U.S. regulators finally revealed the results of the long-awaited stress tests for the nation’s largest banks. Regulators urged ten of the country’s nineteen largest financial institutions to raise about $75 billion in new capital to withstand possible future losses. These institutions will attempt to raise capital by selling common stock among other methods.
Among the institutions needing more capital, Bank of America needs to raise $33.9 billion, Wells Fargo needs to raise $13.7 billion, auto and mortgage lender GMAC needs to raise $11.5 billion, Citibank needs to raise $5.5 billion, and Morgan Stanley needs to raise $1.8 billion. The other firms needing some additional capital are all regional banks: Regions Financial, SunTrust Banks, KeyCorp, Fifth Third Bancorp, and PNC Financial.
The banks needing additional capital will have until June 8 to develop a plan and have it approved by their regulators. If the banks can’t raise the money on their own, the government said it’s prepared to dip further into its bailout fund. According to the stress test results the following companies will not need to raise additional capital: American Express, Capital One Financial, MetLife, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs.
In speaking about the stress tests, Treasury secretary Tim Geithner said, â€œThese tests will help ensure that banks have a sufficient capital cushion to continue lending in a more adverse economic scenario. They will provide the transparency necessary for individuals and markets to judge the strength of the banking system.â€
Fed chairman Ben Bernacke also spoke about the stress test results. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernacke said the results, â€œshould provide considerable comfort to investors and the publicâ€ noting that nearly all the banks have sufficient capital â€œto absorb the higher losses envisioned under the hypothetical adverse scenario.â€ The assessment results are â€œjust one important element of the governments’ broader and ongoing efforts to strengthen the financial system and the economy.â€