Nigerian banks affirmed by Fitch ratings


The global rating agency believes that the suspension of the central bank governor of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi not a threat to the stability of the system and is confident of the continued robust support of the financial regulator.

“It is just confirming focus to keep our fundamentals going strongly, we worked hard in the last financial year despite the challenges and we are pleased that are ratings have remained the way it is,” Nnamdi Okonkwo, CEO Fidelity Bank told CNBC Africa.

Fidelity Bank was one of the 10 banks affirmed by the international rating agency alongside the long-term national ratings of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Diamond Bank.


“The challenges we are speaking about are not exactly new. About 24 years ago when I started banking, we had a similar thing, it has happened over and over. I recall in 1990 also, the federal government withdrew public sector funds from the banking sector and moved them to the central bank,” he said.

Okonkwo was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank last month. He is taking over leadership of the bank at a time when the sector is undergoing major regulatory changes such as the shift from the traditional sources of income generation, liquidity tightening measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria and tighter competition.

“In terms of liquidity, the central bank did not mince words over the years about what their focus was going to be, which is price stability, so in doing that, if they don’t have control of the fiscal side, they’ll employ all the monetary tools at the disposal,” he explained.

Okonkwo believes that the liquidity tightening the banking sector experienced was in line with the price stability focus and the impact of it depends on banks individual business models.