The Federal Reserve said all 31 big banks subjected to a stress test have sufficient capital to absorb losses during a sharp and prolonged economic downturn. It’s the first time since the central bank started stress tests in 2009 that no firm fell below any of the main capital thresholds. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. surpassed the 8 percent minimum for total risk-based capital by 0.1 percentage point, potentially restricting its room to return capital to shareholders.
The annual tests, using hypothetical scenarios that are not forecasts, are the cornerstone of the Fed’s efforts to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and to gauge the ability of banks to withstand economic turmoil.
The largest U.S.-based banks “continue to build their capital levels and to strengthen their ability to lend to households and businesses during a period marked by severe recession and financial market volatility,” the Fed said in a statement Thursday.