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Fitch downgrades top banks


Fitch downgrades top banks


The rating agency Fitch has downgraded a total of seven major banks on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Europe the effected lenders are BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Credit Suisse.

Fitch said the downgrades were because of “increased challenges” in the financial markets.

The agency explained those challenges came from “economic developments as well as a myriad of regulatory changes”.

Fitch’s actions follow downgrades by Standard & Poor’s of several major banks at the end of last month and Moody’s recently.

Analyst Robert Halver of Baader Bank blamed Europe’s politicians: “The downgrades by Fitch are a clear consequence of the lack of ability in Europe to do the right things. We have to solve the debt crisis and until now, I see no clear instruments for that. I am hopeful that at least in the next couple of weeks, we have this solution, and this solution should include the ECB.”

In the United States the affected companies are Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

For Citi Fitch said it was influenced by the “policy momentum” against the idea of using taxpayer money to support banks during a crisis.

Bank of America, which has had ratings cuts by all three agencies, said: “This decision is driven more by concerns about the global economy than the specific credit quality of Bank of America.”

The move did not seem to perturb the markets and shares of the banks did not decline.

Hours after the move against the banks Fitch warned it may downgrade Belgium, Italy, and four other euro zone countries in the absence of a “comprehensive solution” to the region’s debt crisis.

The ratings agency placed the ratings of Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus in credit watch negative, which means a downgrade is possible within three months.

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