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A woman uses a Bankia bank automated teller machine (ATM) in Madrid.

ANDREA COMAS/REUTERS

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday downgraded 18 Spanish banks less than a week after the agency cut the country's sovereign debt rating, underscoring the potential for lenders' assets to deteriorate further.

Fitch, which already cut Santander and BBVA on Monday, cut the ratings for CaixaBank, Bankia, Banco Popular Espanol and others.

"In particular, Spain is expected to remain in recession through the remainder of this year and 2013 compared to the previous expectation that the economy would benefit from a mild recovery in 2013," Fitch said in a statement.

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Last week Fitch slashed Spain's rating by three notches to triple-B.

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