(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Nov 14 - Fitch Ratings has upgraded Guber S.p.A.'s Italian Residential and Commercial Mortgage Special Servicer Ratings to 'RSS2' and 'CSS2' from 'RSS2-'and 'CSS2-', respectively.
The upgrades reflect Guber's continued enhancements to already robust loan boarding and work-out processes. Over the past 24 months, Guber has boarded 34 new portfolios and maintained higher than average recovery rates, which is impressive when compared with peer performance over the same period. While this growth has been driven by an increase in unsecured loan portfolios, the company retains a strong focus on the management of its secured book.
Technology developments over the past 12 months have resulted in greater automation in timeline management and business plan decision making, as well as a new training support tool, which allows greater focus on employee competence and training requirements at an individual level.
The ratings are supported by an embedded internal audit and compliance programme, which forms part of what is now an appropriate governance structure for a company of this size, with oversight and clear lines of escalation.
Although Guber does not benefit from the support of a financially strong parent company like some of its rated peers, the company's financial performance remains robust. This is evidenced by several years of continued profitability and its current sound liquidity. Guber's independence remains beneficial in acquiring new clients, as witnessed by the continued growth.
At end-June 2012, Guber's servicing portfolio totalled EUR3bn, up from EUR2.5bn in June 2011, with 93 portfolios and 137,180 loans, the majority of which are unsecured.
Fitch employed its global and Italian servicer rating criteria in analysing the servicer's operations and financial condition, with the former criteria including a comparison against similar Italian servicers as part of the review process.