We are really pleased to have retained the A+ rating after our finances were analysed by the world renowned credit agency Standard & Poor’s. Retaining our A+ rating is a clear recognition of the overall strength of our business plan, financial control and excellent asset quality and operational performance.
We understand and accept the reasoning applied to the change in outlook from stable to negative. This reflects our own view of a transition period within the company whilst we embed improvements to our governance arrangements and succession planning.
Our action plan to regain a G2 grading from the HCA is on course, to allow us to achieve the highest possible governance grading to complement our V1 financial viability rating.
We operate in an area where demand for affordable housing is high, and indeed increasing as population grows. Our affordable homes programme means that as the 98th largest of affordable housing organisation we are in the Top 50 largest providers of new homes. The Standard & Poor’s reference to our provision of shared ownership housing is welcomed as the product retains intense interest for households in our operational area, where market housing prices remain very high and for many unaffordable.
Our work with Standard & Poor’s means we know what is required to return to the A+ rating to ‘stable’. We are fully committed to our strategies and are convinced they will result in us achieving the uplift in time for our 2018 outlook.