The government has delayed a planned release of stress test results of the 19 largest banking companies until May 7, an official said.
Federal regulators had been expected to release the results today. The announcement is likely to come late in the day, after the markets close, sources said.
The Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the companies being tested will jointly release the results. The government has been considering how much information will satisfy the market, but it does not want to reveal too much individual bank information.
The Treasury has been conducting the tests to determine how much capital the firms would need to lend under adverse economic conditions. Those that need capital would have six months to raise it from the private market before turning to the government for assistance.
Reports have already revealed that the tests found Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. will need more assistance. But roughly two-thirds of the companies effectively passed the tests and will not require additional capital, according to sources. The majority of the six or so that require capital improvement will convert their preferred government shares to common stock. Only a few will require more government funds, sources said.
Regulators announced plans to conduct the tests two months ago as part of a plan to assess capital positions at the biggest companies if economic conditions continue to deteriorate.
The tests relied on two scenarios: a baseline scenario of expected conditions in the next two years and a more adverse scenario.