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Irish Banks' Credit Slashed Again

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Five of Ireland's remaining banks had their credit rating downgraded on Monday.

Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Bank of Ireland, EBS Building Society, Irish Life & Permanent, ICS Building Society and Irish Nationwide Building Society each had their credit rating lowered several notches by Moody's Investor Services (MCO). The downgrades were applied to several layers of the banks' ratable risks, including financial strength, senior debt, deposits and junior securities.

The bank downgrade follows Moody's decision on Friday to lower the Irish sovereign credit rating from Aa2 to Baa1. The rating agency slashed the sovereign ratings after it expressed concerns that the government's financial strength could deteriorate because of losses at its banks and slow growth in the Irish economy.

"The downgrade of the standalone ratings [reflects] their ongoing high reliance on external support for day-to-day funding, the uncertain evolution of their respective franchises amidst an expected far-reaching restructuring of the entire sector, and likely further pressure on asset quality as a result of the government's austerity measures," said Ross Abercromby, analyst for Irish banks at Moody's.

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