On March 30, 2015, the Bank of England published details of the 2015 stress test for the largest UK banks and building societies. The stress test, which aims to assess the resilience of banks and the banking system to severe shock, was agreed between the Financial Policy Committee and the Prudential Regulation Authority Board. It is not a variant to the EU stress test calibrated by the European Banking Authority, as was the case for the 2014 stress test. The European Banking Authority is not intending to undertake an EU-wide stress test this year. The results of the stress test will be announced in December 2015. If a firm’s capital or leverage ratios fall below the threshold in the test, it is likely that the PRA will require the firm to strengthen its capital position. The PRA may also require a firm whose ratios meet the threshold to strengthen its capital position after examining capital adequacy, recovery and resolution plans and the extent to which potentially significant risks are not quantified adequately as part of the stress. Any weakness detected in the banking system will be addressed by the FPC which has a variety of powers at its disposal, including recommendations to the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The stress test details are available at:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/financialstability/Documents/stresstesting/2015/keyelements.pdf