Access Bank Plc, the parent company of Access Bank Ghana, has received an upgrade in its long-term ratings to “A” from “A-” with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings.
A global leader in credit ratings and research, Fitch Ratings upgrade of the bank reflects the improvement in its creditworthiness over time relative to peers and to the best credits in Nigeria.
According to Fitch, 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 Bank’s Viability Rating (VR) is affirmed, as these risks are to a large extent already captured in the ratings.
The long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of the bank remains on stable outlook as the rating is driven by its Viability Ratings (VR) and there is no expectation of any material change in the bank’s intrinsic creditworthiness.
The report further suggested that Access Bank’s 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 major strengths for scoring these improved ratings were attributed to Access Bank’s size and franchise, strong risk management and solid capitalisation.
Welcoming this news, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Mr. Dolapo Ogundimu noted, “This improved rating is another testament to the fact that we are indeed on the right path in becoming the world’s most respected African bank by 2017.
It also demonstrates our commitment to best practice in risk management and corporate governance and we believe that this will further boost the confidence of our customers and other stakeholders in our banking operations.”
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 capitalisation.