Fitch ratings agency on Thursday cut three European banks' credit ratings and put another seven international financial institutions on the negative watch list.
The global rating agency downgraded UBS's long-term issuer default rating from A+ to A, saying the bank is no longer warranted. It cut the ratings of Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc from AA- to A as the British government is less likely to provide future support. Fitch also downgraded Germany's Landesbank one notch to A+ from AA-.
Fitch also placed seven international institutions on negative watch, meaning they may be downgraded in the future. They are two U.S. investment banks: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, because of new regulations and economic developments. And the other five are European financial institutions including Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse AG, BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Barclays Plc., due to European debt concerns.
Fitch said it expects to make a decision on possible ratings downgrades of the seven institutions "within a short time frame and take corresponding rating actions where warranted."
The rating agency also said in a statement that such a move reflects Fitch's view that "these institutions' business models are particularly sensitive to the increased challenges the financial markets are facing. These challenges result from both economic developments, particularly in the euro area, as well as a myriad of regulatory changes."