(Adds detail from regulatory statement, background on ECB asset tests)
FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) - German lender IKB said it had asked the bank regulator to allow it to count some assets and its interim group profit toward a calculation of its equity position, as it prepares itself for a review of its assets by the European Central Bank.
The accounting move would enable the Duesseldorf-based lender to free up equity, a spokesman for the company said on Thursday.
IKB said it had asked the regulatory authority to recognise the addition of group profits and a “fund for general banking risk” in its calculation of common equity tier 1 capital in the third quarter of the financial year ending December 31, 2013.
If the regulator allows this, IKB would be able to report it had a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 9.1 percent on December 31, 2013.
Banks being tested by the European Central Bank need to meet a minimum Core Tier 1 equity capital requirement of 8 percent of risk-weighted assets by the end of 2013, something IKB described as “surprisingly harsh ... that left banks little time to react.”
IKB is the smallest German bank deemed important enough to be supervised from November by the ECB rather than the national regulator. IKB said last year it could meet the ECB’s demands, but it would not be easy.
IKB was known before the financial crisis mainly as a lender to mid-sized German companies. It required several bailouts from development bank KfW and the German state after its off-balance sheet investment vehicles ran into funding problems in 2007.
Separately, IKB further said its consolidated net income for the first nine months ending December 31, 2013 was 39 million euros ($53.98 million).
$1 = 0.7225 euros Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by William Hardy