Global ratings agency, Fitch Ratings has affirmed the long-term issuer defaulting rating of two of Nigeria’s lenders, Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank at ‘B’ and Viability Rating (VR) at ‘B’.
The firm said the ratings were driven by the banks’ intrinsic creditworthiness, as defined by its ‘B’ Viability Rating.
On Access Bank, the stable outlook reflects Fitch’s view that risks to Access’s credit profile are captured at the current rating level, with sufficient headroom, under its base case, to absorb the fallout from operating environment pressures.
Access is the largest banking group in Nigeria by assets at the end of first half of 2021. Fitch’s asset-quality assessment considers substantial non-loan assets, largely comprising cash balances at the Central Bank of Nigeria, mainly in the form of restricted deposits and investments in Nigerian government securities.
By its assessment, Access Bank’s asset quality has continued to hold up despite operating-environment pressures.
On GTB, the Stable Outlook reflects Fitch’s view that risks to GTB’s credit profile are captured at the current rating level, with sufficient headroom, under our base case, to absorb the fallout from operating-environment pressures.