Moody's Downgrades French Banks

Greek debt crisis hits SocGen, Credit Agricole
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2011 4:17 AM CDT
Parisians walk past the logo of the French bank Societe General.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(Newser) – The Greek debt crisis has hit the credit rating of two of France's biggest banks. Moody's has downgraded Societe Generale and Credit Agricole by a notch, and warned the country's biggest bank, BNP Paribas, that it may be next in line. The banks have seen their share prices plummet this week amid fears over their exposure to Greek debt. Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou are holding talks on the debt crisis today.

The chief of France's central bank described the "very small downgrade" as "relatively good news," the Financial Times notes. "French banks have an excellent rating, the same level as other major European banks, HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse," he said. "There’s no really bad news on the way, and Moody’s says the level of capital of French banks allows them to absorb any potential losses on sovereign debt."

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