Fitch Ratings affirms Wema Bank’s Long-Term National Rating at BBB- with a stable outlook
Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research has affirmed the Long-term National Rating of Wema Bank at (BBB-). This is reflective of the Bank’s stable outlook and viability, in spite of the continued headwinds facing the country.
In Fitch’s opinion, the banking industry will remain challenging considering low oil prices, slow growth, policy uncertainty and constraints regarding Foreign Exchange liquidity. As such, the industry could be impacted by asset quality deterioration and limited capital buffers, though Fitch expects the sector to remain profitable.
The Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Wema Bank remains Stable at (B-), as the rating continues to be driven by Wema’s Viability Ratings (VR). Wema Bank does not expect any material change in its intrinsic creditworthiness.
Wema Bank’s strengths, which underpins its long and short-term ratings, include its strong risk management culture, low Non- Performing Loans (NPL) exposure, satisfactory liquidity levels and its limited exposure to FX related assets and liabilities. The Bank’s affirmed rating further reinforces its resolve to remain a smarter Bank, driven by expertise, excellence and efficiency – the strategic focus of the Bank.
Segun Oloketuyi, the Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc in his response said “The rating affirms the continued importance we place on risk management and the strengthening of our business models, as we position the Bank to be the major player within Nigeria’s Retail Banking Landscape”.