PARIS, July 23 France's top four banks passed the European
banking stress test with an average Tier 1 ratio of 9.3 percent in 2011 under a
worst-case scenario, compared with 9.9 percent at the end of 2009, the Bank of
France said on Friday.
Banks needed a Tier I ratio of at least 6 percent to pass the test, which
assumed a double-dip recession as well as write-downs on sovereign debt held in
The banks tested were BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA),
Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and BPCE, the parent of investment bank Natixis
Bank of France governor and European Central Bank Governing Council member
Christian Noyer said the outcome was "satisfying, not a surprise and totally
comfortable". The European tests were "heavier and more ambitious" than similar
U.S. tests, he added.
The four French banks have total sovereign debt exposure to 30 European
countries of 42.9 billion euros ($55.2 billion) in their trading books.
(Reporting by Marcel Michelson and Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by James Regan)