Stress tests revealed Friday that eight out of the 90 European banks tested fell short of capital requirements for a total of 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion) combined. The results were not as damaging as had been feared, although a number of banks that passed will still have to improve their capital positions.
According to the European Banking Authority (EBA), banks were encouraged to increase their capital positions in the first four months of 2011 prior to the test. Still, eight banks fell short of the required 5% CT1 reserve, with another 16 squeaking by with reserves of between 5% and 6%.
The EBA further noted that such reserves were not adequate to guard against all eventualities in the current economic climate; therefore, it recommended “that national supervisory authorities request all banks whose CT1R is above but close to 5%, and which have sizeable exposures to sovereigns under stress, to take specific steps to strengthen their capital position. These would include, where necessary, restrictions on dividends, deleveraging, issuance of fresh capital or conversion of lower-quality instruments into Core Tier 1 capital.”