Home > About Vancouver > All News > City’s credit outlook revised to positive on improving financial management practices

City’s credit outlook revised to positive on improving financial management practices

February 5 2016

“Standard and Poor’s upgrade of Vancouver’s credit outlook is further validation of City Hall's continued commitment to fiscal discipline and value for residents,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Vancouver City Hall

Our credit rating outlook has been improved from stable to positive by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services. Our long-term credit and senior unsecured debt credit ratings, as well as short-term issuer credit rating were affirmed at AA+ and A-1+, respectively. This change follows an increase in credit rating from AA to AA+ in 2015.

Statement from Mayor Robertson

The upgrade to AA+, in 2015, reflected the agency’s assessment of the City’s significant decline in debt burden following its repayment of the Olympic related debt in 2014. The upgrade to AA+ rating also reflected the agency’s opinion of the City’s exceptional liquidity, very strong economy, low debt burden and very strong budgetary performance.

“Standard and Poor’s upgrade of Vancouver’s credit outlook is further validation of City Hall's continued commitment to fiscal discipline and value for residents,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Coupled with Vancouver’s nation-leading economic growth, this record of responsibility is enabling us to keep taxes low while providing the programs and services Vancouver citizens rely on.”

Today’s improved outlook to positive reflects the agency’s expectation that, in the next two years, the City will further progress on performance metrics that will guide future investments and enhance accountability in achieving Council’s long-term priorities. Commencing in 2015, the City began to produce annual consolidated budget that includes both operating and capital budgets, and to transition to a five-year rolling operating plan to align with long-term service and financial planning.  In the agency’s view, these measures are a sign of the City’s strong commitment to fiscal discipline.

Statement from the report

Standard and Poor’s affirmation of the City’s AA+ credit rating reflects its assessment of the City’s “very strong economy and budgetary performance, low debt burden, and exceptional liquidity”. In the agency’s view, the City demonstrates strong financial management through detailed operating and capital budgets that reflects long-term planning and has a strong financial management team to implement policy changes.

“In our view, Vancouver demonstrates strong financial management, which has a positive impact on its credit profile. The management team is experienced and well qualified in implementing policy changes. We believe that the city has a well-defined set of financial policies and its annual financial statements are audited and unqualified. In addition, its well-documented financial plan provides stability through detailed operating and capital budgets that reflect goals defined in the city’s long-term plan. We believe management of debt and liquidity is prudent and the business plan articulates formal risk-management strategies and policies well.”

2016 Budget

The City’s 2016 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan was approved by Council in December 2015.

Read the 2017 Budget

Read the 2016 Budget

2017 Budget  (7.9 MB)

Budget highlights
 (240 KB)