ECB set to name Oliver Wyman to aid bank asset review -sources
LONDON/FRANKFURT, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The ECB is likely to choose U.S. consultants Oliver Wyman as the 'project manager' for a review of the loan books of 130 of the euro zone's biggest banks, according to sources familiar with the process.
The review is part of the preparation before the European Central Bank takes over banking supervision in the euro zone from late next year, marking the first step toward a closer integration of Europe's financial system.
The ECB will have direct oversight over the bloc's largest banks and wants to know in what shape they are before it does so. Preparations for the asset quality review (AQR) are in full swing and first details are expected by mid-October.
The sources told Reuters that Oliver Wyman was the front-runner, but said a final decision had not yet been made. An announcement could come as early as Friday, one source said.
A London-based spokeswoman for Oliver Wyman declined to comment.
An ECB spokesperson said: "We are still in the selection process. As already stated, we are looking for a third party to support us centrally with project management and financial advisory services as we prepare the comprehensive assessment of the banks we will directly supervise starting next October."
The project manager will effectively co-ordinate the asset quality review across the 17 countries that use the euro zone. Other tenders are also expected to be awarded to several different firms.