LONDON/FRANKFURT, June 25 The European Central Bank has pushed out a deadline in its landmark bank tests by a week, but said the extension will not make any difference to the overall timeline of the exercise.
Banking supervision is being centralised under the ECB as part of a broader response to the global financial crisis and the euro debt crisis.
Before the new watchdog - the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) - takes up its task in November, it is putting 128 of the euro zone's largest banks through thorough health checks so banks come to terms with hidden losses and strengthen their capital buffers.
In an unprecedented exercise, one part of the review assesses whether banks have valued 3.72 trillion euros ($5 trillion) of risk-weighted assets correctly, which involves about 135,000 credit files.
Two sources familiar with the review told Reuters that valuations for the collateral underlying some banks' assets would be submitted later this week, at least one week later than originally foreseen.
A spokesman for the SSM confirmed the delay, but added that the timeline for the overall exercise was still in place.
"An extension was granted of one week for some banks due to the volume of collateral valuations required. Submission should be complete this week," the spokesman said in response to questions on the timing put forward by Reuters.
"The credit file review is well on track and national competent authorities and banks are working extremely hard to meet the deadlines," he added.
Some banks, including two international banks in Luxembourg and one in Ireland, will be subjected to only very limited review, two of the sources said.
This does not, however, indicate that such banks may not end up under direct ECB supervision, because they may still meet all qualifications, such total value of assets or size, one source said.
The Central Bank of Ireland and Central Bank of Luxembourg both declined to comment.
The final list of banks that will come under direct ECB watch will be published soon. ($1 = 0.7335 Euros) (Reporting by Laura Noonan in London and Eva Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)