Fitch downgrades two Spanish banks

A homeless person sleeps in the doorway of a bank in Madrid Thursday June 7, 2012. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pleaded with European leaders "to support those that are in difficulty" and push toward greater fiscal unity - a step that might allow its troubled banks to get direct financial help. The call comes although Spain insists it doesn't need outside aid. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White

(AP) MADRID - Fitch ratings agency says it has downgraded Spain's two largest international banks Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) from A to BBB+.

The agency said the reasons for the downgrade were primarily because Spanish sovereign debt ratings had been downgraded to BBB- from A- on June 7 and also due to forecasts that Spain's faltering economy would remain in recession throughout this year and also in 2013 "compared to the previous expectation that the economy would benefit from a mild recovery in 2013."

Financial markets were barely soothed Monday by a 100 billion euro ($124.68 billion) plan hatched over the weekend to rescue Spain's debt-laden banks and instead investors began to question the conditions of the loan package and whether the country could manage the extra debt.