Differences in performance at major European banks over the next few years will lead to a wider divergence in ratings, according to analysts at Standard & Poor's ratings group.

"We see more pressure on downgrades and bigger gaps between better and lower-rated banks," said Scott Bugie, a director with the rating agency in Paris. Mr. Bugie spoke in New York at a one-day seminar last week on current trends in creditworthiness among banks.

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