analyses by providing a coordinated assessment of European banks, usingcommon scenarios and methodologies.However, as with any stress test exercise, the results are not forecasts of expected outcomes, since the scenarios are designed as "what-if" situationsreflecting extreme assumptions, which are therefore not very likely tomaterialise. Against this background, the aggregate results discussed in thisreport as well as the individual results presented by banks and/or nationalsupervisory authorities, aim at supporting the supervisory assessment of theadequacy of capital of European banks, and should be interpreted with caution.
Sample of banks
The 2010 stress test exercise has been conducted on a sample of 91 Europeanbanks
. In total national supervisory authorities from 20 EU Member Statesparticipated in the exercise. In each of the 27 Member States, the sample hasbeen built by including banks, in descending order of size, so as to cover at least50% of the respective national banking sector, as expressed in terms of totalassets. As the stress test has been conducted on the highest level of consolidation for the bank in question, the exercise also covers subsidiaries andbranches of these EU banks operating in other Member States and in countriesoutside Europe. As a result, for the remaining 7 Member States where more than50% of the local market was already covered through the subsidiaries of EUbanks participating in the exercise, no further bank was added to the sample.The 91 banks represent 65% of the total assets of the EU banking sector as awhole.Given the differences in size and complexity, business models, scope of operations and risk profiles of the institutions included in the sample, it should beborne in mind that the aggregate results presented in this report cannot bedirectly applied to individual institutions, nor can be directly extrapolated to otherbanks in the EU. This point is of special importance as regards the assessment of banks’ continued reliance on government support measures, as the sample of banks contains both institutions making use of various support measures, andinstitutions which did not revert to public support.
Risk factors included in the stress test exercise
The sample of the 2009 exercise was composed of 22 large cross-border banks.