NCBJ touts S&P ratings upgrade as ‘validation of strong market position’
National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCBJ) is touting its recent rating upgrade by Standard and Poor’s Global Rating (S&P Global) as affirmation of the financial stability of the company.
S&P Global Ratings has upgraded NCBJ’s long-term issuer credit rating from ‘B+’ to ‘BB-’. The short-term issuer credit ratings were affirmed at ‘B’. S&P, in its release, retained a stable outlook given its expectation that NCBJ will maintain its credit fundamentals over the next 12 months.
In a news release, NCBJ said the positive development mirrors a similar upgrade for the sovereign credit ratings of Jamaica, reflecting financial stability and prudent fiscal management at both the bank and national levels.
Interim Group CEO of NCB Financial Group Limited (NCBFG), Robert Almeida, noted, “This historic rating upgrade provides independent confirmation of what we already know – that our leadership team is committed to financial stability and prudent fiscal management across our Group of companies.”
Almeida added, “Our shareholders can be confident that our strong foundation in NCBJ will only strengthen, and can be assured of our continued dedication to maintaining the safety and soundness of the broader NCBFG franchise, ensuring robust capital growth and restoring balance in how we serve all our stakeholders.”
CEO of NCBJ, Septimus ‘Bob’ Blake, said, “This ratings action validates the strong market position NCBJ holds in the domestic financial system, our diversified revenue streams and stable funding base.”
Blake noted that since the start of the pandemic, the bank’s asset quality has rebounded, demonstrating its ability to contain credit losses, while maintaining stable income.
Meanwhile, NCBFG Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, sought to assure that the “best is yet to come” from the financial institution.
“We will not waiver from our EGC focus to improve Efficiency, Governance, and Customer Experience. The best is yet to come for our customers, our shareholders, and our organisation, as this development reinforces what I believe is possible,” Lee-Chin said.