Press Release

DBRS Morningstar Assigns a Rating of AA to Equitable Bank (Global Legislative Covered Bond Programme) Covered Bonds, Series CBL2

Covered Bonds
May 27, 2022

DBRS Limited (DBRS Morningstar) assigned a rating of AA to the Covered Bonds, Series CBL2 issued under the Equitable Bank (EQB) Global Legislative Covered Bond Programme (the Programme). Series CBL2 (EUR 300 million) has a coupon rate of 1.375% and a maturity date of May 27, 2025. All covered bonds issued under the Programme (the Covered Bonds) rank pari passu with each other and are currently rated AA by DBRS Morningstar.

The AA ratings are based on the following analytical considerations:

-- A Covered Bond Attachment Point of BBB, which is the Long-Term Senior Debt rating of EQB. EQB is the Reference Entity for the Programme.
-- A Legal and Structuring Framework (LSF) assessment of Strong associated with the Programme.
-- A Cover Pool Credit Assessment of A (high).
-- An LSF-Implied Likelihood (LSF-L) of A (high).
-- A two-notch uplift from the LSF-L for high recovery prospects to achieve the AA rating. Based on the recovery notching scale, an uplift of up to two notches from the LSF-L is possible.
-- A level of overcollateralization (OC) of 10.0% (based on the Asset Percentage of 90.9% as at April 29, 2022) to which DBRS Morningstar gives credit.

DBRS Morningstar considered the following factors in its analysis described above:

(1) The Covered Bonds are senior unsecured direct deposit obligations of EQB.

(2) In addition to a general recourse to EQB’s assets, the Covered Bonds are supported by a diversified collateral pool of first-lien uninsured Canadian residential mortgages with a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80.0% at origination (the Cover Pool). The Cover Pool was approximately $1.3 billion as of April 29, 2022. The mortgages may have amortizing and nonamortizing revolving loan parts secured by the same first lien. Only the amortizing loan parts are in the Cover Pool.

(3) The Covered Bonds benefit from several structural features, such as a reserve fund (when applicable) and rating thresholds for the swap providers, servicer, account bank, cash manager, and guaranteed investment contract provider.

(4) If EQB defaults, the final maturity date on the Covered Bonds can be extended for up to 12 months, which increases the likelihood that the Covered Bonds will be fully repaid.

(5) There is a specific covered bond legislative framework in Canada, which applies to this Programme. In addition, the contractual obligations of the transaction parties are supported by Canada’s well-developed commercial and bankruptcy laws, the satisfactory opinions legal counsel provided to EQB, and a generally creditor-friendly legal environment in Canada.

Despite these strengths, the ratings on the Covered Bonds could face the following challenges:

(1) The Cover Pool has a large concentration in the Province of Ontario, exposing the Cover Pool to high geographic and regional economic risks. A weakened housing market in Canada, especially in Ontario, could result in higher defaults and/or lower recoveries than the assumptions used in the Cover Pool Credit Assessment. This risk is significantly reduced by the home equity available in relation to the Cover Pool’s weighted-average LTV of 68.1% as of April 29, 2022.

(2) EQB may need to add mortgages to maintain the Cover Pool, incurring substitution and potentially credit deterioration risk. These risks are mitigated by the ongoing monitoring of the Cover Pool to ensure the OC available is commensurate with the rating on the Covered Bonds. In addition, mortgages must meet eligibility criteria to be added to the Cover Pool. Based on the latest review of the Cover Pool, DBRS Morningstar considers 10.0% OC to be commensurate with the AA ratings.

(3) There is an inherent liquidity gap between the scheduled repayments of the Covered Bonds and the repayment of the underlying mortgage loans over time. This risk is mitigated by the OC, the buildup of a reserve fund if EQB is not rated at least A (low) or R-1 (low), and the 12-month maturity extension should EQB default. Based on EQB's current rating, the reserve fund will be fully funded at closing.

DBRS Morningstar's “Derivatives Criteria for Canadian Structured Finance” expects regular swap payments to rank no higher in priority than interest payments on the Covered Bonds. Should interest rate swap payments (excluding termination payments) rank higher in priority than interest payments on the Covered Bonds, DBRS Morningstar will assess the impact at that time and take the appropriate rating action.

EQB is Canada’s ninth-largest bank as measured by assets, with $37.2 billion in assets and $2.0 billion in common equity as of March 31, 2022. EQB is the servicer of the mortgages in the Cover Pool.

There were no Environmental/ Social/ Governance factor(s) that had a significant or relevant effect on the credit analysis.

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

All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

The principal methodology is Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds (April 22, 2022), which can be found on under Methodologies & Criteria.

The DBRS Morningstar Sovereign group releases baseline macroeconomic scenarios for rated sovereigns. DBRS Morningstar analysis considered impacts consistent with the baseline scenarios as set forth in the following report:

The related regulatory disclosures pursuant to the National Instrument 25-101 Designated Rating Organizations are hereby incorporated by reference and can be found by clicking on the link under Related Documents or by contacting us at

The rated entity or its related entities did participate in the rating process for this rating action. DBRS Morningstar had access to the accounts and other relevant internal documents of the rated entity or its related entities in connection with this rating action.

Please see the related appendix for additional information regarding the sensitivity of assumptions used in the rating process.

More details on the Cover Pool and the Programme are provided in the Monthly Canadian Covered Bond Report, which is available by clicking on the link under Related Documents or by contacting us at

This rating is endorsed by DBRS Ratings Limited for use in the United Kingdom, and by DBRS Ratings GmbH for use in the European Union, respectively. The following additional regulatory disclosures apply to endorsed ratings:

The last rating action on the Programme took place on April 8, 2022, when DBRS Morningstar confirmed the rating of the outstanding series issued under the Programme.

For further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in a central repository, see: DBRS Morningstar understands further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates may be published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on its webpage:

Lead Analyst: Geetika Gupta, Vice President, Canadian Structured Finance
Rating Committee Chair: Tim O'Neil, Managing Director, Head of Canadian Structured Finance
Initial Rating Date: August 30, 2021

For more information on this credit or on this industry, visit or contact us at

DBRS Limited
DBRS Tower, 181 University Avenue, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M5H 3M7 Canada
Tel. +1 416 593-5577

Principal methodology: Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds (April 22, 2022)

Predictive model: Canadian RMBS Model (November 2021; Version