Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the the ECB's Comprehensive Assessment overall confirms the strength of Irish banking system.

The results confirm that AIB, Bank of Ireland, Merrill Lynch International Bank and Ulster Bank are sufficiently capitalised for the ECB's baseline stress and adverse stress scenarios. 

The Minister said the test was a strict and comprehensive examination of the European banking system and the results for the Irish banks highlight the strength of the banking system and the significant progress that has been made since 2011. 

AIB has welcomed the results of the EU-wide bank stress tests, which show that its capital levels are sufficient under all the test's scenarios. 

The results from the ECB show that AIB has an adjusted Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 14.64% - a key measure of the bank's financial strength. This falls to 12.43% in the baseline scenario, and 6.92% in the stress scenario.

Under the tests, the CET 1 was set at 8% for the baseline stress test scenario and at 5.5% in the adverse stress test scenario. 

"The results mean that AIB does not require any further capital from the state or from other sources. This is another important external validation of the bank's ongoing recovery and the success of the strategy that we are implementing," commented the bank's chief executive David Duffy. 

"Crucially, it also means that, as a bank, we can continue to focus on supporting our customers and economic recovery while working towards returning capital to the Irish state over time," Mr Duffy added.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the positive results for AIB are an important milestone and acknowledge that the bank is well capitalised. 

"These results will allow my officials to move to the next phase of crafting our plans to return some of the large investments made between 2009 and 2011 to the taxpayer," the Minister said in a statement.

The overall result for Bank of Ireland also confirmed that the group has passed the test with substantial capital buffers over the threshold capital ratios in both the baseline and adverse stress test scenarios.

Bank of Ireland has an adjusted CET1 ratio 11.82%, but this rises under the baseline scenario to 12.43%. Under the stress scenario it drops to 9.31%

The bank said it would issue a third quarter trading statement on Friday, October 31.

Mr Noonan said today's results should be supportive of the value of the State investments in AIB and Bank of Ireland. 

Ulster Bank says test results reflect bank's progress

Ulster Bank said today that the positive outcome of the ECB's comprehensive assessment demonstrates the progress the bank has made over the last number of years. 

The stress test results from the ECB show that Ulster Bank had an Asset Quality Review Common Equity Tier One ratio of 11.55%, which dropped to 10.02% in the baseline scenario, and fell to 6.21% in the stress scenario.

Ulster Bank's chief executive Jim Brown said that this progress has continued into this year with its return to profitability and an acceleration of the disposal of legacy assets. 

This will result in an expected Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of about 17% at the end of September, he added. 

As outlined in its parent group's - Royal Bank of Scotland - trading update in September, Ulster Bank said it expects lower arrears over the coming months.

A trading statement is also expected from the bank next week.