Saying that it was reassessing smaller U.K. banks that might not be able to seek bailouts from the government in case of trouble, Moody's Investors Service on Thursday said that as many as 18 of those institutions might find their ratings on the chopping block.
Larger institutions, such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, would be reevaluated later, the rating agency said, indicating that until that time those banks might be subject to negative outlooks.
According to a Reuters report, the company said it was examining those smaller banks to see how they might survive absent rescue should they run into trouble. It added that those smaller banks might be slashed several notches once its evaluation was complete. It has already taken similar steps in Portugal and Spain.