Fitch Upgrades Access Bank Ratings

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Access bank new logoGlobal rating agency, Fitch Ratings has upgraded Access Bank’s long-term national ratings with a stable outlook.
The global credit ratings and research firm also affirmed the Long-term IDRs of Access Bank and National Ratings. The National Rating of the bank was also upgraded to ‘A(nga)’/‘F1(nga)’ from ‘A-(nga)’/‘F2(nga),’ to reflect what it termed, the improvement in creditworthiness over time relative to peers in Nigeria.

In Fitch’s opinion, banks will continue to face multiple threats in the course of 2016, particularly from tight foreign currency liquidity, worsening asset quality and pressure on regulatory capital ratios. However, Access’ Viability Rating (VR) was affirmed as these risks are to a large extent already captured in the ratings.

The Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Access remained on Stable Outlook as the rating is driven by its VR and there was no expectation of any material change in the bank’s intrinsic creditworthiness.

“Access’ Support Rating Floor (SRF) of “4” reflects the authorities’ unchanged ability and willingness to provide extraordinary support. The agency believes that while there is a limited probability of external support, the authorities have a stronger ability to support the bank’s local currency obligations if required. The senior debt rating of Access (issued via Access Finance BV) is in line with its long-term IDR. The senior debt rating is affirmed due to the affirmation of the bank’s long-term IDR.

“Access Bank’s major strengths, which underpin its long- and short-term ratings, include its size and franchise, its strong risk management and the group’s solid capitalization.
“The bank’s improved rating further reinforces its resolve to deliver leading innovative and differentiated products and services to its customers in its quest to become the world’s most respected African bank by 2017,” a statement added on Thursday.

Access Bank is one of the leading full service commercial bank with headquarters in Nigeria, and operations across major cities and commercial centres in Sub-Saharan Africa, the UK, China and the UAE.thisday.