ECB supervisors to ease stress test for Belgium's Dexia -sources

DUBLIN/FRANKFURT Thu May 22, 2014 1:51pm EDT

DUBLIN/FRANKFURT May 22 (Reuters) - European Central Bank officials agreed on Thursday that Franco-Belgian bank Dexia would not have to prove it could withstand another financial crisis in a European Union-wide stress test, reducing the chances of it needing further state aid, sources familiar with the talks said.

Dexia, which will come under the ECB's direct supervision in November, was originally on the list to take part in a stress test being carried out on 124 EU-banks to prove they have enough capital to withstand another crisis.

But the ECB's supervisory board agreed at a meeting in Frankfurt to recommend to the central bank's governing council that Dexia must only prove it has enough capital to withstand the most likely economic scenario, and not the crisis scenario other banks must prove they can weather.

The ECB, Dexia and its existing supervisor the National Bank of Belgium all declined to comment. (Additional reporting by Phil Blenkinsop and Huw Jones; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jane Merriman)