A no stress guide to tonight's European bank stress test results

Hayley Kirton
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What will the stress tests spell for troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi (Source: Getty)

At around 9pm British Summer Time, the European Banking Authority (EBA) is due to finally reveal the results of its bank stress test, the latest checkup on the health of the region's lenders.

The test results will unveil what the state of capital would be at 51 of the EU's biggest banks, which account for about 70 per cent of the sector, under different scenarios.

The tests are based on financial figures for the 2015 year end and the scenarios are then applied through to the end of 2018.

Ultimately, what the tests are trying to show is whether the banks in question are financially healthy enough to stay up and running should the foreseeable worst-case scenario happen.

Read more: Here's why Barclays' share price is up while its profits are down

Fortunately, nobody will be failing tonight's stress tests. However, that's because the pass and fail monikers have been scrapped.

Simon Goldsmith, head of risk solutions at SAS UK & Ireland, has warned this could mean the testing has no teeth.

"Watch out for the altogether tougher Bank of England stress test results due out in the fourth quarter of the year to really understand how the UK banking sector would cope with today’s biggest 'tail-risks'," said Goldsmith."The EBA results simply provide the context for each local regulator's tests on its own lead regulated banks, hence the reason to focus on the BoE results instead."

Read more: Monte dei Paschi share price bolstered by rescue hopes

However, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said the stress test results are "likely to make for nasty reading for some banks, with Italian and Spanish banks coming under particular scrutiny."

The results are expected to highlight some uncomfortable truths about Italy's banking sector, where lenders have been saddle down with around €360bn (£304.4bn) in non-performing loans. Monte dei Paschi di Siena is expected to perform particularly poorly.

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