Fitch downgrades five European banks

15 December 2011

Five major European banks have had their credit ratings downgraded amid ongoing fears regarding the continent's debt crisis.

Leading credit agency Fitch has announced today (15 December) that Dutch financier Rabobank, Denmark's Danske Bank, Finnish lender OP Pohjola Group and French firms Federtaive du Credit Mutuel and Credit Agricole have all been subjected to a one-notch reduction.

Financial markets across the region are struggling to return to health as the debt problems encountered by many member states rumble on, which is having a direct impact on the fortunes of the continent's lenders.

For instance, Credit Agricole - which is reportedly set to cut some 2,000 jobs from its investment division in the near future - has been downgraded due to its exposure to the crisis.

The agency indicated that while all five banks have managed to enhance their capital recently, the "general developments in the global economy and a notable shift in market confidence" mean ratings reductions were unavoidable.

By Gary Cooper

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