ECB says six banks short of capital, phases out pandemic waiver By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers maintain the huge Euro logo in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, December 6, 2011. REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Six euro zone banks have come up short of the European Central Bank’s capital demands but the sector as a whole has coped well with the pandemic and relief measures can be phased out at the end of the year, the ECB said on Thursday after its annual review.

The ECB did not name the six banks whose capital levels at the end of the third quarter were lower than supervisors’ total demands, comprised of mandatory capital requirements, discretionary “guidance” and additional buffers.

But its chief supervisor, Andrea Enria, expressed satisfaction at how banks performed during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are broadly satisfied with the way that banks have operated so far during the pandemic,” he said. “Banks need to remain aware of the possible consequences for their balance sheets and strengthen their risk control and governance frameworks in particular.”

The ECB added in a report banks’ scores in the review were “broadly stable, with significant institutions maintaining solid capital and liquidity positions” and most banks exceeding their requirements.

Enria also said a waiver allowing banks to eat into some of their capital buffers, introduced at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, would be phased out at the end of this year, as widely expected.

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