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Bank Stress-Test Publication May Be Misinterpreted, German BdB Lobby Says

Publishing stress tests risks “misinterpretation” by financial markets, said Germany’s BdB banking association, which represents more than 220 private financial firms including Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG.

“In Germany, it’s not legally possible to publish the results of the stress test,” a Berlin-based spokesman for BdB, who declined to be identified citing the group’s policy, said by telephone today. “Even if lawmakers changed the rules, it begs the question whether it would make sense because of possible misinterpretation.”

The Bank of Spain plans to publish the results of the stress tests carried out at the nation’s lenders, Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in a speech today. The central bank aims to make the findings public to provide financial markets with full knowledge of the situation of the Spanish banking system, Fernandez Ordonez said.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann said last week that publishing stress tests would be “very, very dangerous” if mechanisms to support European banks weren’t in place beforehand. “In principle” he’s in favor of publishing the stress tests for European banks, Ackermann said.

Germany may be willing to publish the results of stress tests, a government official said yesterday. One option would be to publish the results in a coordinated move or individually to help eliminate market speculation about problems in certain sectors, said the official, who declined to be identified.

“The German government and EU Commission must follow Spain’s approach to publish the stress test results,” Gerhard Schick, finance spokesman for the opposition Green party, said in an e-mailed statement. “The reason for the German secretive manner is very simple: The glaring undercapitalization of German banks in particular is a problem that’s causing concern and as a result uneasiness.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in Frankfurt at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net

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