Fed stress test proves too hard for Deutsche bank

Fails the second Fed test while three U.S. lenders stumble


U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests proved just too ard and a bit harsh too for Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.DE) U.S. subsidiary. It failed the second part of the test due to “widespread and critical deficiencies” in the bank’s capital planning controls.

The Fed board’s unanimous objection to Deutsche Bank’s U.S. capital plan marks another blow for the German lender, sending its shares down 1 percent after hours.

Its financial health globally has been under intense scrutiny after S&P cut its rating and questioned its plan to return to profitability.

The Fed also placed conditions on three banks that passed the test. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) cannot increase their capital distributions and State Street Corp (STT.N) must improve its counterparty risk management and analysis, the Fed said.

Deutsche Bank last week easily cleared the Fed’s easier first hurdle that measures its capital lev0els against a severe recession, the strictest ever run by the Fed.

The second test focuses on how the bank’s plan for that capital, such as dividend payouts and investments, stands up against the harsh scenarios.

“Concerns include material weaknesses in the firm’s data capabilities and controls supporting its capital planning process, as well as weaknesses in its approaches and assumptions used to forecast revenues and losses under stress,” the Fed said in a statement.

While failing the U.S. stress test would not likely affect the bank’s ability to pay dividends to shareholders, it will require Deutsche Bank to make substantial investment in technology, operations, risk management and personnel, as well as changes to its governance.

It also means the bank would not be able to make any distributions to its German parent without the Fed’s approval and could potentially result in the bank further paring back some of its U.S. operations.

In a statement on Thursday, Deutsche Bank said it had made significant investments to improve its capital planning capabilities as well as controls and infrastructure at its U.S. subsidiary and would work with regulators to “continue to build on these efforts.”

The focus will now shift to European authorities and how they plan to tackle Deutsche’s problems, he added.

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