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Aktua Soluciones Financieras ABOVE AVERAGE Ranking Affirmed As A Residential Special Servicer In Spain; Outlook Stable

          LONDON (S&P Global Ratings) Sept. 21, 2018--S&P Global Ratings today affirmed its overall ABOVE AVERAGE ranking on Aktua Soluciones Financieras, S.L.U. (Aktua) as a special servicer of residential mortgages in Spain. The outlook is stable. 

          Our ranking reflects: 
          - The servicer's position as part of a large European credit management group, which can help it benefit from synergies and best practices sharing. 
          - The company's robust integrated proprietary IT platform, which supports high automation of the servicing activity and is complemented by several business intelligence tools, facilitating the production of extensive key performance indicators. 
          - Aktua's well-designed operational workflows, reporting a long track record of positive collection results. 

          OUTLOOK 
          The outlook is stable. Aktua has well-tested servicing operations, supported by comprehensive policies and procedures and a flexible loan management system. The servicer rationalized its organizational structure as a result of the Intrum group integration, leading to a number of recent changes. We will continue monitoring the implementation of the next steps of the group transition plan. 
          In 2017, Aktua's majority shareholder, Lindorff, merged with Intrum Justitia, creating the largest European debt management company, Intrum. Since then, the group has been working to eliminate redundancies and create shared supporting functions at European and regional levels, including in Spain where the group controls Aktua, which specializes in secured loans management, and three more companies, which specialize in unsecured loans management. Aktua has consequently restructured its organization and some of its resources are now part of regional supporting functions. Since our previous review (see "Aktua Soluciones Financieras ABOVE AVERAGE Ranking Affirmed As A Residential Special Servicer In Spain; Outlook Stable," published on Dec. 20, 2016), Aktua reported the following key changes: 
          - The previous Aktua chief operating officer (COO) now leads Intrum Spain's client and sales department, while the previous head of asset management services undertook the Aktua COO position, leading the collection activity on banks' portfolios. Finally, the former chief executive officer (CEO) undertook a group role and subsequently left, while the Aktua CEO role has been eliminated, so Aktua's COO reports to Intrum Spain's managing director.
          - The teams that perform monitoring activity on banks' and investors' portfolios, and the investor portfolios' collection activity, spun off from Aktua's operations, report to the head of Intrum Spain's credit management solutions and portfolio management department. This is Intrum Spain's unit managing unsecured loans on behalf of investors and, thus, shares some synergies with the Aktua teams as they both work with investors. 
          - In the first half of 2018, Aktua transferred most of its call center activity and staff to the Intrum Spain call center team, signing an intra-group contract to receive support for this function. 
          - The Intrum group at European level provides Aktua's internal audit activity, while Aktua receives support on risk management and compliance from the regional Spanish functions.
 
          FINANCIAL POSITION
          The financial position is SUFFICIENT.