The ratings of South Africa-based banks are constrained by the country’s sovereign rating. This is due to the direct and indirect impact of sovereign distress on domestic banks’ operations. The following tables summarise the credit ratings of the South African sovereign, FirstRand Bank Limited and FirstRand Limited.
South African Sovereign long-term ratings
FirstRand Bank Limited Ratings
|Outlook||Counterparty rating*||National scale rating||
|S&P||Stable||BB||B||zaAA +||zaA-1 +||bbb-|
|*||Relates to the issuer credit rating for S&P, and long-term bank deposits ratings for Moody’s.|
|**||Refers to a rating agency’s measure of a bank’s intrinsic creditworthiness before considering external factors, e.g. affiliate or government support. S&P uses the standalone credit profile and Moody’s the baseline credit assessment.|
|Sources: S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service.|
FirstRand Bank’s standalone credit ratings continue to reflect its strong market position in South Africa, as well as its focused strategy, good core profitability, financial flexibility, robust risk management and sound capitalisation.
FirstRand Limited Ratings
FirstRand Limited’s ratings reflect its status as the non-operating holding company of the FirstRand group and the entity’s consequent structural subordination and reliance on dividends from operating companies to meet its obligations, which expose it to potential regulatory impositions. It is standard practice for a holding company to be rated below the operating company (in this case, FirstRand Bank Limited). The group issues debt out of the bank, which is the credit counterparty.