Building societies’ ratings cut for a second time

Just a couple of weeks after credit agency Moody’s downgraded nine UK building societies, Fitch has done the same to five. Fitch cut the default ratings of Chelsea, Newcastle, Principality, West Bromwich and Yorkshire building societies because of ‘signs of strain’ on their mortgages as unemployment rises, and has placed Skipton on ‘negative watch’. A spokesperson from Fitch said its concerns were concentrated on higher-risk lending including buy-to-let and self-certification.