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S&P cuts ratings on big US banks' parent companies

Standard and Poor's on Wednesday cut its credit ratings on the holding companies behind eight key U.S. banks, citing uncertainty about whether the government would prop them up under extraordinary circumstances.

A Bank of America branch in Laguna Beach, California.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
A Bank of America branch in Laguna Beach, California.

The agency dropped by one notch its ratings on the parent companies of "systemically important" U.S. banks — Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

"We now consider the likelihood that the U.S. government would provide extraordinary support to its banking system to be 'uncertain' and are removing the uplift based on government support from our ratings," S&P said.

The agency left its ratings on the banks' operating arms unchanged.