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U.S. to release bank stress data in May

The U.S. government will release some results of its bank stress tests in May with the goal to stabilize the ailing banking sector, the White House said on Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

The U.S. government will release some results of its bank stress tests in May with the goal to stabilize the ailing banking sector, the White House said on Wednesday.

"Early in May you will see in a systematic and coordinated way the transparency of determining and showing to all involved some of the results of these stress tests," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

"Our hope is that banks that are not healthy, or need help, will first and foremost seek that help privately, and then we'll take steps from there to assist them," he said.

The stress tests, announced in February, were designed to see if banks are adequately capitalized. Banks that are found to need more money would then have six months to raise it, or take funds directly from the government in a new round of capital injections.

While all of the banks are expected to pass the tests, some are expected to be graded more highly than others.

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have asked banks not to discuss the exams publicly out of concern that information will trickle out inconsistently and create market chaos, a source familiar with the talks between the government and the banks told Reuters.