DUBLIN, March 10 Ireland's central bank governor
believes it is unlikely the country's banks will need more
capital following stress tests later this year, adding to
growing confidence in Dublin that lenders will pass the tests.
Ireland had to pump more than 60 billion euros - equivalent
to about 40 percent of annual economic output - into its banks
on the back of national stress tests in 2010 and 2011 in a
banking crisis that pushed it into an international bailout.
"I'm not expecting anything but I'm not ruling it out
because we don't know the scale of the stress test," Patrick
Honohan, who is also a member of the governing council of the
European Central Bank, the authority overseeing the stress
tests, told reporters on Monday.
"You can always design a stress test that causes banks to
need more capital, you can just turn up the notch and that
hasn't been decided yet."
Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks, two of the three
domestically-owned banks who will be put through the stress
tests, said last week that they believed they had sufficient
capital to navigate the tests.
Ireland's finance minister told Reuters last month that the
government did not envisage the banks needing further capital,
noting that a rebound in property prices following a devastating
crash should help their balance sheets.