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U.S. Banks Complete Stress Tests

The majority of the largest banks will continue to have enough capital to satisfy regulators, even if they suffer a financial shock that includes unemployment hitting 13 percent and a 21 percent drop in housing prices, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday.

KEY POINTS:
  • The Fed, in releasing its annual stress test results two days early, said 15 of the 19 largest U.S. banks would have satisfactory capital buffers.
  • The regulator said Citigroup, Ally Financial and SunTrust banks fared worst under the supervisory stress ratios, with Tier 1 common capital ratios of 4.9 percent, 4.4 percent, and 4.8 percent, respectively.
  • The bank holding companies that came out on top were Bank of New York Mellon with a Tier 1 common capital ratio of 13.1 percent under the hypothetical financial shock, State Street Corp with 12.5 percent and American Express with 10.8 percent.
  • Bank of America came in with 6.2 percent, and JPMorgan's result was 5.9 percent.

Stephen Wood, Chief Market Strategist, Russell Investments, New York: "American banks are healthier and have ample capital when compared with their European counterparts. They are in better conditions than where they were four years ago. The bigger issue is how insulated American banks are to the European situation. Does this build confidence? Transparency generally builds confidence. We think this is a positive in a sense that it allows investors to assess risks better and allow for higher quality forecasts."

Source: Reuters
Date: 14.03.2012 [315]

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