Balance Sheet Assessments

AIB and Bank of Ireland have released statements (one somewhat shorter than the other) following the results of the balance sheet assessments carried out by the Central Bank.

UPDATE: The statement released from PTSB at 11am also reflects a paucity of information.

57 replies on “Balance Sheet Assessments”

Using BSA application of January 2014 CET 1 Regulatory Capital rules (column 1) gives an equity capital decrease of €1,359 million which is 19.25% of bank equity. Using the alternative BSA application of June 2013 CT1 Regulatory Capital rules (column 2) gives a €1,086 million equity capital decrease which is 15.02% of bank equity. So it is a substantial hit. Not sure why there is such a big difference in Updated Treatment Regarding Expected Loss on Defaulted Loans under the two capital regulation regimes.

Rationally, one can reasonably infer that the AIB results are awful if they are not willing to release them. Otherwise they would release them to reassure the markets that they were not awful.

Just wonder would the results have been substantially different if our well paid friends from Blackrock had conducted the analysis rather than just the insiders at the CBI?

So that’s

“AIB has been advised of the findings of this review which it will consider in the preparation of the bank’s year end December 2013 provisions and financial statements.

Based on an initial assessment of the findings of the BSA, the Bank believes it continues to be well capitalised and in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. ”


“Based on the communicated results the outcome confirms that the capital position of permanent tsb plc is above minimum regulatory requirements.”

Arguments for saying that and no more, would presumably be around “commercial sensitivity” (banking, not bond market), which could seem a little odd.


“”Based on an initial assessment of the findings of the BSA, the Bank believes it continues to be well capitalised and in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. ””

Which bank ‘believes’…? AIB or the ICB?

Can anyone else tell from the text whether the BoI assessment is likely to be based on tracker mortgages being held on the books at par, or alternatively marked down to market or per net present value?

AIB say :

“Nothing in this statement should be considered to be a forecast of future profitability or financial position and none of the information in this statement is or is intended to be a profit forecast or profit estimate”

If TSHTF 2.0 materialises I bet AIB will be the first one down.

“Be with AIB” (whether you like it or not)

a) These are the mean opinions. One would have thought by now that being gloomy was a good idea. What was the negative scenario?
b) AIB and PTSB decline to report this detail. One can therefore surmise that its a bleaker scenario
c) as to your question the CB must have noted a remaining amount of marking to hope and asked for it to be adjusted.


PTS stands for Post Traumatic Stress AFAIK
Is PTSB Post Traumatic Stressed Balancesheet ?

On Friday 6th December next at 3pm,Trinity College Dublin will award an honoroary doctorate to David Went,chairman of the Irish Times and former group chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent PLC (1995-2007).

Welcome to Lowry country,home of the greatest bank and property crash in the history of mankind.

Hes also been chair of the TCD Foundation and massively increased same in his time. Swing, meet Mr Roundabout.

Can anyone answer/address Beeceetee’s question above, i.e.:

“Can anyone else tell from the text whether the BoI assessment is likely to be based on tracker mortgages being held on the books at par, or alternatively marked down to market or per net present value?”

If the tracker mortgages were in the trading book then there would be a big capital loss associated with marking them to market. I think that there has been no adjustment at all associated with this big implicit loss of (market value of) equity. BoI is least of the three surviving domestic banks in terms of its exposure to this loss, but big for all three.

David Went, former group chief executive of TAFKA Irish Life and Permanent PLC (1995-2007)

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam corporate

I think EZ bank balance sheet stress tests have a little credibility issue since the last ones a few years ago. One of the great features of this period in modern capitalism is the difficulty in getting a meaningful reassurance on anything financial.

And if the latest dose of CB largesse in the markets unwinds, things could get very messy.

“But basic truths remain. It is easier to forecast the long-term than the short. And the long-term does not look good.”

“ Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.

Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change”
Robert Kennedy.


Excellent summary from Karl Whelan.
But why did Ireland agree to go first into the breach, again?
Who mandated this? Or who thought it would be a good idea?
Is this another example of ‘best boy in the class’ syndrome?

The BOI-Richie Boucher response could be a foretaste of things to come in the EZ. Its a somewhat polite, ‘up yours, and your numbers’.

@Joseph Ryan — I agree with your positive remarks on the Karl Whelan note. As to why Ireland went first with this asset quality review — it was one of the final conditions imposed by the Troika, and in fact the original Troika condition was scaled back a bit — originally it was to be a full-scale capital assessment of the Irish banking sector before bailout exit.

some numbers/survey on the SME sector…tick tock.

“Using the observations from the sampling approach and through extrapolations the Central Bank of Ireland has estimated, for the purposes of the BSA, a range of potential specific provision recognitions with a mean estimation of c. €486m greater than Bank of Ireland’s levels as at 30 June 2013. The Bank remains confident in its own methodologies, calculations and impairment provisions as at 30 June 2013 and, in the context of the approaches taken during the BSA, the Bank notes that the range of estimated / extrapolated potential mean recognitions represent 9% of the impairment provision stock for Commercial loans as at 30 June 2013 and represent c. 1% in related provision coverage terms.”

@ Joseph, Gregory, Brian, indeed, people who might know.

Quote from Governor Honohan in press release of the original PCAR tests, March 2011.

‘The Financial Measures Programme aims to create a sustainable Irish banking system through a process of recapitalisation, deleveraging and reorganisation. Banks will be capitalised as the additional capital requirements announced today provide for future loan losses over the course of the three years on a scale that is unlikely to occur and an additional buffer for subsequent events.’

‘The assumptions we have used, the methodology BlackRock has followed, and the capital targets the Central Bank has set together provide an exceptionally conservative basis for re-capitalising the Irish banks.The data assembled in this exercise has been published to enable independent analysts to see the basis on how we have determined loan loss projections and to create more transparency about the final costs of resolving the Irish banking system.’

He added: ‘Smaller, but more soundly constituted, Irish banks should be in a better position to provide loan and other financial services to households and businesses to support the economic recovery’

It was suggested at the time that the most stressful scenario wasn’t stressful enough. As of today, do we have any further information as to whether the banks are worse/better off than the “exceptionally conservative” bottom line?

they havent “used up” the capital they got for one thing. It was provided to realise losses.

Now that we have successfully entered the bond markets it is of the utmost importance that Government and all its appendages are on message. That means not just the page or the sentence but the tone and tenor of individual words.
While the exercise was not risk free it could be controlled enough to have plausibility which considerably reduced the risk. Even the fine fellas in the green sashes must now restrain themselves when commenting on anything that might frighten prospective investors in Ireland. Otherwise they join the ranks of da wans dat did us in.

Along the lines of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Here is an article on KFW the very same KFW that will be babysitting Irish banks.

@Gregory Connor

Thanks for that info re reason for current bank stress tests.
Basically a Troika condition!

re: “@ Joseph, Gregory, Brian, indeed, people who might know…”

Gavin, it would be as well to exclude me from the ‘people who might know’. I have no particular expertise or knowledge of Irish banking, but have spent the last few years trying to figure out why those people that were supposed to know something, knew nothing; and still managed to break both banks and country while feathering their own nests.

In fairness to Patrick Honohan regarding, his comments from 2011 would have been based on good growth figures in the EU for the past three years. Such growth as was forecast would have changed the picture, maybe not entirely but substantially.
Patrick Honohan, comes across as a decent man but in reality, a Richie Boucher type might have better in the ICB, not to supervise the banks, but to tell the ECB where to get off.

I have just come across another 2011 decision that should be aired.
Until today, I thought that NAMA bonds did not have to be repaid until 2020/2021, as I understood that those were the terms when issued.
How I now find that NAMA is effectively funded by means of an annual overdraft, €25 billion at the end of 2012, now €38 billion. The bonds apparently mature each year on March 1st and are ‘renewed’.

From NAMA 2012 accounts: Note 28:
‘In May 2011, the MOF issued a direction to NAMA under Section 14 of the Act…….should be amended to remove the extendible maturity option from the securities issued under Section 48 of the Act…” ( You cannot copy and paste the note)

In other words, the Troika insisted that NAMA securities be converted to an overdraft, repayable on March 1st each year!
The government obligingly and deferentially changed the Act.
The result is that the ECB can tell the Minister on Feb 28th each year, that they want the full 25 billion (now 28 billion) back the following day.

The Troika and in particular the ECB component of the Troika clearly set out to hobble a country already on its knees, and to keep that country hobbled.
What a pity that as a country we did not have the guts of the Icelanders.

@Mickey Hickey
re; Bill Mitchell on kfW:

You really have to admire Germany in looking after their own national interest. What is not to be admired is the sheer hypocrisy in its positions and the downright disregard for the economic travails of others.
Either way, Germany has made its electoral decisions and seems set to continue on a route that will bring down both then EZ and the EU.
The sooner the EZ goes, as far as I am concerned, the better.
The Euro has become instrument of economic war against the peripheral nations.

[Tinker, tailor, soldier spy, coming up on BBC4…different themes for different times]

The EZ is useful if the member states act for the common good. There is nothing that stops the member states from ejecting Germany if they decide that it is necessary if the EZ is to survive.
It should not be necessary for civil war to break out before action is taken.

@ J Ryan

There is a lot of blinkered spin on this website that seems to have its genesis in getting bogged down in the analysis of the minutiae. But sometimes when you stand back and look at top down bald statements like you have just made, you realise the truth is bloody obvious that we hardly need to bother with the detail – because you have summed up exactly what the crux of the problem is and like the stages of reforming an alcoholic – until Germany and its acolytes (inlcuding many on this board) come out of the denial phase there will never be a resolution as envisaged and enshrined in the words of the Maastricht Treaty – a treaty that has solidarity and harmonised distribution of ‘pain and gain’ at its core. Europe and the EZ in particular has lost the essence of what a “union” is supposed to entail.

The French say “l’union fait la force”
or “there is strength in numbers”.

I think it’s more like
“l’union fait la farce” in the case of the EZ


“Ensures” success. According to who? Its certainly not an obstacle to success.

If you have a 3 legged horse that can’t win a race, you don’t use evidence of a losing 4 legged horse to make the case that having 4 legs is no guarantee of success either.

A buck in your pocket in Detroit will be a buck in your pocket in the morning too. The Euro in the Irish pocket today, will be a euro only as long as we toe the German line and accept that not only does monetary union have nothing to do with solidarity and harmonisation – as intended at its inception – it is about whatever the most powerful links in the union chain wants it to be.

It’s very like the wizard of Oz. The people running the US have no heart. Those running the EZ are low on insight.

@ Kerchav

I do not subscribe to the view that you express. Were it supported by the facts, the Euro Area and the EU would have fallen apart by now because of the failure to meet the undertakings that you say exist on solidarity and harmonisation. But that was not the agreement. Indeed, Ireland would not have signed up to the single currency if, for example, there had been a parallel agreement to harmonise direct taxes. With regard to solidarity, there was a specific agreement to insert the no bail-out clause which could be seen as the negation of the very idea.

Fixing these lacunae is now the order of the day. The fix will only go as far as the countries involved can collectively agree but it will not remove the responsibility of EU governments for the bulk of their own affairs.

In terms of democratic legitimacy, it is clear that political responsibility in many areas must remain local. If it did not, the EU would certainly fall apart in double-quick time. I was using the Detroit example as an illustration of the point. Even in a federal state with what might be described as regal powers (security, defence, justice system, federal budget etc, central bank etc.), localities must rely on local politicians to defend – or not – their interests. The ghost estates blighting Ireland are clearly the symptoms of a failure to do so on the part of Irish politicians i.e. a form of countrywide political connivance which shows every sign of making a revival (and seems intent on burying the evidence).

@ All

FYI (h/t Eurointelligence)–stiglitz-says-that-the-europe-will-not-recover-unless-and-until-the-eurozone-is-fundamentally-reformed

What Professor Stiglitz is proposing is not, unfortunately, in the realm of real politics. One must also wonder about the accuracy of this statement.

“Likewise, Spain and Ireland had fiscal surpluses and low debt/GDP ratios before the crisis. The crisis caused the deficits and high debt, not the other way around, and the fiscal constraints that Europe has agreed will neither facilitate rapid recovery from this crisis nor prevent the next one.”


The euro crisis had its genesis in the massive intra EZ trade surpluses pre-2007. The failure of Germany to attribute even a shred casualility to that factors is not merely a case of being in denial – it is simply disingenuous i.e. they know damn well. Just as they know perfectly well that their export juggernaut to non-EZ countries since then has been facilitated in the main by a currency valuation driven by the malaise in the periphery – a handy externality wouldn’t you say. Its win-win. There is no recognition of the most fundamental of Keynesian principles in Germany i.e. that economic crisis will always obtain unless there is a redistrubtion from surplus to deficit countries. The Chinese even understand this at the most basic level and that is why they freely pour funds back into the US in the form of bonds.

Article 2 of the Maastricht treaty states:

“The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union…to promote throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities, sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, a high degree of convergence of economic performance, a high level of employment and of social protection, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States”

Yet, when Ireland (stupidly -in the form of placing the burden of private creditor European debt on to its taxpayers), took one for the team in bailing out and buying precious time for the European banking system, it has not only recieved nothing in return, it continues to face (fiscal) demands in other areas of governance in order to preserve its “euro” status (a foolish Irish aspiration in my opinion).

There is no doubt a proper functioning monetary union requires fiscal hamronisation – that was a central point in the De Lors report (1992) – it was a point conveniently forgotten in the push for the single currency. I agree entirely, neither Ireland nor many others would have signed up to the single currency if fiscal harmnisation was required. That was our mistake. We did not understand that our desire to retain fiscal autonomy (which I agree with) should have precluded us from the party. The Euro protagonists should have known that as well.

The ultimate outcome of signing up to a flawed concept is that we have discovered we have lost massively on the back of that mis step. Those who have gained and continue to prosper are anxious that the misconstrued concept is maintained but recognises the need for its reconstruction. In doings so it is placing the burden of the consequences of the misconception not proportionately on the group as a whole (as was envisaged by Maastricht) but rather we start from our winning and losing positions as though this was Day 1. In tandem it has sought to mend the key flaw of the construct (fiscal disharmony) through downright bullying and/or stealth. In the end we may get to the union envisaged by De Lors, in the end it may even work as intended (I seriously doubt that) but it will never be something we signed up to and it will have come at a heavy price for generations of Ireland because few if any is starting from a worse position (thurst upon on us) at the outset of this new departure to fixed the broken pact.

@ Kerchav

Very well put! However, no matter how well put, it butters no bread in practical political terms. The laudable objectives you set out are not in the operative articles dealing with monetary union in the Lisbon Treaty but in other articles (largely taken over without much amendment from earlier treaties). The Germans would argue that they are already doing their bit by picking up two of every three euros of net spending through the EU budget and in lending the country’s credit card to back up the various other loan schemes outside the treaties (EFSF, ESM).

The central point that I am trying to make is that national politicians cannot be allowed to abscond from their own responsibilities. As Schaeuble put it, there would be no problem if everyone swept their own doorstep. He omitted to include Germany. The new political constellation in Germany is forcing some, at least, of the necessary changes on him.

When it comes to solidarity, incidentally, there is precious little evidence of it at a national level, a point that is being brought home by a totally disproportionate threat of industrial action by ESB unions in relation to the Achilles’ heel of the national finances; pensions.


On many levels I think we are in violent agreement!

On the ESB strike – I would for many years have regarded my own politics to be left of centre but I have to say, having been away for most of the boom only to return on the down curve, I am astounded by the level of the sense of entitlement people seem to have picked up in this country. Maybe it has always been there. In equal measure there is almost a sense of outrage that anyone in the country, including the private sector, might be earning anything over 100k – this seems to be the magic figure in terms of evoking “the meeja” ire. It might be a reflection of my growing years that I have tended towards the right but even in my early years I never recall growing up with a generation that, at least overtly, portrayed the traits and language of entitlement that seem so evident today.

“What Stiglitz is proposing is not in the realm of real politics.”

The EZ has several structural impediments to the achievement of financial stability. You say the politics won’t allow rational reform to be implemented. Is it reasonable to expect growth to return regardless?

Say you are a doctor. Patient smokes 40 a day. Refuses to give up and won’t exercise. His politics won’t allow it. Is there no cost of reason ignored?

ECB seem to have a difference of opinion with Irish Finance Minister.

“Dec 6 (Reuters) – Irish banks will go through balance sheet assessment in the same way as all other banks tested, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Friday.

In the coming year, European authorities will go through the books of the region’s largest banks before the ECB starts supervising the bloc’s banks.

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said earlier on Friday that the ECB had agreed that the results of an earlier review would be used in studying the health of the country’s banks and they would not have to go through the tests for a second time.

“Irish banks will be subject to the same exercises as all other euro area banks selected for supervision by the future SSM,” an ECB spokesperson said in an emailed statement. (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Annika Breidthardt)”

@ Kerchav

That sense of entitlement is not confined to Ireland and is the biggest problem European leaders have to grapple with. Unearned concessions can be handed out at election time but taking them back is more complicated.

@ seafóid

That is not what I am saying at all. Stiglitz is living in a parallel academic universe (the membership of which, I think, is rapidly diminishing). The real politics are happening elsewhere.

The reference to “officials” is misleading. What seems to be happening is that Schaeuble is assembling the heavy hitters to try and get some level of agreement ahead of the European Council.

France, under Hollande, continues to pursue an erratic and not very promising course.

More of the Community Method?
How will this Group be labelled? The EZTop
‘Wolfgang is our friend, So is Angela Merkel’; So said Michael Noonan a few weeks ago.
Still Michael, no invite!
We must work harder to serve our masters, before invitations to the top table are dispensed.

“(Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited euro zone officials to a meeting in Berlin on Friday in a bid to come closer to a solution on a planned European resolution mechanism to deal with troubled banks, a German newspaper said on Friday.”

Business daily Handelsblatt cited unnamed EU diplomats and German government sources as saying Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen and European Union regulation chief Michel Barnier were all expected to attend.”

Perhaps he might even invite Tim Geitner to advise on stitching up Ireland, with a few more billion debts to pay their failed banking investments.

Re stitching up ireland. The US marines have the perfect word. Ratfuck comes from rations and fuck. To ratfuck originally meant to open another marine’s lunch pack and take something desirable such as a twinkie out of it but came to mean thoughtless dispossession leaving the target weaker. Ireland was ratfucked.

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