NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service on Thursday lowered its credit ratings for Barclays Bank PLC, citing the British lender's exposure to market volatility and the large risk associated with capital markets.
The action was part of a move by the ratings firm to downgrade ratings on some of the world's biggest banks.
Moody's cut Barclays long-term deposit and debt ratings two notches to "A2" from "Aa3," which still represents an investment grade rating. The firm also affirmed Barclay's Prime-1 short-term ratings.
In addition, Moody's lowered Barclay's stand-alone credit assessment to "C-/baa2" from "C/a3."
Moody's also downgraded its ratings for the bank's holding company, Barclays PLC, to "A3/P-2" from "A1/P-1."
The firm noted that it expects that Barclays can count on a very high probability of government support for the lender in the event of stress.
Still, the outlook on Barclay's long-term deposit rating is negative, as Moody's sees government support for large British banks declining over the medium term.
Downgrades mean Moody's sees greater risks in a company's debt, and they generally make it more costly to raise money by selling debt because investors demand higher interest in return for taking on riskier debt.
Other banks downgraded Thursday included Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Moody's had said in February that it was considering downgrading the credit ratings of major banks.