S&P today affirmed its rating of THFC as ‘A’ with a stable outlook, reflecting its position as the sector’s leading aggregator.
The ratings action from S&P noted THFC’s long and robust record as a well-established issuer and lender, as well as its strong financial profile. The affirmation of THFC’s strong credit rating and business stability was based on THFC’s prudent approach to risk management, with S&P highlighting that its risk mitigation practices made THFC well placed to weather any potential deterioration of assets due to worsening economic outlooks.
THFC’s management were also singled out as having above average levels of expertise and experience, contributing to THFC’s capacity to deliver strong performance in the face of an increasingly competitive market. On this S&P recognised the better-than-expected growth of bLEND, a subsidiary of THFC set up in 2018, which this year surpassed the £500m threshold of issuance, an achievement initially targeted for 2023.
Against an increasingly volatile landscape with the economic fallout from both the Covid-19 virus and a breakdown in Brexit trade talks potentially posing a threat to the UK’s sovereign rating, S&P noted the low risk profile of the social housing sector, which it deemed to have a good resilience against future economic contraction.
THFC’s CEO, Piers Williamson, said: “By focusing on prudent risk management and robust financial health we have been able to maintain our position as the sector’s leading aggregator and one of the largest providers of very long-term funding to housing associations across the UK. We have been particularly pleased with the growth in our bLEND vehicle where our fleetness of foot has permitted us to bring a number of borrowers to market very rapidly, even in uncertain markets.”
Forecasts suggest we are in for a period of considerable market volatility in the next three or so months, but our credit strength demonstrates why investors continue to have confidence in our business, and this in turn helps us to consistently deliver low-cost, long-term funding for housing association borrowers.”
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