On 24 December 2015 Standard & Poor's Rating Services ("S&P") published its new methodology and assumptions for rating Dutch residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS"). The new criteria apply to all new and existing Dutch RMBS and Dutch residential mortgage-covered bonds and will be effective for all ratings on 18 January 2016.

The new criteria align the criteria for Dutch RMBS closely with S&P's global RMBS framework. The aim is to increase the comparability of RMBS ratings globally and across sectors and to increase transparency of the rating analysis.

S&P expects 15% of ratings outstanding on Dutch RMBS to be negatively affected, with downgrading of one notch in approximately 40% of the cases, mostly on the lower investment-grade and speculative-grade rating levels. Also, application of the criteria could lead to a limited number of minor upgrades. S&P expects to complete their reviews of all existing Dutch RMBS and residential mortgage-backed covered bond ratings within six months of the effective date.