WBS maintains strong credit rating

The credit rating agency Fitch has once again given WBS a stable BB+ rating, a score that the Masterton-based lending and investment provider has now held for more than 15 years.

 Pictured above: The WBS team.

CE at WBS, John Healy, was very pleased with the rating and says it illustrates how robust and stable the organisation is. WBS has now held a BB+ rating for more than 15 years, including through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

‘Our clients can be confident about investing and borrowing with WBS, which in turn means we can keep investing in the Wairarapa community,’ says John. ‘Our purpose is to help our community prosper and we’re doing that in a consistent and stable way.’

Consistency, stability and security among rating highlights

Some of the highlights of Fitch’s report, which was published on 21 January, include:

  • WBS’s consistent and stable business model, focused on residential mortgages and term deposits, is a positive for the business profile.
  • WBS has a modest risk appetite, with LVRs (loan-to-value ratios) generally lower than the market, resulting in a high level of security over the loan portfolio.
  • WBS’s capital ratios are sound, with Fitch expecting WBS to maintain these ratios at the top end of its peer group over the next 2 years.
  • Fitch expects WBS’s loan/customer deposit ratio to remain at around 95 percent through to FY26, which is an improvement from 110 percent in FY23. This in part reflects the organisation’s strong deposit growth.