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Fitch Ratings affirms UBA as a strong, stable bank

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Fitch in a recent review has affirmed its strong rating of Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at “B-” with stable outlook on United Bank for Africa Ghana (UBA Ghana).

The rating on UBA Ghana shows a strong and growing business supported by a dominant parent (United Bank for Africa Plc) with a strong Shareholder Support Rating (SSR) which “reflects a limited probability of extraordinary shareholder support, if required”. Fitch stated that UBA Plc has a high propensity to provide support, given the subsidiary’s importance to the Parent’s Pan-African Strategy and its substantial contribution to the group net income.

The downgrade of Viability Rating (VR) follows the downgrade of Ghana’s Long-Term IDRs and reflects our view that UBA Ghana’s standalone credit profile is closely linked to that of the Sovereign given the concentration of its operations within Ghana, reliance on sovereign-derived income and high exposure to the Sovereign relative to capital. The VR is one notch below the ‘ccc+’ implied VR, reflecting the Operating Environment/Sovereign Rating Constraint.

Fitch had earlier in the year rated UBA Ghana Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at “B-” with stable outlook. This recent rating therefore affirms UBA Ghana’s B- rating.

It is worth mentioning that Fitch, being an International Rating Agency, provides forward-looking Credit opinions on Organisations that engage their services; or they may also initiate unsolicited rating coverage where sufficient public information is available.

We are aware that UBA Ghana on its part is one of the few Ghanaian banks that volunteered to be rated by Fitch, based on its consistent performance as well as its global network across Africa, Europe and America.

In 2021, UBA Ghana’s deposits grew by 46% – the highest growth in the industry – to cross the GH¢4billion mark while the industry growth average at the time stood at 16.7%.

The bank’s investment security to asset ratio stands at 52.5%, which is only third in the industry and higher than the industry average of 40.5%. Additionally, as at the end of second-quarter 2022, UBA Ghana’s Liquidity ratio was 73.87%. These indices demonstrate the bank’s strong and resilient performance.

UBA Ghana has a strong balance sheet with a strong liquidity ratio of 73.87%, higher Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 24.75% and High earning assets of 73.2%.

The bank has led in many innovations of the industry, and at the peak of COVID-19 introduced LEO – Ghana’s first virtual banker – on WhatsApp, Facebook and iMessage; and it is soon to be deployed on two other channels pending approval of the central bank.

UBA Ghana is a subsidiary of United Bank for Africa Plc, which is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than thirty-seven million customers across 1,000 business offices and customer touch-points in 20 African countries.

With presence in New York, London, Paris and now the UAE, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.