By Peter Egwuatu
FITCH Ratings, the global leader in credit ratings and research, has re-affirmed the national ratings of United Bank for Africa, UBA Subsidiaries and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (SIBTC) and its holding company, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, in spite of the inclement operating environment, market volaatility and present recession in Nigerian economy.
Fitch Ratings affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of United Bank for Africa, Cameroon (UBA CAM), United Bank for Africa, Senegal (UBA SEN) and United Bank for Africa, Ghana (UBA Ghana) at ‘B’. The three banks are subsidiaries of Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). UBA controls 100% of UBA CAM, 86% of UBA SEN and 91% of UBA Ghana.
The Long-Term IDRs of UBA CAM, UBA SEN and UBA Ghana are driven by their stand alone financial strength, as defined by their ‘b-’ Viability Ratings (VR), and are also underpinned by Fitch’s view of potential support from UBA Group. The VRs of the three subsidiaries are constrained by the weak environments in which they operate.
For Stanbic IBTC and its holding company, Fitch Ratings stated that both institutions have the ability to meet their financial commitments as they fall due. The national rating provides a relative measure of credit worthiness for rated institutions in Nigeria and the AAA national rating is assigned to an institution with the lowest relative risk.
In arriving at the rating for Stanbic IBTC, Fitch took account of the strong parental support from Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc belongs, as the group provides support in such areas as staff training, provision of information technology upgrades and best practice processes as well as strong corporate governance practices.
Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mr. Yinka Sanni, said the ratings reflect the financial institution’s strength, strong leadership and unyielding support of its parent company. He reiterated Stanbic IBTC’s commitment to the Nigerian market and pledged that it will continue to provide support to all sectors of the economy in moving individuals and businesses forward.