Societies’ losses in commercial arena should be limited

Fitch Ratings says improved mana-gement means building societies are less likely to face commercial real estate losses in 2010 compared with 2009.

It says societies with a stable outlook are not expected to see their ratings affected by commercial ex-posure. Mutuals with a negative out-look such as Nationwide Building Society, Newcastle Building Society and West Bromwich Building Society, which are heavily reliant on commercial loans, are vulnerable.

But the impact of Nationwide’s exposure is reduced due to its size, and is that of Skipton Building Society and Norwich & Peter-borough Building Society. Fitch also praised societies’ lending as better quality than some banks.