Deutsche Bank is said to have been given special treatment in the summer stress tests conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA). The German lender was reportedly allowed to boost its results through a special concession, a Financial Times report has claimed.
According to the report, the bank's results included $4bn (£3.22bn), the sale price of its stake in Chinese Hua Xia Bank. The figure was included even though the deal is yet to be completed. While Deutsche had agreed to sell this stake in December 2015, the deal is said to be facing delays.
The report added that including this deal in the bank's results was odd. It explained that this was because this stress test generally included only those transactions that are fully completed by the end of 2015.
While this special treatment was said to have been mentioned in a footnote to the bank's stress test results, the report claimed that none of the other 50 banks that participated in the same stress test had any similar footnotes. This was despite several of these banks also having deals that were agreed upon but were yet to be completed as of the end of 2015.
The report even cited an example of Caixabank. Although the Spanish bank had completed foreign asset sale worth €2.65bn in March this was not allowed to be included in its results.
This report comes at a time when shares of Deutsche Bank have declined about 22% in recent weeks amid fears that the bank will have to pay a fine of $14bn to US regulators to settle civil claims related to the issuance and underwriting of residential mortgage-backed securities. Latest news reports have said that discussions to reduce this fine between Deutsche bank CEO John Cryan and the US Department of Justice ended without any agreement over the weekend.
The European Central Bank, which supervises banks in the eurozone countries, is responsible for approving deviations used by banks in reporting its results. The EBA cannot reject these deviations.
With regards to this special treatment to Deutsche, the ECB did not comment. It however said, it "treats all banks equally in line with the regulation". The EBA on the other hand said that there were more than 20 "one-offs" approved in the summer stress tests that were designed to avoid obvious anomalies.
However, according to the Financial Times, there has been no effort to reconcile this one-off to the official rules, which say: "any divestments, capital measures or other transactions that were not completed before 31 December 2015, even if they were agreed upon before this date, should not be taken into account in the projections".