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Japan-Based JTSB And TCSB Ratings Lowered To #A-# On Ongoing I Outlooks Stable

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TOKYO--25 Apr--S&P Global Ratings

TOKYO (S&P Global Ratings) April 25, 2018--S&P Global Ratings today said it has lowered its long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on both Japan Trustee Services Bank Ltd. (JTSB) and Trust & Custody Services Bank Ltd. (TCSB) by one notch each to 'A-/A-2'. At the same time, we removed the ratings from CreditWatch, where we placed them with negative implications on March 31, 2017, after four shareholders announced their signing of a memorandum to integrate the businesses of JTSB and TCSB. The outlooks on the long-term ratings on both custodian banks are stable.

We resolved the CreditWatch placements after an announcement that JTSB and TCSB are integrating their businesses, including changing their shareholder composition and establishing an intermediate holding company on Oct. 1, 2018. We downgraded JTSB and TCSB to reflect our view that the likelihood of external support from a dominant shareholder is likely to weaken because the integrated group, made up of both custodian banks, will have more diversified shareholders. As a result, their creditworthiness should reflect more of their unsupported group credit profile (GCP), in our view.

We regard the integrated group as a highly strategic member of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group because: Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. will be the largest shareholder of the intermediate holding company; we believe trust banking services are a core business for the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group and asset administration services are closely aligned with its mainstream business and customer base; and a large portion of the integrated group's fees from entrusted assets will come from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. (SMTB).

We believe the unsupported GCP of the integrated group is neither the same nor better than the GCP of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group. Therefore, we lowered our ratings on JTSB and TCSB by one notch, bringing them below the GCP of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group.

The stable outlooks on JTSB and TCSB reflect our view that our ratings on both custodian banks will likely remain stable over the next two years. They also reflect the stable outlook on SMTB, the major operating subsidiary of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group, and our view that JTSB's and TCSB's business integration will proceed as planned. We might consider upgrading both custodian banks if we: revise upward the GCP of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group; or revise upward the unsupported GCP of the integrated group due to improved capitalization as measured in our risk-adjusted capital framework.

Conversely, we might consider downgrading JTSB and TCSB if we revise downward the GCP of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group and view the unsupported GCP of the integrated group, made up of both custodian banks, as below the GCP of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust group. However, we currently believe this is an unlikely scenario.

In addition, we might consider revising our assessment of the group status of the integrated group if we see changes in the likelihood of external support as JTSB and TCSB move toward full integration in 2021.

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