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Three top French banks downgraded by Moody's

The ratings agency says the ongoing euro crisis means the eurozone is a “fragile operating environment for European banks” at the moment.

CREDIT RATINGS agency Moody’s has downgraded three of France’s main banks over concerns about the bank’s access to market funding amidst the eurozone debt crisis.

Moody’s announced this morning that it was downgrading the overall strength ratings of BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Credit Agricole SA.

The agency cited risky debt levels and liquidity and funding restraints as some of the main factors behind the downgrades, adding that the severity of the eurozone crisis has increased. It also said that the eurozone was a “fragile operating environment for European banks”.

The move comes a day after the European Banking Authority warned that the three French banks, along with BPCE, have a capital shortfall of €7.3 billion. France must submit plans for tackling the funding shortfall to the EBA by 20 January 2012.

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