The Straits Times
Published on Feb 23, 2013

Pound tumbles after Britain, Bank of England lose AAA rating in Moody's downgrade


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Moody's stripped Britain of its triple-A debt rating Friday, saying government debt was still mounting and that growth was too weak to reverse the trend before 2016.

In an expected rebuff to the Cameron government's hopes that sharp spending cuts would both reduce its deficit and give growth a boost, the rating agency cut Britain's grade by one notch to Aa1.

In parallel, it lowered the rating of the country's central bank, the Bank of England, which also fell from AAA to Aa1.

The move sent the pound tumbling and put the architect of British austerity, finance minister George Osborne, on the defensive.