Fitch Ratings yesterday affirmed the Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Zenith Bank Plc , First Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc , Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and the Long-term National Ratings of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.
The agency has also downgraded Union Bank Plc’s Long-term IDR due to a change in Fitch’s opinion of the bank’s systemic importance relative to peers. Union’s Support Rating Floor (SRF) has been revised to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ due to its perceived lower systemic importance post restructuring.
As a consequence, the bank’s Long-term IDR has been downgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ and its National Rating to ‘BBB+(nga)’ from ‘A+(nga)’. At the same time, Union’s Viability Rating (VR) has been upgraded to ‘b-’ from ‘ccc’ due to its improved financial position with on-going restructuring.
Access’s VR has been upgraded to ‘b’ from ‘b-’ given its larger franchise, improving performance and commitment to maintaining healthy Fitch core capital (FCC) ratios over the medium term and despite its high cost to income ratio as it integrates a large acquisition.
As a consequence, the bank’s Long-term IDR is now driven by its VR of ‘b’ rather than its SRF of ‘B’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.