25 European banks set to fail health checks: sources

Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:20pm EDT
 
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By John O'Donnell and Andreas Framke

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region's lenders.

The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.

Banks in Spain and France had fared, by and large, better than expected.

The result, which has yet to be finalised by the ECB's governing council on Sunday, provides the most complete picture yet of the robustness of the euro zone's top 130 lenders.

Those banks with shortfalls will now have two weeks to submit a plan to bolster their capital to the European Central Bank (ECB), which will decide whether or not it gets the green light.

A spokesman for the ECB said the test results had not yet been finalised, describing reports in the meantime as speculative.

"The results will not be final until they are considered by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank on Sunday 26 October, after which they will be published," he said.

European banking shares dipped briefly on Friday after Bloomberg News reported that 25 banks within the euro zone would fail the ECB "stress test".   Continued...

 
An illuminated euro sign is seen in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the late evening in Frankfurt January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach