There was no automatic link between European banks’ stress test results and their capital requirements, a European Central Bank spokesperson said on Wednesday, after the ECB’s second-in-command last week suggested a dozen lenders raise more capital. ECB vice-president Luis De Guindos said last Monday that the 12 eurozone banks with capital worth less than 9% of their risky assets in the latest health checks “should increase robustness and enhance capital positions”. The prospect of higher capital demands put analysts on alert with banking shares battered, the eurozone economy slowing and financial markets volatile. But the ECB spokesperson said the test results would only be used on a “case-by-case” basis by its banking watchdogs. “The individual bank results of the stress test are taken into account by microprudential supervision in its regular supervisory process, so only case-by-case,” the spokesperson said. “There is no automatism.” The case laid bare new differences between the...

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