Italian banks fail ECB stress test

The European Central Bank failed twenty-five lenders in its Europe-wide stress test, with most of the banks still in need of funds residing in Italy.

The Frankfurt-based institution identified a total gap of 25 billion euros ($32 billion) as of the end of 2013, most of which has now been raised by the necessary banks. None of Europe’s largest banks were found lacking, and no French, German or Spanish institutions were required to find more capital.

Italy’s Monte Paschi and Banca Carige SpA must find a combined 2.9 billion Euros between them in the next nine months, as the ECB attempts to finally close the door on half a decade of financial turmoil in Europe.

 “The capital shortfall is at the lower end of expectations,” Jon Peace, a banking analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. in London, told Bloomberg News. “It was always going to be a challenge for the ECB to convince the market of its credibility if it was going to be a small number which failed and capital to be raised.”

The ECB’s health check showed banks in Italy are in particular need of more funds as they cope with bad loans and the nation’s third recession since 2008.


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