RBS admits to data error in European stress test

Royal Bank of Scotland admitted yesterday that it submitted erroneous data for European bank stress tests in October and had in fact only just scraped through, calling into question whether it can pass a tougher British test.

The revised result means RBS, which is 80%-owned by the British government, was the worst performing UK bank in the European stress test, which assessed whether banks have enough capital to weather another economic crash.

The revelation is another embarrassment for the bank, which has been fined in the past two weeks for failing to stop its traders attempting to manipulate foreign exchange rates and for a computer systems failure two years ago which locked millions of customers out of their bank accounts.

RBS said yesterday it held core capital under full Basel III rules of 5.7% after the adverse scenarios, scraping past the minimum 5.5% required. It had initially appeared to pass the test comfortably, holding core capital of 6.7%.

“We are examining how this mistake was made, and will be working with our regulators as we do so,” RBS said in a statement.

The bank said that the stress test error did not impact its latest reported capital position or its target to hold core capital of 12% by the end of 2016.


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