EU official calls for regular bank 'stress tests'

8th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Union's financial services chief called on Wednesday for so-called "stress tests" on banks to be carried out on a regular basis, to judge their resilience in the event of another crisis.

"I am completely of the opinion that in future, we need to conduct stress tests regularly," Commissioner Michel Barnier told the German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview.

So far, Europe has conducted just one "stress test", in July, which seven of the 91 banks failed.

German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, Greece's ATEBank and five regional savings banks in Spain failed the key test of capital strength conducted by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS).

"We are going to need more tests. The tests this year helped to create transparency and settle the markets," said Barnier.

The EU official also dismissed claims that authorities were saddling banks with too much regulation. "Bankers behaved irresponsibly, immorally and unethically," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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