OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings has revised Netherlands-based AEGON Bank NV's Outlook to Stable from Negative, while affirming the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-'. A full list of rating actions is available at the end of this rating action commentary.



The revision in Outlook reflects Fitch's decision to equalise AEGON Bank's IDRs with the bank's ultimate 100% owner, Aegon NV (A-/Stable), a large international insurance group. This is driven by our expectation that Aegon will be extremely likely to provide extraordinary support if ever needed. Fitch's view is driven by the increasingly important role of AEGON Bank within the group, complementing its insurance activities in the Netherlands, which is one of Aegon's core markets.

We also believe that the Dutch central bank, DNB, which is the common regulator for banks and insurance companies in the Netherlands, will encourage Aegon to support the bank in case of need. In our view, Aegon would have the resources required to provide such support given the bank's small relative size.

AEGON Bank consolidates the group's retail banking operations in the Netherlands, offering primarily bank savings strategically linked to the group's retirement planning products and serving as an additional distribution channel for mortgage loans and the group's insurance and investment products. Our view of support also reflects the bank's deep integration with the parent and common branding.

Fitch does not assign a Viability Rating to AEGON Bank given its close integration with the group and Fitch's opinion that the bank's franchise cannot be assessed on a standalone basis.



AEGON Bank's ratings are likely to move in tandem with Aegon's ratings. AEGON Bank's ratings are also sensitive to a perceived decrease of the bank's strategic importance to Aegon's Dutch operations and therefore to the group as a whole.

The rating actions are as follows:

Long-Term IDR affirmed at 'A-'; Outlook Revised to Stable from Negative

Short-Term IDR affirmed at 'F2'

Support Rating affirmed at '1'

The 'AAA' rating on the covered bonds issued by AEGON Bank is not affected by these rating actions.