Dutch financial services co-operative Rabobank has defended its credit position following a one-notch downgrade by rating agency Fitch Ibca.Rabobank lost Fitch’s highest long-term AAA rating, and is now rated AA+. But the bank issued a statement in which it claimed it “continues to be the most credit-worthy non-government related bank in the world”.
“Certainly, it is a pity that Fitch has lowered our rating, but we remain, by far, the most solid non-government related bank," said Rik van Slingelandt, acting chairman of the executive board of Rabobank Nederland.
Fitch said the rating action reflects its concern over the bank’s strategic direction. “While the bank’s co-operative structure brings considerable strength, it remains a constraining factor in terms of executing a viable international mergers and acquisitions policy,” said Fitch in a statement. “In the absence of a value-adding cross-border merger or acquisition, Rabobank’s future revenue growth is constrained by a saturated and increasingly competitive domestic market.”
Rabobank currently retains the highest rating of AAA by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
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