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EBA publishes list of banks for transparency exercise

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a "tentative" sample of banks taking part in its 2015 transparency exercise, plus details and dates on an EU-wide stress test in 2016.16 Jul 2015

The transparency exercise, due to be carried out towards the end of this year, will see detailed data published on banks' balance sheets, including their composition of capital, leverage ratio, risk weighted assets by risk type, and sovereign and credit risk exposure, the EBA said.

The EBA will also publish information on asset quality, market risk and securitisation exposures as of December 2014 and June 2015, it said.

The data published will be mainly based on supervisory reporting data from COREP and FINREP, with some information collected directly from banks.

Common Reporting, or COREP, is the term used to describe standardised European reporting requirements for capital and risk, required by the EBA, while FINREP refers to Financial Reporting under the same requirements.

The EBA announced in March that it would not run an EU-wide stress test in 2015, replacing it with the transparency exercise, which is similar to one run in 2013.

A stress test assesses how resilient financial institutions are to adverse market developments, and assesses the overall systemic risk in the EU financial system.

The decision not to run a test in 2015 was made based on the progress that EU banks have made in strengthening their capital positions in response to the 2014 asset quality reviews and stress test, the EBA said.

The EBA's board of supervisors has now agreed some elements of the 2016 EU stress test, and says this "will feature many aspects of the 2014 EU-wide stress test".

The 2016 test will build on lessons learned in previous tests, the authority said, and will be more aligned to the timing of the annual supervisory review and evaluation process, to let the results of the stress test be used in that process.

The stress test is likely to be launched in the first quarter of 2016, and checks completed by the third quarter, the EBA said. A draft method and templates will be proposed for discussion by the end of 2015, and details will be communicated "in the coming months", it said.

Banking expert Michael Ruck of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "Whilst the transparency exercise being undertaken this year by the EBA will produce data on capital, asset quality and other key financial measures the focus for many will be next year’s stress test."

"While the EBA has considered banks' improvements in its decision not to undertake a stress testing exercise this year, it will no doubt be carefully considering the data received as part of the transparency exercise in assessing whether this improvement has continued and how to frame the stress test for next year.  Any bank which does not meet the requirements as part of the stress test next year will face significant challenges," he said.