No stress III

The flaws in the Bank of England’s 2016 stress tests

By Kevin Dowd

On November 30th 2016, the Bank of England released the results of its third publicly disclosed set of stress tests of the financial resilience of the UK banking system. It is important to appreciate why these stress tests matter: what is at stake is whether our banks are safe or not. Now the Bank of England uses its stress tests to reassure us that our banking system is safe. If the Bank is correct, then we can conclude that it has successfully ‘fixed’ the banking system after the trauma of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), but if the Bank is wrong, then the banking system is still not fixed and another major shock could bring it down again. Another major shock is only a matter of time. We believe the Bank is wrong and evidently so: our banking system is an accident waiting to happen.

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