17 Dec 2011

Big banks downgraded

10:05 am on 17 December 2011

Fitch has downgraded six of the world's largest banks, citing difficult financial and economic conditions.

They are: Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

In a statement on Thursday, Fitch said these banks were ''particularly sensitive to the increased challenges the financial markets face''.

The BBC reports Moody's and Standard & Poor's are also reviewing and cutting the credit ratings of European banks for similar reasons.

On 30 November, Standard & Poor's downgraded the long-term credit grades of a number of banks, including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and HSBC.

Last week, Moody's downgraded France's three big banks due to their difficulty borrowing money.

Banks that hold eurozone sovereign debt have taken massive charges on the debt.

S&P has also put 15 of the 17 eurozone governments on review for a downgrade.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned on Thursday of a "gloomy" economic outlook.

She said the world could face another 1930s-style depression if the problems in the eurozone are not dealt with.