Cape Town - Fitch on Friday said the failure of African Bank would not see it lower its ratings for South Africa's five biggest banks as the likelihood of contagion was limited.

“It does not change our view of the credit profiles of the largest five banks, so there are no rating changes,” the London-based ratings agency said.

“Our view that the fallout from African Bank's resolution will not be material is underpinned by the small exposures the large five banks have to the failed lender.”

It added, however, that Absa Bank, FirstRand, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and Investec's “bbb” range viability ratings were effectively capped by a weakening economy and deteriorating operating environment.