Financial Regulatory Forum

COLUMN-EU bank stress tests: what’s the point?

Employees of the Deutsche Bank walk in front of the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes EiseleBy Keith Mullin, Editor at Large, International Financing Review; the views expressed are his own.

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – The European bank stress tests that are just kicking off are a pointless and futile exercise that will cause more harm than good.

I’ve written before in this column about the laws of unintended consequences. There could be some pretty serious ones here because the list of banks that fail the supposedly more rigorous tests will lead to an A and B list of saints and sinners.

I doubt the European Commission contemplated the notion of transforming the bank regulatory apparatus into the role of official stockbroker to the masses. But that’s what it is doing in that banks that fail the tests will in effect become a sell sheet initiated and endorsed by European regulators. (more…)

Who will run the European Supervisory Authorities day-to-day? (Complinet)

By Peter Elstob, Complinet

Sometimes the crudest calculations can be the most helpful. Despite official protestations, it is a fairly safe assumption that the permanent positions that have been announced so far at the three European Supervisory Authorities have effectively been shared out among member states, with some weighting for their importance as financial centres. If a slightly shakier assumption is entertained, namely that the three executive directors, whose job it will be to run the ESAs’ day-to-day operations, will be chosen on a similar basis (although perhaps with individual qualities and qualifications playing a more important part), it is possible to make some educated guesses about the nationalities, and maybe the identities, of those who will fill these important roles. (more…)

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