Bank downgrade 'no great surprise'

The credit ratings agency Fitch has downgraded six of the world's largest banks - blaming what it calls 'challenging financial markets'.

The banks include Barclays, as well as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs in the US, BNP Paribas in France and Germany's Deutsche Bank.

Fitch cut the so-called "issuer default rating" at the banks, which reflects its ability to meet its financial commitments.

Fitch said the downgrades reflected problems in the sector as a whole, rather than specific concerns over the banks - but it follows a similar downgrade of France's three big banks by Moody's last week over their difficulty borrowing money.

Louise Cooper from BGC Partners says the move "isn't a great surprise" and that the banks desperately need to raise funds to cushion them against the eurozone crisis.

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