LONDON/FRANKFURT Jan 17 The European Central
Bank has given selected euro zone banks three weeks to submit
extensive details of their trading books and risk models as part
of a review of the currency bloc's largest banks.
The ECB is under pressure to uncover any nasty surprises on
lenders' balance sheets before it takes over as the euro zone's
financial supervisor in November, setting itself and lenders a
huge challenge involving reams of data and thousands of people.
Four sources familiar with the request told Reuters the ECB
sent the questionnaires to the national supervisors of the
selected banks on Jan. 13. The banks' deadline is Jan. 31. The
national authorities then have to send the data on to the ECB.
An ECB spokeswoman confirmed the latest data call. It comes
after banks had the opportunity to comment on the templates
during a field test in December. The ECB improved the data
In its templates, the ECB applied common definitions used in
regulatory and accounting standards where possible.
"This is a horrible thing, it asks for details of all
trading book portfolios," said one source familiar with the
"Large investment banks are going to have dozens and dozens
of models," the source said, adding that the Jan. 31 deadline
was very ambitious.
There were requests for other data before Christmas,
including one that the ECB gave banks extra time to fulfil after
The asset quality review will feed also into EU-wide stress
tests that aim to banish lingering doubts on whether banks are
strong enough to withstand future crises without needing further
Last year, Moody's Analytics warned that some EU banks might
not be able to provide accurate data and meet the deadlines for
the bumper series of regulatory reviews.
"The template was issued out of the blue," a second source
familiar with its content said.
A German banking source said they received a request on
Tuesday, "to identify their trading-book models at the portfolio
level" but described it as a smaller request than the ones
before Christmas which covered banks' lending activities.
The ECB said in October that in its assessment it would
include "a quantitative and qualitative review of hard-to-value
assets", which need to be valued using models because there is
no liquid market or close comparators for them.
(Additional reporting by Sarah White in Madrid; Editing by Hugh