(Corrects to show 18 banks were downgraded)
LONDON, June 17 Standard & Poor's on Wednesday
cut its ratings on 18 banks citing expectations of more
difficult operating conditions due to volatile financial
markets and tighter regulation.
Among the rating changes, S&P cut the counterparty credit
ratings of Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) by one notch to AA-minus,
U.S. Bancorp by two notches to A-plus and Fifth Third Bancorp
(FITB.O) by two notches to BBB.
S&P also downgraded the counterparty credit ratings of
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN.O) and Carolina First Bank by two
notches to junk-status BB-plus with a negative outlook. It also
cut Citizens Republic Bancorp CRBC.O counterparty credit
rating by three notches to BB-minus with a negative outlook
"We believe the banking industry is undergoing a structural
transformation that may include radical changes with permanent
repercussions," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Rodrigo
"Financial institutions are now shedding balance-sheet risk
and altering funding profiles and strategies for the
marketplace's new reality. Such a transition period justifies
lower ratings as industry players implement changes."
(Reporting by Natalie Harrison; Editing by Hans Peters)