The long-term issuer default ratings of Fulton Financial Corp., Lancaster, Pa., and certain affiliates have been downgraded from A to A-minus by Fitch Ratings, which cited early payment defaults on 80/20 piggyback mortgage loans originated by Fulton's Resource Bank subsidiary.The short-term ratings of Fulton and its affiliates were affirmed at F1, and the rating outlook is stable. Fitch said it expects "continued pressure on earnings in tandem with the likelihood of further increases in nonperforming assets." Resource Bank had been originating piggyback, low-documentation loans through a national broker network, and investors began requesting that the bank repurchase the loans in the first quarter due to early payment defaults, Fitch reported. The rating agency can be found online at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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