Wednesday 15 February 2012 8:51 pm

Moody’s places almost all EU banks on alert

RATINGS agency Moody’s put more than 100 European financial firms on review for possible downgrades last night, in the wake of its mass downgrade of sovereign debt on Monday. UK-based banks such as Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland are included in the review. Lloyds, which has been on review since November, is also featured. It said “the adverse and prolonged impact of the euro area crisis” is one reason for the review, as well as “substantial challenges” in capital markets. Moody’s said the outlook on any bank debt guaranteed by France, Austria or the UK has been changed from stable to negative. It also placed US banks including Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs on review.