On February 24, 2016, the European Banking Authority launched the next round of EU-wide bank stress tests and released the associated methodology and macroeconomic scenarios for its application. The test will involve a sample of 51 EU banks, covering 70% of the region’s banking sector. The purpose of the test is to provide a common analytical framework for supervisors, banks and other market participants to assess and compare the stress of EU banks when faced with economic shocks. The common methodology of the test is to assess solvency and the main types of risk faced by EU banks: credit and securitization, market, sovereign, funding and operational and conduct risk. The adverse scenario posed by the test highlights the most material threats to the stability of the EU banking sector: (i) sudden increased risk compounded by a reduction in secondary market liquidity; (ii) weak profitability prospects; (iii) low nominal growth and rising debt sustainability concerns; and (iv) stress in the growing shadow banking sector fueled by liquidity risk. An EU-wide asset quality review will not be conducted before the 2016 test, as was the case in 2014. National regulators regularly assess asset quality as part of their supervisory work. The EBA has not set a single capital threshold. The EBA expects the results of the stress test to be published in the third quarter of 2016. The results will be used to assist the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Processes when determining appropriate capital resources. National regulators will review the results and determine whether any supervisory measure is necessary to address any capital shortfall.

The EBA press release and related documents are available at: http://www.eba.europa.eu/-/eba-launches-2016-eu-widestress-test-exercise.