Fitch Affirms City Mortgage Bank's Russian Servicer Rating
September 24, 2009 Fitch Ratings
Fitch Ratings-London-24 September 2009: Fitch Ratings has today affirmed Russia-based Gorodskoi Ipothechniy (City Mortgage) Bank's (CMB) Residential Primary Servicer rating at 'RPS3+'. The rating is based on CMB's continued ability to administer residential mortgage loans and management of early stage arrears of typically less than 60 days past due.
The servicer ratings reflect CMB's tenure of over five years of administering Russian residential mortgage loans. They also reflect continued support from its parent company, Morgan Stanley ('A'/'F1'/Stable Outlook). In addition, the company's continuous improvement programme and implementation of IT enhancements over the last 12 months has resulted in numerous process efficiencies. Fitch also notes the low turnover among CMB's senior management group, resulting in improved corporate stability and successful execution of elements of the short-and medium-term business plans including the relocation to a new location in Moscow.
CMB's early arrears management processes are deemed to be proactive, involving verbal and written contact with the borrower within several days of a missed payment, and are consistent with other servicers in the Russian market. While arrears levels have been historically low, Fitch has noted a significant increase in all arrears categories particularly those loans more than 60 days past due. To address the rising delinquencies new training courses have been introduced around customer services and collections specifically for arrears management staff.
The company's experience, however, in managing the workout or enforcement process for defaulted loans is still limited, and due to a lack of practical special servicing experience, no Residential Special Servicer rating is assigned at this time. Fitch also notes that because of the historically low levels of arrears in the Russian mortgage market, few servicers have any extensive experience managing defaulted loans. CMB is named as the special servicer on its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) transaction, and some comfort is taken from the company's legal department, which is well-versed on the Russian legal code surrounding mortgage enforcement, together with experience derived from the parent company.
As of 1 July 2009, CMB's servicing portfolio included six unsecuritised transactions and one RMBS transaction, CityMortgage MBS Finance B.V., consisting of over 9,000 loans with an outstanding principal balance of USD576m.
Fitch rates European residential and commercial mortgage loan primary and special servicers in the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Russia and Spain on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest rating. For further information, please see the 20 August 2007 report, entitled "Rating Criteria for European Residential and Commercial Mortgage Loan Servicers", and the 7 September 2007 report, entitled "Rating Criteria for European Mortgage Loan Servicers - Russian Market Addendum", both of which are available on the agency's website, www.fitchratings.com.
Company — City Mortgage Bank
Full nameCity Mortgage Bank