8 May 2009

US banks told more capital needed

10:37 am on 8 May 2009

Regulators have told top banks in the United States to raise $US74.6 billion in capital.

Results of "stress tests" of 19 of the largest banks were issued at 5pm (EST) on Thursday. The reviews were led by the Federal Reserve.

Ten banks were told they needed additional capital to withstand heavier losses that would likely come if the recession worsened.

Bank of America Inc was told it needed $US33.9 billion. However, it said it did not need any more government money.

Wells Fargo was found to need $US13.7 billion.

Auto and home loan finance company GMAC was found to need $US11.5 billion and Citigroup Inc $US5.5 billion. Morgan Stanley has been told to find $US1.8 billion.

The others are: Regions Financial $US2.5 billion; SunTrust Banks $US2.2 billion; KeyCorp $US1.8 billion, Fifth Third Bancorp $US1.1 billion and PNC Financial Services $US600 million.

They have until 8 June to develop a detailed plan and 9 November to implement it.

Citigroup said it was seeking to exchange $US5.5 billion in additional preferred securities for common stock to fill its shortfall.

The tests found that total credit losses for the 19 banks may reach $US600 billion in 2009 and 2010.

However, the $US74.6 billion amount was smaller than some analysts had estimated before the tests were finalized.

Secretary Timothy Geithner said earlier on Thursday that no US bank being screened by regulators was at risk of insolvency.