On 13 November 2020, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its final methodology, draft templates and template guidance for the 2021 EU-wide stress test along with the key milestones of the exercise. The methodology and templates include some targeted changes compared to the postponed 2020 exercise, such as the recognition of foreign exchange effects for certain profit and loss items, and the treatment of moratoria and public guarantees in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress test exercise will be launched in January 2021 with the publication of the macroeconomic scenarios and the results published by 31 July 2021.

One of the responsibilities of the EBA is to ensure the orderly functioning and integrity of financial markets and the stability of the financial system in the EU. To this end, the EBA is mandated to monitor and assess market developments as well as to identify trends, potential risks and vulnerabilities stemming from the micro-prudential level. One of the primary supervisory tools to conduct such an analysis is the EU-wide stress test exercise. The EBA Regulation gives the EBA powers to initiate and coordinate the EU-wide stress tests, in cooperation with the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). The aim of such tests is to assess the resilience of financial institutions to adverse market developments, as well as to contribute to the overall assessment of systemic risk in the EU financial system. The EBA’s EU-wide stress tests are conducted in a bottom-up fashion, using consistent methodologies, scenarios and key assumptions developed in cooperation with the ESRB, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.