Fitch downgrades A&L rating

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Alliance & Leicester’s long-term issuer default rating to A+ from AA-. It says the action reflects the lender’s weak access to funding. Its short-term IDR has also been downgraded to F1 from F1+. Fitch says this reflects A&L’s weak prospects for profitability thanks to higher funding costs and possible write-downs on its structured credit portfolio. A Fitch statement says: “These ratings take account of the uncertainty surrounding the UK market. A&L’s capitalisation is acceptable.”