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Has the FSA gone too far regarding bank stress tests?

As we covered in one of our earlier articles, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a new set of guidelines regarding bank stress tests which will effectively force each and every financial institution in the UK to identify its own potential weaknesses. This is a rather bizarre way in which to protect the UK economy because all the regulators are doing is highlighting weak companies and making them susceptible to potential takeovers, mergers or limited financial backing.

If a company is forced identify a potential weakness in its own business model, then what is there to stop a predator approaching the company's shareholders and claiming that they could run the company better than its current board of directors. There are no industries in the world which force companies to do the homework of their potential predators and competitors and weaken their own reputation and financial strength in the eyes of investors. So why has the FSA decided to act now?

Even though the idea of "reverse stress tests" does appear to have some merit in the current economic climate it is absolutely crazy to ask a company to research its own weaknesses and then publish these for public consumption.

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