By Obinna ChimaÂ Â
Foremost Nigerian rating agency, Agusto & Co. has raised Access Bank Plcâ€™s rating from â€œA+â€ to â€œAa-â€, with stable outlook, in its recent rating review of the bank.
The upgrade reflected Access Bankâ€™s strong financial profile, resilient profitability levels, and solid capital position, a statement from the bank said at the weekend.
Agusto & Co. also recognised Access Bank as an institution of a very good financial condition and strong capacity to meet its obligations.
The rating was further supported by the bankâ€™s strong domestic presence, supported by an extensive branch network, good liquidity profile as well as experience and skills of its management team.
Speaking on the new rating, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said: â€œThe rating only goes to confirm our consistency over the years in delivering superior value to our stakeholders, in line with our vision to be the worldâ€™s most respected African bank.
â€œThe upgrade in the bankâ€™s outlook reflects our commitment to the core values of innovation, professionalism and devotion to excellence in our operations and service delivery.â€
The rating upgrade reflected Agusto & Co.â€™s view that Access Bank has strengthened its risk profile, deepened its retail banking drive by creating a digital business through its digital strategy, embraced a cost reduction programme, and the use of value chain strategy to capture small businesses in the retail segment of the market.
This was further supported by the bankâ€™s five-year strategic plan to rank among the top three banks in its chosen markets and across financial metrics by the end of 2017.
It has translated to a growth in market share for Access Bank with the bank becoming the third largest bank on the basis of its total assets and contingents of N3.3trillion as of 31 December 2016, said the statement.