Wheatley keeps its S&P A+ (stable outlook) rating

Wheatley Group — Scotland’s biggest social landlord — said on Friday it has retained its A+ (stable outlook) rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P).

“The stable outlook indicates we expect Wheatley to continue to focus on strengthening financial performance, while retaining its strong liquidity position,” said S&P.

The Wheatley rating from S&P was affirmed “because we expect Wheatley to successfully navigate the uncertain environment created by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Wheatley Group chair Alastair MacNish said: “At a time when the whole world is facing unprecedented challenge … this rating confirms our continuing ability to provide excellent services and invaluable support to our customers in the most difficult of circumstances.

“I believe this will consolidate our reputation as an extremely efficient, well-run organisation that is highly regarded across Scotland, the UK and Europe as a tremendous force for good.”

Wheatley Group said: “Around 70% of Wheatley’s income comes from housing benefit and Universal Credit, higher than many of its peers, providing the group with relatively higher income protection.

“Underlying arrears are currently below 5%, against S&P’s modelled future rate of 8% for rental income loss.

“The group has no build-for-sale exposure as it operates a traditional social housing model, with no open market sales risk.”