Fed revises stress test losses

Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:04pm EDT
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By Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bank said on Friday it had made mistakes in calculating bank losses in stress test results released this week.

But the Federal Reserve noted the revisions -- which affect Citigroup (C.N: Quote), Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote), and three others -- have no effect on key figures like capital ratios, which estimate how bank reserves would fare under scenarios imagined by the tests, which include skyrocketing unemployment, a tanking market and a deep recession.

In results first released on Tuesday, the Fed gave glowing marks to most of the large banks, passing 15 out of 19 tested, and underscoring the recovery of the financial sector.

But the central bank called out a few laggards, including Citigroup, forcing it and others to revise planned share buybacks and dividends.

In revised figures released on Friday, the Fed reduced Citi's losses on first lien mortgages from $9.3 billion to $8.9 billion under the stressed scenario. The change occurred after the Fed decided to remove foreign mortgages from that calculation.

Citi representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The other banks affected by the revisions are Ally Financial GKM.N, Metlife (MET.N: Quote), and Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote).

Citigroup, Ally Financial, Metlife and Sun Trust STIHCB.UL found themselves at the bottom of the stress test heap on Tuesday.   Continued...

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs committee in Washington March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron