May 17, 2015 / 5:35 PM / 4 years ago

Ratings agency Fitch to downgrade many European banks-newspaper

BERLIN, May 17 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Fitch will soon downgrade European banks en masse, possibly even at the start of the week, German newspaper Handelsblatt said, citing unnamed financial sources.

In most cases the banks will be downgraded by between one and a maximum of four levels, according to an advance copy of an article due to be published on Monday.

Fitch was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters. Handelsblatt said a spokesman did not want to comment on the report.

The move would be a reaction to European governments having become less willing to prop up banks if they get into a crisis, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said dozens of banks would be affected by the downgrade, including Deutsche Bank, which would see its rating fall slightly, and Commerzbank, which would be hit much harder. (Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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