FRENCH and Danish banks were among five European institutions downgraded by ratings agency Fitch following a review of the sector.
They included Credit Agricole, Danske Bank and Rabobank, Fitch said in a statement.
“While ratings for these banks are driven by idiosyncratic factors that determine how they rank in relation to each other and the wider rating universe, the downgrades reflect the broader phenomenon of stronger headwinds facing the banking industry as a whole,” the ratings agency said.
It added that European banks are still struggling to find funds amid the sovereign debt crisis and weakening economic conditions.
Just last week, the European banking watchdog said institutions in the region needed to raise an additional €115bn by June as a buffer against falling asset values.
Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel and OP-Pohjola also had their credit ratings cut by one level.
Shares in European banks fell today following the downgrade.