EU Braces for New Bank Stress Tests This Year

The newly created European Banking Authority says it will publish the results of new stress tests on big European banks in mid-2011.

The new banking regulator said Thursday that the new tests will cover a similar group of banks to the ones conducted last July, when 91 banks where scrutinized for their ability to withstand financial shocks.

Last year's tests were widely deemed a failure, because Irish banks that passed the test soon afterward needed big capital injections.

The regulator says it will separately review "liquidity funding risks" across the European banking sector in the first half of this year.

This summer's stress tests focused on banks' capital levels — that is, how big their asset base was — rather than how quickly they could access those funds under stress.