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Shares of the major banks fell Thursday as concerns regarding the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) scandal spread. "The two-year investigation into banks rigging Libor, which has taken a toll on Barclays, has the potential to hurt Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America," Mike Mayo, an analyst at CLSA Ltd., wrote in a recent research note. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Banking Industry and provides equity research on Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C).
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Shares of Barclays plunged a day after the bank was ordered to pay a $451.4 million regulatory fine for attempting to rig benchmark interest rates. Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan are among the banks currently being investigated by regulators from the U.S. and the U.K.
"They're facing the possibility of large civil suits, and there's a great debate right now over whether these banks have reserves for litigation," said Nancy Bush, bank analyst and contributing editor to SNL Financial. "This is just one more issue they really didn't need."
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Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Moody's Investors Service recently reduced the banks rating one notch to BAA2 from BAA1.
"Citi strongly disagrees with Moody's analysis of the banking industry and firmly believes its downgrade of Citi is arbitrary and completely unwarranted. Moody's approach is backward-looking and fails to recognize Citi's transformation over the past several years, the strength and diversity of Citi's franchise, and the substantial improvements in Citi's risk management, capital levels and liquidity," Citigroup said in statement in response to Moody's downgrade. Citigroup's rating was downgraded two notches to BAA2 from A3.
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