Golden gates - Warrington's financial status beats the banks'

Member Article

Warrington awarded higher credit rating than China

Warrington Borough Council has been awarded an ‘Aa2’ credit rating, the second highest possible, reflecting the authority’s strong financial management record and giving it a better rating than China - and all the banks operating in the UK.

Moody’s, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, awarded the council the high rating after carrying out an in-depth evaluation of its finances, governance, strategic plans, economic regeneration schemes and structures. This evaluation found the council deserved the excellent credit rating for its sound financial management.

The Moody’s report concluded that Warrington has successfully managed costs over the past four years to achieve savings of over £62 million, and has a track record of increasing its own revenues, in spite of reduced government grants. The diversified local economy in was also highlighted as a factor in awarding the rating.

The council’s credit rating now equals that of the Bank of New York Mellon, United Arab Emirates, Bermuda and Kuwait.

Councillor Russ Bowden, executive member for corporate resources and assignments, said: “This excellent rating reflects our ambition for Warrington and the innovation that has taken place to grow a strong Warrington in times of austerity.

“Warrington is one of the lowest-funded authorities and we know that the massive reductions we’ve made to our revenue budgets over recent years will need to continue as government cuts continue.

“This rating by Moody’s is recognition for the efforts of the whole community to be as innovative as possible when it comes to financing priorities. We will continue our work to improve the local economy and make Warrington a great place to invest.

“The news could help Warrington Borough Council save money in funding our ambitious capital programme relative to the Public Works Loan Board.”

Warrington is a high growth location and key investment centre. Recently ranked fifth highest in terms of economic growth in the UK, and third in terms of highest business growth, only bettered by Aberdeen and London, the town is home to around 8,000 businesses employing 121,000 people.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .

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