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Asset quality reviews on four financial institutions

THE Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) will be inviting tenders from audit firms to perform asset quality reviews on four financial institutions in Cyprus. The four institutions have been selected by the European Central Bank (ECB) to take part in a stress test, evaluating the resilience of their balance sheets under extreme-condition scenarios, to be performed in October 2014.

The prolonged stress-test process will feature 128 European banks, including the Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, the Co-operative Central Bank, and RCB. The tests aim to improve transparency and enhance trust in the European banking system.

The CBC has already begun the process of selecting the bank assets to be reviewed by the firms that will secure the audit contracts. However, the list of assets to be reviewed will be finalised in collaboration with the ECB.

The asset quality reviews will be performed at the asset fair value.

More than one audit firm may be selected to perform the reviews, as the request for tenders will not exclude firms currently performing banks’ financial audits. The CBC must ensure that a firm already auditing a bank may not simultaneously perform the bank’s asset quality review, but if selected it may perform other banks’ asset quality reviews.

Asset quality reviews are expected to be completed by June 2014, at which point the stress tests will begin, ending in October 2014.

November 2014 will see the ECB assume responsibility for the supervision of 4,600 eurozone credit institutions as part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The SSM will endow the ECB with the final supervisory role, with national central banks of eurozone countries participating in a supporting role.

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