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AGUSTO & CO upgrades Access Bank’s credit rating to “A+”

LAGOS, NIGERIA – June 26, 2014 – Access Bank Plc, (Bloomberg: ACCESS NL/Thomson Reuters: ACCESS.LG) (“Access Bank” or the “Bank”), the full service commercial bank with headquarters in Nigeria and with operations across Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK today announced its 2014 credit rating by Agusto & Co.

One of the leading Nigerian credit rating agencies Agusto & Co has upgraded Access Bank’s credit rating from “A” to “A+” with a stable outlook. The rating reflects the full synergy of the merger with Intercontinental Bank Plc (ICB), which has propelled the bank to be one of the Systematically Important Banking (SIB) Institutions in Nigeria.

The rating also recognises the bank’s good liquidity position, satisfactory capitalisation, as well as improved risk management framework and the positive impacts on assets quality.

The rating agency stated in their report that the Bank’s extensive branch network has created improved visibility among the banking population and has translated to good market share across the key market indicators. NPLs to gross loans ratio stood at 2.4%, the lowest recorded in the last five years and compares favourably with the industry average of 3.6%.

Access Bank’s improved rating is attributable to its strong liquidity and funding position which is a clear affirmation of its position as one of Nigeria’s tier 1 banks. The rating upgrade further corroborates the Bank’s enhanced capacity to execute larger transactions as well as access long-term funding from local and foreign multilateral agencies and institutions. This was further confirmed in the successful tier II capital of $400 million Eurobond recently raised by the Bank. This will provide sufficient headroom for the bank to achieve its targeted 20% asset growth in 2014.

The rating upgrade of the bank is yet another testament to the Bank’s continued focus on sustainable banking and its commitment in becoming the world’s most respected African bank.