The credit rating of AO Citibank (hereinafter, Citibank, or the Bank) is based on the Bank’s high business profile assessment and adequate capital adequacy, risk profile, and funding and liquidity assessments. The support from the Bank's parent company with a high creditworthiness is also positive for the credit rating.

Citibank is a large universal bank and one of the top 20 Russian banks in terms of assets. The Bank’s ultimate parent is one of the largest global bank groups (hereinafter, the Group, the Supporting Entity, or the SE). In H1 2021, the Supporting Entity made a strategic decision to wind down its retail banking operations in 13 countries of presence, including Russia. In March 2022, the Group announced its intention to expand the volume of its business to be sold, as well as to cut the remaining operations and risks. ACRA is of the opinion that these measures indicate a decline in the Group's strategic interest in the Russian market and the level of support to the Bank.

Key assessment factors

The high business profile assessment is based on the Bank’s strong franchise in the premium retail banking and large corporate and international business segments. Such a range of business lines and moderate risk appetite result in the Bank’s ability to generate consistently high operating income with minimum susceptibility to economic cycle phases. Due to the universal nature of its business, the Bank’s operating income is highly diversified. The Bank’s management quality remains high.

The reduction of the volume and range of the Bank’s operations may have a negative impact on the business profile sub-factor scores in the future. In particular, operating income diversification is expected to decline. Due to this, in the future ACRA cannot rule out a downgrade of the Bank’s business profile assessment, which may affect the final rating.

Adequate capital adequacy. The Agency notes the Bank’s substantial loss absorption cushion, which is confirmed by a high N1.2 capital adequacy ratio. The profitability of operations allows Citibank to withstand a substantial increase (well above 500 bps) in the cost of credit risk without violating regulatory requirements.

The level of net interest margin (NIM) is within the range typical for peer banks. At the same time, the Bank allocates a large portion its net profits to dividend payouts. This negatively affects the Bank’s ability to increase capital, as assessed by ACRA using the average capital generation ratio.

ACRA affirms the adequate assessment of the Bank’s risk profile, as the volume of problem loans is low and loan portfolio concentration is relatively high. The share of loans granted to the 10 largest groups of borrowers amounted to 37.7%. The Agency assesses the financial stability of the Bank’s counterparties under contingent liabilities as high. Citibank places most of its temporarily free funds with the Bank of Russia and the Group companies or purchases Russian sovereign bonds. The quality of the risk management system is assessed as high.

Adequate liquidity combined with a well-balanced funding profile. The Bank firmly withstands the outflow of deposits under ACRA’s base case scenario. In the stress scenario, there is no shortage of liquidity. The Bank’s long-term liquidity is assessed as adequate. The securities portfolio (primarily federal bonds) may serve as an additional source of liquidity. The share of corporate funds, the largest funding source, is comparably low. The Bank continues to demonstrate a low dependence on the funds of the largest lenders, including the SE.

The Bank's exit from the retail business segment may affect the funding profile assessment due to the growing dependence of the Bank on the largest funding source and the funds of the largest lenders.

The assessment of the degree of support from the Group has been downgraded. According to ACRA’s understanding, the SE's interest in having a presence on the Russian market has decreased after a sharp escalation of economic, political, sanctions and regulatory risks in the Q1 2022. ACRA is also of the opinion that the negative financial consequences of the Group's exit from the Russian market, although significant, will not lead to a sustained significant deterioration of its financial position. Regardless of further steps taken by the Group in relation to the Russian business, in case a single brand is maintained, strong reputational ties will remain.

In addition, the Agency specifically notes that the current assessment of the degree of support continues to include different jurisdictions of presence of the Bank and the SE, which makes the possibility of providing support dependent on the freedom of capital movement between countries.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

  • The Group maintaining its shareholding and operating control over the Bank.

  • Maintaining low cost of credit risk.

  • N1.2 above 9% within the 12 to 18-month horizon.

  • Maintaining the current funding structure within the 12 to 18-month horizon.

POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OR RATING CHANGE FACTORS

The Stable outlook assumes that the rating will highly likely stay unchanged within the 12 to 18-month horizon.

A negative rating action may be prompted by:

  • Loss by the Group of its shareholding and operating control over the Bank, or reduced propensity of the SE to support the Bank;

  • Downgrade of the business profile assessment due to reduction of the volume and range of the Bank's operations;

  • Downgrade of the funding assessment due to an increase in the dependence of the Bank on the largest funding source and the funds of the largest lenders.

RATING COMPONENTS

SCA: aa.

Adjustments: none.

Support: +2 notches.

ISSUE RATINGS

No outstanding issues have been rated.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURE

The credit rating has been assigned under the national scale for the Russian Federation based on the Methodology for Credit Ratings Assignment to Banks and Bank Groups under the National Scale for the Russian Federation, Methodology for Analyzing Rated Entities Associated with a State or a Group, and the Key Concepts Used by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency Within the Scope of Its Rating Activities.

The credit rating of AO Citibank was published by ACRA for the first time on July 6, 2017. The credit rating and its outlook are expected to be revised within one year following the publication date of this press release.

The credit rating was assigned based on data provided by AO Citibank, information from publicly available sources, and ACRA’s own databases. The rating analysis was performed using the IFRS financial statements of AO Citibank and the financial statements of AO Citibank drawn up in compliance with Bank of Russia Ordinance No. 4927-U dated October 8, 2018. The credit rating is solicited, and AO Citibank participated in its assignment.

In assigning the credit rating, ACRA used only information, the quality and reliability of which was, in ACRA’s opinion, appropriate and sufficient to apply the methodologies.

ACRA provided no additional services to AO Citibank. No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of credit rating assignment.

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