch uplift for good recovery prospects.

UBI acts as the Account Bank, which also holds the Reserve Account. Based on the ratings of UBI and on the Account Bank’s replacement provisions included in the documentation, DBRS Morningstar considers the risk of such counterparty to be consistent with the ratings assigned, in accordance with the “Legal Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions” methodology.

The total outstanding amount of OBG is EUR 2.15 billion while the aggregate balance of the CP, as at 31 October 2019, was EUR 2.9 billion of residential (47%) and commercial (53%) mortgages plus EUR 76 million of cash collections, resulting in a total OC of 38.0%.

As at October 2019, the CP comprised 28,507 mortgages originated by network banks of the UBI group. The weighted-average current loan-to-value ratio of the mortgages was 37.4% with a seasoning of 8.6 years. The CP was mainly distributed in Lombardy (40.4%), Marche (10.6%) and Piedmont (9.1%).

The CP comprised fixed-for-life loans (14.7% by outstanding balance) and floating-rate loans (85.3%), indexed to different plain-vanilla bases and resetting at different dates. In comparison, 100% of the liabilities pay a floating rate indexed to three-month Euribor. The resulting interest and basis risks are unhedged: this has been considered in DBRS Morningstar’s cash flow analysis.

All CP assets and OBG are denominated in euros. As such, investors are not currently exposed to any foreign exchange risk.

The weighted-average life (WAL) of the CP is 6.1 years, whereas the WAL of the OBG, as of today, was 3.1 years. The resulting asset-liability maturity mismatch is mitigated by the 12-month maturity extension in case of an Issuer event of default and by the uncommitted OC.

DBRS Morningstar has assessed the LSF related to the UBI OBG2 as “Average”, according to its rating methodology. For more information, please refer to the DBRS Morningstar’s commentary “Italian Obbligazioni Bancarie Garantite Legal and Structuring Framework” found at

For further information on the Programme, please refer to the rating report that is available on

All figures are in euros unless otherwise noted.

The principal methodology applicable to the ratings is “Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds”.

In DBRS Morningstar’s opinion, the change under consideration does not require the application of the entire principal methodology. Therefore, DBRS Morningstar focused on the cash flow analysis.

A review of the transaction legal documents was limited to the final terms of Series 8.

Other methodologies referenced in this transaction are listed at the end of this press release. These may be found on at:

For a more detailed discussion of the sovereign risk impact on Structured Finance ratings, please refer to “Appendix C: The Impact of Sovereign Ratings on Other DBRS Credit Ratings” of the “Global Methodology for Rating Sovereign Governments” at:

The sources of data and information used for these ratings include historical performance data, loan-by-loan level and stratification information on the CP provided by the Issuer.

DBRS Morningstar did not rely upon third-party due diligence in order to conduct its analysis.

At the time of the initial rating, DBRS Morningstar was not supplied with third-party assessments. However, this did not impact the rating analysis.

DBRS Morningstar considers the data and information available to it for the purposes of providing these ratings to be of satisfactory quality.

DBRS Morningstar does not audit or independently verify the data or information it receives in connection with the rating process.

The last rating action on this transaction took place on 25 October 2019, when DBRS Morningstar confirmed its “A” ratings to the Series outstanding under the Programme.

Information regarding DBRS Morningstar ratings, including definitions, policies and methodologies, is available on

For further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in a central repository, see:

Ratings assigned by DBRS Ratings GmbH are subject to EU and US regulations only.

Lead Analyst: Antonio Laudani, Vice President
Rating Committee Chair: Christian Aufsatz, Managing Director
Initial Rating Date: 27 October 2015

DBRS Ratings GmbH, Sucursal en España
Calle del Pinar, 5
28006 Madrid

DBRS Ratings GmbH
Neue Mainzer Straße 75
60311 Frankfurt am Main Deutschland
Geschäftsführer: Detlef Scholz
Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 110259

The rating methodologies used in the analysis of this transaction can be found at:

-- Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds
-- Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds Addendum: Market Value Spreads
-- Global Methodology for Rating Banks and Banking Organisations
-- Legal Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Interest Rate Stresses for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Master European Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Rating Methodology and Jurisdictional Addenda
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Originators
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Servicers
-- Rating CLOs Backed by Loans to European SMEs
-- Rating CLOs and CDOs of Large Corporate Credit
-- Global Methodology for Rating Sovereign Governments

A description of how DBRS Morningstar analyses structured finance transactions and how the methodologies are collectively applied can be found at:

For more information on this credit or on this industry, visit or contact us at [email protected].