(Recasts with Bank of Spain reaction)
MADRID, April 15 The Bank of Spain has denied it
plans to subject Spanish lenders to stress tests this month
ahead of Europe-wide health checks following a report in
newspaper Cinco Dias on Tuesday.
"There is no pre-test," a spokesman at the central bank
Cinco Dias reported that the Bank of Spain would conduct
preliminary studies on 16 banks to better prepare the lenders
for what are expected to be rigorous health checks of the
industry in Europe later this year.
The European Central Bank takes over as the euro zone's bank
supervisor in November and wants to ensure any skeletons in the
closet are dealt with before that.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) will also conduct tests
across the European Union to see if lenders could survive a
crisis without needing taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Spain's banks have been through a major restructuring
process, with some forced to take billions of euros in aid,
since a burst property bubble in 2008 sent the economy into a
tailspin from which it is only just beginning to emerge.
Spain's top lenders include Santander and BBVA
Some of the country's lenders fear that excessively harsh
economic scenarios could be used in assessing their strength,
although most have said they expect few major surprises from the
Like European peers, Spanish banks face tough deadlines to
hand over information on some of their riskier loan portfolios
to the ECB as part of the health check exercise, due to be
completed by October.
They will have to revalue thousands of homes and commercial
buildings used to secure loans as part of that review, sources
have told Reuters.
(Reporting by Paul Day and Sarah White; editing by Jason Neely)