GLOBAL 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 capitalisation.
“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
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.

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