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Further EU Bank stress tests to be held on March 2nd

Mon 21st Feb 2011

The EU is expected to annunce a new round of stress tests to determine the financial health of all banks on March 2nd, after last year's results were criticised for failing to spot a significant weakness in a number of Irish lenders.

Michel Barnier, the EU financial services commissioner, announced the date earlier today despite previously saying how the tests - seen as essential in measuring potential bank weakness in other weak EU countries such as Spain - could be conducted during February. He spoke of how the delay was due to the "very complex" nature of testing required if the 2011 edition was to produce "credible" results.

Out of the total of 91 European banks that were tested in July, only 7 of them were judged to be in a vulnerable position : 5 from Spain, 1 from Greece and 1 from Germany.

The accuracy of tests carried out last summer was heavily criticised after the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks passed them at the time, only to need massive bailouts a few months later, prompting the country to then ask for help.

Earlier this year Barnier pledged "we are going to draw the lessons by making the next tests more rigorous and even more credible."

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