BERLIN (Reuters) - Euro zone banks should expect another round of health checks in 2016, the European Central Bank’s top banking supervisor was quoted as saying, adding that Greece’s banks remained solvent.
European banks underwent health checks last year to help make the financial system more resilient to economic crisis as the ECB took over supervision of the euro zone’s biggest lenders.
The tests are the first step towards more coordinated control of the single currency zone’s financial system. The European Commission is planning a wider capital markets union for the 28-nation EU bloc.
“There will be another general and public round of health checks (for banks) next year,” Daniele Nouy, who heads the ECB’s banking supervisory arm, told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview to be published on Sunday.
“But this could affect less than the 123 banks that we are supervising directly,” she added, noting that the ECB was conducting smaller checks on certain issues on a regular basis.
In the interview, Nouy repeated her assessment that Greece’s banks remain solvent.
“The Greek banking supervisors have done a good job in the last years in order to recapitalize and restructure the financial sector,” she said, adding that Greek banks had never been better prepared for “difficult times” than now.
Her assertion is important because only solvent banks qualify to receive the emergency central bank funding that Greek banks rely on.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber,