The Obama administration thinks it can avoid nationalizing U.S. banks that are currently under scrutiny to see how well they would fare if the recession were worse than expected, the White House said on Sunday.

I think we will be able to avoid that, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He added that bank nationalization was not the goal of the administration.

Emanuel, however, cautioned he had not seen the results of stress tests on 19 lenders whose balance sheets are being scrutinized by regulators. They include Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co.and Bank of America.

The findings will be used to determine who may need more government capital.

Officials have said they will take care that the test results do not damage the banks' reputations, but they are expected to give some stark orders on how the banks should rebuild as a result of the financial crisis.

(Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Jackie Frank)