Notice also that Bloomberg is doing quite a fantastic job, trying to force the information to come out. I am also taking good note of the inconsistency in the FSA's replies which just confirms that they are also corrupt, like the SEC.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. refused to release the results of stress tests conducted on British banks, two weeks after the Federal Reserve said similar reviews showed 10 U.S. lenders needed to raise a total of $74.6 billion.
Publishing the information may increase instability and force the government to take further action to shore up the U.K. financial system, the Treasury said in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg News that sought the test results and criteria used to evaluate banks. U.S regulators said publishing their findings would ease concerns about lenders.
“Keeping the information under wraps will only serve to create more uncertainty in the long term,” Vince Cable, the opposition Liberal Democrats’ spokesman on treasury issues, said in an e-mailed statement. “We need a system that is as open and as transparent as that in the United States.”
The Financial Services Authority carried out stress tests on U.K. banks earlier this year to determine their ability to withstand losses amid the worst recession in 60 years. Barclays Plc is the only bank to have disclosed its results, saying it will continue to meet the regulator’s capital requirements under various credit risk, market risk and economic scenarios.
Disclosure of the results “at this time may lead to uncertainty in financial markets, either in relation to specific institutions or more generally,” the Treasury said in its response to Bloomberg. “Such instability could require further action by the authorities.”
The same request to the FSA was rejected on the grounds it would be too costly to retrieve the documents. Lesley Richardson, an FSA freedom of information officer, said the results wouldn’t be released in any case because the information was confidential.
The U.K. has committed as much as 1.4 trillion pounds ($2.2 trillion) to bolster the nation’s banking system through direct investments, asset insurance and underwriting loans. The government has nationalized Northern Rock Plc and Bradford & Bingley Plc, and taken controlling stakes Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc.
“The transparency of companies over the last few months has significantly improved so it is ironic that the one body who isn’t joining in the transparency is the regulator itself,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London.