Egan-Jones Cuts UK Credit Rating

Ratings firm Egan-Jones on Wednesday downgraded its rating on the United Kingdom to A+ from AA-, citing Europe’s ongoing fiscal woes.

“The major problems for the UK is that Europe's banking crisis does not appear to be abating as evidenced by the problems of the Cypriot banks,” the firm wrote in a note that accompanied the announcement of the downgrade.

A financial crisis on the small island of Cyprus has Europe scrambling once again to raise bailout funds to stabilize the financial system of one of its smaller nations. As in past crises in Ireland and Portugal, Europe’s financial policy makers fear the problem could lead to a contagion that spreads across Europe’s already fragile fiscal landscape.

Egan-Jones said the crisis in Cyprus is just one of many economic issues facing the United Kingdom.

“The over-riding concern is whether the country will be able to continue to cut its deficit in the face of weaker economic conditions and a possible deterioration in the country's financial sector. Unfortunately, we expect that the UK's debt/GDP will rise and the country will remain pressed,” the firm said.