The Kleinwort Benson Group has received its first credit rating
as a stand alone entity.
Moody's Investors Service assigned Baa2/Prime-2 long and
short term deposit ratings and a bank financial strength rating
(BFSR) of C- to the two banking entities in the Kleinwort Benson
Group: the UK-based Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Limited and the
CI-based Kleinwort Benson (Channel Islands) Limited. The outlook
for all ratings is stable.
The short term rating applies to all deposits with maturity of
up to one year and the long term rating is applicable to deposits
with a maturity exceeding one year. Client custodial and investment
assets will continue to be segregated and are not affected by this
The independent credit rating is another positive milestone as
Kleinwort Benson moves towards the completion of its sale to RHJ
International S.A. (RHJI).
Moody's judged the Kleinwort Benson Group to have a number
of financial and organisational strengths, those primarily being
strong capitalisation, excellent asset quality on a small loan
book, a conservative risk management culture and a well entrenched
and respected financial services franchise in the UK and Channel
Robert Taylor, Chief Executive of the Kleinwort Benson Group,
believes that the positive Moody's rating will provide clients
with considerable reassurance regarding the security of their
"We are pleased with the Moody's rating. It
acknowledges our strong financial position and recognises that our
new shareholder RHJI offers considerable equity capital to underpin
our development. On completion of the sale, the Kleinwort Benson
Group will be one of the most well capitalised businesses of our
size in the financial services industry," he
Kleinwort Benson's tier one capital ratio, which at over 20%
is significantly in excess of typical banking regulatory
requirements, places the wealth manager and financial services
provider well above many organisations in the sector.
The Kleinwort Benson Group employs a conservative treasury
management policy whereby its loan book is funded solely from the
receipt of client deposits and is not reliant upon the wholesale
credit markets. New shareholder RHJI will further strengthen the
Kleinwort Benson Group's position by providing additional
financial resources to underpin plans for future expansion and
ensure continued stability.
RHJ International S.A. which is listed on the Belgian EURONEXT
is acquiring the Kleinwort Benson Group and its historic financial
services brand from Commerzbank AG, following the German bank's
decision in May 2009 to divest itself of its non-domestic wealth
The Moody's rating is subject to the completion of the sale,
which is subject to regulatory approval and is scheduled to take
place before the end of July. Until that time the Kleinwort Benson
Group maintains the full financial backing and support of its
current shareholder Commerzbank AG.
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