Agencies cut Spanish lenders
MADRID-Agence France-PresseFitch and Standard & Poor’s, two leading rating agencies, downgraded Spanish banks on Feb. 13.
Fitch Ratings lowered on Feb. 13 the rating of Spain’s four largest banks, including Santander, in a move that follows the agency’s two-notch downgrade of Spain last month.
The agency cut its rating for Santander, the biggest eurozone bank by market capitalization, by two notches to A and cut its ratings for BBVA, Bankia and CaixaBank by one notch, it said in a statement.
BBVA also owns Turkey’s Garanti Bank with local Doğuş Group.
“The downgrade of Spain indicates a weakening of its ability to support its largest banks. However, Fitch expects the Spanish authorities to continue to show a high propensity to support these institutions,” it said.
“Fitch believes there is a close link between bank and sovereign credit risk (and therefore ratings) and, it is unusual for banks to be rated above their domestic sovereigns.
Standard & Poor’s also lowered the credit rating of 15 Spanish banks.
It lowered its credit ratings on 10 banks by one notch and it cut its rating on another five by two notches.
S&P also included Santander, BBVA, Bankia and CaixaBank in its downgrade list.