By Blaise Udunze
MOODY’S Investors Service, a leading global rating agency, has re-affirmed the resilience of the Sterling Bank franchise by maintaining its standalone Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) ratings of B3.
BCAs are inputs to Moody’s joint-default analysis for ratings on issuers subject to extraordinary government support. It measures the financial strength of issuers subject to extraordinary government support, which can include banks, sub-sovereigns and government-related corporate issuers (GRIs). It explicitly excludes the likelihood of extraordinary government support in the event that a bailout is required but does incorporate support as may be necessary for ordinary operations.
The rating agency, in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, expressed confidence that with its current profile, Sterling Bank will remain resilient in the face of more challenging operating conditions given its adequate capital and liquidity bufers.
It explained further that “Sterling Bank’s B2 deposit ratings continue to incorporate one notch of rating uplift on account of government support as its ratings remain lower than the sovereign rating and its foreign currency deposit rating is now in line with the lowered foreign currency deposit ceiling of B2.”
Specifically, Moody’s rated Sterling Bank B3 in Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment; B1 (CR) in Long-Term Counter-party Risk Assessment; B2 in Long-Term Issuer Rating (Local and Foreign Currency); B2 in Long-Term Deposit Rating (Local and Foreign Currency) while the outlook changed to stable.
Recall that the agency in a statement in March this year, noted that the ratings of the bank reflect its “solid asset quality metrics and provision coverage, improvements to its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and risk management processes as well as its high liquidity buffers and a solid deposit funding base.”