Lenders in Europe may face more frequent stress tests to bolster confidence in the region's banking industry, Europe's top economic official said.

The European Union is considering at what "kind of interval" to repeat the bank stress-testing exercise that ended last month, Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said Monday in a Bloomberg Television interview in New York.

"This is something I have to talk to the finance ministers about," he said. Stress tests are "a very useful instrument of reinforcing confidence for transparency and sound and solid analysis," said Rehn, who will meet with European finance chiefs in Brussels on Sept. 7.

EU regulators carry out yearly stress tests on the biggest lenders in the region. Last month 91 banks, accounting for 65% of Europe's banking industry, were examined on their resilience in the event of a shrinking economy and a drop in government bond values.

Though the July test results provided greater transparency about lenders' holdings of sovereign debt, they were criticized for not being stringent enough.

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