Washington D.C. - As 10 financial institutions were giventhe green light to repay nearly $70 billion in TARP funds, the Congressional Oversight Panel urgedthat banks undergo another round of "stress test" examinations.
In a report to lawmakers, the panel pointed to May's 9.4percent unemployment figure - a 26-year high - as an indicator that the testsmay not have been as thorough as originally predicted. The COP said thatbanking regulators had structured the tests predicated on a worst-case scenarioof an 8.9 percent unemployment rate.
In February, some 19 banks underwent the stress tests.However, 10 of those 19 were found to be facing a capital shortfall of roughly$75 billion.
The panel's recommendation comes as the TreasuryDepartment expects an initial payback from the nation's largest banks of $68 billion in TARP bailout funds.
The list of financial firms expected to a go ahead forrepayment includes American Express Co., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., CapitalOne Financial Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he would use theTARP repayments to potentially assist smaller banks.
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