Five Irish banks to meet ECB to get preliminary results of stress tests

Executives from AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank and Merrill Lynch to meet ECB separately

The European Central Bank’s new headquarters in Frankfurt. Photograph: Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

The European Central Bank’s new headquarters in Frankfurt. Photograph: Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

 

Five banks in Ireland will meet the European Central Bank in Frankfurt next week to receive preliminary findings on the comprehensive assessment of their balance sheets that have taken place this year.

The Irish Times has learned that senior executives from AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank, and Merrill Lynch will have separate three-hour meetings with the ECB and the Central Bank of Ireland, the national regulator, where they will be given partial results of the stress tests undertaken this year.

It is understood this information will not allow them to determine if they have passed or failed the tests and they will not be told if they will be required to raise additional capital to meet regulatory targets.

The full results will be published in the second half of October. The ECB has imposed strict non-disclosure rules on these meetings and none of the Irish banks was willing to comment on them yesterday.

Commenting on the meetings, a spokesman for the ECB said: “To ensure the Comprehensive Assessment is both robust and consistently applied across all banks subject to the exercise, the ECB is currently engaging in a series of meetings with the banks to discuss partial and preliminary findings.

“This ‘supervisory dialogue’ takes the form of discussions on selected, key elements of the AQR [asset quality review] and the stress tests. The information set is based on preliminary and partial information only. Therefore, any inferences drawn as to the final outcome of the exercise would be highly speculative.”

The ECB is set to have this dialogue with 131 financial institutions from euro zone countries that are subject to the tests.

The assessments are being held in advance of the Single Supervisory Mechanism coming into force on November 4th.