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Global Credit Rating Company (GCR), a leading global rating agency has assigned an A plus (A+) long-term and an A one (A1) short-term rating to First City Monument Bank PLC. This confirms First City Monument Bank’s short and long-term favourable outlook.

The short term A1 rating shows a very high certainty of timely payment. It also confirms excellent liquidity factors, supported by good fundamental protection factors and shows the bank is operating with minor risk factors that are well mitigated. This is proof of an excellent short-term outlook and bodes well for depositors. The long-term A+ rating shows the long term outlook for the bank is healthy with high credit quality and good protection factors, which confirms the long-term condition of the bank and its investment attractiveness.

According to the report prepared by GCR, “the positive ratings given to FCMB was due to the success of the bank’s initial public offering (IPO) and the bank’s successful merger that widened the bank’s geographical presence, especially in the southern part of the country, improving FCMB’s competitive position within the financial services industry.”

Other criteria for these ratings included the maintenance of a highly liquid balance sheet and the high profit growth observed as the nine-month net profit after tax grew by 144% on an annualized basis. The bank’s plan to transform into a full spectrum retail bank led to a rapid branch expansion.

Recently, the bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sabre Capital Worldwide, a leading private equity partnership and management support firm that is focused purely on retail and consumer banking. Under this strategic partnership, Sabre Capital will provide strategic support to FCMB in various areas while assisting the bank to raise capital from the global financial market. Apart from this FCMB is also increasing its domestic and global alliances via various partnerships with regional and global corporations to establish various services including mortgage banking and micro financing. The bank is also in the final stages of its regional and international expansion, which will signal the commencement of international operations.

Established in 1983 as the first private merchant bank in Nigeria without government or foreign technical assistance, First City Monument Bank has been able to transform itself into a universal bank with a rapidly growing retail banking franchise, whilst retaining a leadership position in wholesale and investment banking. This evaluation of the bank’s credit risk and performance by Global Credit Rating clearly restates the bank’s position as a resilient and increasingly important player within the Nigerian banking industry.

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