Simmons acts for Dresdner on Finnish covered bond

Simmons & Simmons has advised Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein on the €5bn (£3.4bn) covered bond programme for Finnish mortgage bank Sampo Housing Loan Bank, only the second covered bond in the Nordic region and the first on this scale.

The mortgage-backed bond programme and the issue of €1bn (£678.4m) covered notes involved the transfer of the underlying assets to the issuer. This technique, as opposed to the issuer originating the assets itself, has never before been used in the Nordic region.

Simmons advised Dresdner along with the Bank of New York as note trustee on the deal. The Simmons team for Dresdner was led in London by financial markets banking partner James Bresslaw, assisted by capital markets associate Simon Puleston Jones. Bresslaw said that the structure, in which structured finance techniques were melded to a statute-based covered bond system, made the deal unusual. “It was a combination of the two structures,” he added. “The assets were sold into the issuing vehicle and then, once they were sold in, they were covered by statutory priority.”

The Simmons team advising Bank of New York was led by partner John Davies, assisted by associate Graham Waller.

Finnish firm Roschier Holmberg advised the issuer on local law aspects, while Hannes Snellman advised the dealers and managers.

The bonds, which are traded on the London Stock Exchange, were assigned an Aaa credit rating by Moody’s on issue.