First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has had not only its B+/B long term and short term global scale counterparty credit rating reassigned and reaffirmed, also its Nigerian national scale rating of ngA- by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the foremost international credit rating agency.While the international rating is global in scale and comparable across countries, the local rating of ngA- is applicable on a national scale and is relative to FCMB’s respective obligors or obligations within Nigeria.
This achievement comes against the backdrop of the protracted economic slowdown, capital markets and banking sector turmoil; and a slew of regulatory pronouncements and reforms, which saw the Nigerian sovereign credit rating cut and a number of local banks also having their ratings downgraded.The statement from S&P outlined that the rating decision was driven largely by the robust capitalisation FCMB was able to demonstrate despite the aggressive provisioning levels prescribed by CBN in the wake of the stress test on banks last year, and also, recognition was given to the strong niche investment and transaction banking franchise designed to support FCMB’s wider corporate banking business. The S&P rating is on a par with Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
FCMB is a leading corporate and investment bank in Nigeria, and provides a range of financial products and services to the corporate, and retail customers through a well diversified network of 153 branches and alternative banking channels. FCMB benefits from a strong local franchise in investment and transaction banking, which helps supports and complements its wider corporate banking business and ambitions. Within the past two years, FCMB has been expanding its retail finance business in order to also build leadership in this underserved segment.
In 2010, management remains focused on consolidating the bank’s leadership position in it’s chosen segments where it has proven track record, while also continuing to build upon and upgrade its risk management frame work and improve operational efficiency.S&P is the world’s foremost provider of independent credit ratings. Their credit ratings provide investors with the independent benchmarks they need to make investment and pricing decision.