Fitch adds support assessment to bank ratings

Fitch Ratings has added a new category to its bank rating system, after conducting research which showed that stressed banks are far more likely to fail than default.

The addition of the category 'F' to the agency's previous 'individual rating' scale running from A to E denotes that a bank has defaulted - or would have defaulted had it not received external support.

The agency's research studied 1,700 banks over a 17-year period and found that support from third parties means nine times out of

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