ECB plans to give banks just 48 hours to review health check results

The ECB wants to give banks just 48 hours to review the results of a balance sheet health check so it can guard against data leaks.

The ECB is carrying out the most detailed ever review of the eurozone’s 128 largest banks before it becomes the region’s financial supervisor in November.

Its aim is to restore confidence in a banking sector that has traded at lower valuations than its US counterpart since the financial crisis due to uncertainty about the health of balance sheets.

The results of the eight-month exercise are due in October and the ECB is holding meetings in Frankfurt this week to tell bankers how they will be released.

The bank faces a delicate balancing act in trying to keep its work under wraps and avoid breaches of market disclosure rules, while not blind-siding banks with unforeseen capital demands.

Sources told Reuters the ECB proposed giving banks 48 hours warning of their results ahead of the publication date in late October. “Banks can’t comprehend this highly complex... process within 48 hours in a way that they can sign it off in good conscience,” one source said.

The ECB said the 48-hour deadline was one element in an ongoing dialogue with the 128 banks it was reviewing.

“We will communicate with the banks directly concerning exact timelines for the disclosure of the final result of the comprehensive assessment closer to the end of the process,” a spokesman said.

Liane Buchholz, managing director of VOEB, which represents public sector banks in Germany, said lenders should be given at least a week to study the results before they are published.

— Reuters


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