Sir John Vickers slams quality of Bank of England stress tests

 
Hayley Kirton
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Independent Commission on Banking (ICB)
Vickers is unimpressed with the way the sector is being overseen (Source: Getty)

The man who headed the UK's critical inquiry into safeguarding the banking sector following 2008's financial crisis has slammed the Bank of England's stress tests for falling short.

Sir John Vickers, who led the Independent Commission on Banking, called the progress made to bolster the banks so far "really disappointing".

"I think we need to be more rigorous, more robust and use a wider set of information than rely so heavily on these accounting measures, adjusted as they are for regulatory purposes – they didn't do very well in 2007-8 let's not assume they'll work in future," Vickers also told ITV News in an interview scheduled to be aired tonight.

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The Bank of England reported its most recent round of stress tests last November. Of the seven lenders being tested, only RBS, which has failed to turn a full-year profit since 2007 and is still around 73 per cent state owned, completely failed and was ordered to strengthen its balance sheet as a result.

Standard Chartered and Barclays both failed to meet the mark on elements of the testing.

The remarks come as Bank of England governor Mark Carney is due to face off with the Treasury Select Committee in a hearing tomorrow afternoon.

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The Bank of England declined to comment.

This has been far from Vickers only criticism on the state of the sector, as he last year called the Bank of England's capital holding requirements "questionable".

Meanwhile, City A.M. revealed last month that the Treasury Select Committee was launching an inquiry into the capital requirements of banks, and this is now open for evidence until March.

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