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Comprehensive assessments

In cooperation with national supervisors, the ECB carries out financial health checks for the banks it supervises directly. These checks are called comprehensive assessments. They help to ensure that banks are adequately capitalised and can withstand macroeconomic and financial shocks.

The main objectives of a comprehensive assessment are to:

Ensure transparency Enhance the quality of information available on the condition of banks
Rectify failings Identify problems and implement necessary corrective actions
Build confidence Assure all stakeholders that banks are fundamentally sound and trustworthy

Comprehensive assessments are conducted as follows:

  • In regular cases, the ECB carries out an initial health check for all banks that have been recently classified or are likely to be classified soon as significant (meaning they will be supervised directly by the ECB). These initial health checks include an asset quality review (AQR) focusing on credit risk, market risk and governance processes. In addition, the banks are included in the sample of other directly supervised banks for the regular supervisory stress tests conducted by ECB Banking Supervision. The AQR and the first stress test for newly significant banks are conducted separately and are therefore published separately.
  • In ad hoc cases, the ECB may conduct comprehensive assessments with both an AQR and a stress test. In such cases, both exercises have the same reference date and their results are published at the same time.

Asset quality reviews Asset quality review - Phase 2 Manual FAQs on the revised asset quality review manual Supervisory stress tests


Each comprehensive assessment concludes with the disclosure of bank-level data.

In particular, the results of the assessment are factored into the ongoing assessment of banks’ risks, governance, capital and liquidity as part of the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process.

Where a comprehensive assessment is conducted in response to a request from an EU country outside the euro area which is seeking closer cooperation with the ECB, that country’s national supervisor will follow up on the findings.

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