Moody's cuts British credit outlook after Brexit vote

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange following news of Britain's EU referendum result on June 24.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange following news of Britain's EU referendum result on June 24.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP/REUTERS) - Moody's cut Britain's credit rating outlook to "negative" on Friday, saying the vote to pull out of the European Union could hurt its economic prospects.

While holding the country's overall rating at a high "Aa1", Moody's said after the Brexit vote that it expects "heightened uncertainty, diminished confidence and lower spending and investment to result in weaker growth."

The move came as Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned that British financial institutions' access to the European Union's internal market would be more limited after the country leaves the European Union.

Speaking on RTL television, the chair of the council of euro zone finance ministers said that limited access was the "price" of Britain's leaving the bloc, and that rival financial centres like Amsterdam and Frankfurt would benefit.

"A few years ago, London took out adverts in the Asian edition of the Financial Times saying it was the place to come if you wanted to do business in the EU," he said.

"Now, they can't place that advert, and the Asians will go to Amsterdam or Frankfurt instead."