“What stands out for me is their consistency of service and personnel, which is of course somewhat related,” comments one banker. “That’s important, especially when there’s a lot of change among third-party service providers.”
The European securitization market has seen some significant team moves at other professional services firms lately, he notes. PwC has benefited both from this upheaval and its own shift towards what some market participants describe as a more user-friendly stance.
“They’ve got over some of the issues in how they used to engage, which were quite cumbersome for banks and were slightly ‘off-market’. Now they’ve got their heads around a more commercial approach.”
In addition, the firm wins praise for the timeliness and authority of its advice. “They are always first to market with information, ahead of other firms. They are superior from that timeliness point of view,” judges one market participant that uses the firm.
“They deliver a wealth of knowledge with a lot of detail. They’re giving our sales guys information that they can convey to clients in a way that is easy to understand,” she adds.
Similarly, the firm’s “capacity to explore new ideas, and to understand the needs of their customers,” stands out for a French issuer.
PwC appears to have gained greater visibility in securitization markets last year. “I’ve seen their name pop up more,” notes one banker, who has “personally taken note of this development over the past six to eight months.”
Areas where the firm has advanced include UK RMBS. “In the UK market you are often tied in to service providers because there are so many revolving structures,” a securitization banker notes. But the firm has won new assignments in the sector recently when programme updates and other shifts created opportunities for new providers, adds a banker.
The firm also emphasises its presence in the very active Italian NPL market, advising on both securitizations and sales. It recently published advice on the Italian tax authorities’ treatment of proceeds from so-called ReoCos (real estate companies) created under the country’s securitization law. It also addressed the authorities’ differing approaches to ReoCos and Law 130/99 SPVs.
In addition, it has tracked increased NPL provisioning in response to IFRS9. PwC’s work in this area covers all categories of asset from bad loans to Unlikely to Pay.