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Moody’s downgrades 12 UK finance firms on fears BoE will not rescue weak banks

Saturday, October 8th 2011 - 08:16 UTC
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The list includes Lloyds TSB, RBS, Nationwide and Santander UK (Photo BBC) The list includes Lloyds TSB, RBS, Nationwide and Santander UK (Photo BBC)

Moody's has downgraded the credit rating of 12 UK financial firms including Lloyds TSB, RBS, Nationwide and Santander UK. The ratings agency said it now believed the government was less likely to support firms that got into trouble.

However, the firm emphasised that the downgrades did not “reflect deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system”.

Moody's also downgraded nine Portuguese banks, blaming financial weakness.

Shares in both Lloyds and RBS were among the FTSE 100's biggest fallers, closing down 3.4% and 3% respectively. Seven UK building societies were among the firms downgraded. A move the Building Societies Association (BSA) called a “normalisation” that had “been expected for some time”.

“It does not represent any change in financial strength and it is business as usual across the sector,” the BSA said.

“The downgrades have been caused by Moody's reassessment of the support environment in the UK which has resulted in the removal of systemic support for seven smaller institutions and the reduction of systemic support... for five larger, more systemically important financial institutions.”

The downgrades include a two-notch cut for government-controlled RBS, to A2 from Aa3, and a cut of one-notch, to A1 from Aa3, for Lloyds TSB, a division of part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group.

Spanish bank Santander had its UK business downgraded by one notch, to A1 from Aa3, while Nationwide Building Society suffered a two-notch cut, to A2 from Aa3.

Other institutions downgraded were Co-operative Bank, and the building societies Newcastle, Norwich & Peterborough, Nottingham, Principality, Skipton, West Bromwich and Yorkshire.

The rating cuts did not concern HSBC, Barclays or Standard Chartered, Moody's said.

RBS said it was “disappointed” that Moody's announcement did not reflect the “significant progress” the bank had made to restructure it finances.

“We do, however, see the removal of implicit government support for the UK banking sector as being a necessary and important step forward as the sector returns to standalone strength,” RBS said in a statement.

Lloyds said that it believed Moody's was reflecting what was already understood in the market, and that it would “have minimal impact on our funding costs”.

Nationwide said that Moody's announcement was part of an industry-wide review, and “not a reflection of Nationwide's business model”.

The building society said in a statement: “Nationwide remains one of the strongest and best capitalised financial organisations in the UK”.

Categories: Economy, International.

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  • geo

    no any comments ..!! ??

    Oct 08th, 2011 - 05:30 pm 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    They are afraid to read it.

    Oct 08th, 2011 - 09:19 pm 0
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