RBS and Lloyds may face credit-ratings cut

The tougher regulatory backdrop in the UK could trigger a ratings cut for up to 14 financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Scotland and its part-nationalised peer, Lloyds, the credit ratings agency Moody's warned yesterday.

In a sweeping move, the agency put Lloyds, RBS and 12 other lenders including Santander UK on review for a possible ratings downgrade. But Moody's said that its caution was not due to questions about their financial health or that of the Government's, but on indications that if things were to go wrong again the bailouts seen during the credit crunch may not be as forthcoming. Ratings cuts could drive up the cost of funding for the banks, as investors take a dimmer view of their credit worthiness.

"The reassessment is not driven by either a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the Government," Moody's analyst Elisabeth Rudman said.

"It has been initiated in response to ongoing guidance from UK authorities (the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury) that banks that fail in the future should not expect capital injections from the public purse."

Others placed on review included Bank of Ireland's UK arm, the Co-operative Bank, Coventry Building Society, Newcastle Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, Nottingham Building Society, Principality Building Society, Skipton Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society and Clydesdale Bank.

The agency also changed its outlook for Barclays to negative from stable, and affirmed the negative outlook on HSBC to reflect regulatory moves that would see senior debt holders share the burden in the event of problems. But the two were not put on review for a possible downgrade.

The review will take about three months, Moody's said. The agency also said it expected to factor in some level of support in the ratings for the major banks, because "regulators do not currently have all the tools to resolve such institutions without causing financial instability". Responding to the move, Joseph Dickerson, an analyst at Execution Noble, highlighted that "the capital position of the UK banks is among the best in Europe".

He added: "The broader message... is that the cost of senior debt is likely to rise as burden-sharing elements make their way into structures from 2013 onward."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003