About That European Stress Test, 2011 Edition... And Where The Pain In Spain Is Raining Next
Back when Dexia was nationalized in the fall of 2011, one of the running jokes was that it was the bank that had one of the highest grades in the European Stress Test conducted just months prior. Here is another joke: we now know that Spain's Bankia is the next major financial institution which is being nationalized, and whose bailout costs are literally growing by the hour. Was Bankia one of the Stress Test 2011 failures? Why of course not... But 5 other Spanish banks were.
As a reminder:
Greece’s EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA (EUROB) and Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) SA, Austria’s Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG (VBPS) and Spain’s Banco Pastor SA (PAS), Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM), Banco Grupo Caja3, CatalunyaCaixa and Unnim failed. They were found to have insufficient reserves to maintain a core Tier 1 capital ratio of 5 percent in the event of an economic slowdown. All banks examined in Italy, Germany, France, the U.K. and Ireland passed.
“The problem children are going to be the 16 banks between 5 and 6 percent, and what happens to those,” said Joseph Dickerson, a banking analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank in London. “The market will put substantial pressure on those banks to raise capital.”
Those banks include Banco Comercial Portugues SA (BCP), Espirito Santo Financial Group SA (ESF), Germany’s HSH Nordbank AG and Norddeutsche Landesbank. BCP and Espirito Santo will bolster capital or sell assets in the next three months, the Bank of Portugal said yesterday.
In other words, if the bank that passed the stress test has now failed less than a year later, we would be very curious what the true state of the other 5 Spanish banks that did fail the stress test is currently. Again, these are Pastor SA (PAS), Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM), Banco Grupo Caja3, CatalunyaCaixa and Unnim. And that excludes all the non-Hispanic banks that also failed or were on the endangered species list.
Finally, if anyone is still confused where the pain is headed next, here is a list from Morgan Stanley of all Euro banks with a Core Tier 1 ratio that is so low, that the banks will soon regret not raising more capital in the period of calm that the ECB's LTRO bought them.
Hint: CASA is Credit Agricole...
Also, one bank is missing from the list above: Deutsche Bank. CT1/TA: 1.68%. Oops.