In a May 12, 2012 speech to the 48th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition in Chicago, Illinois via Satellite, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that since the financial crisis, banks have made considerable progress in repairing their balance sheet and building capital.
The Chairman said further that risk based capital and leverage ratios for banks of all sizes has improved significantly, and are above their previous highs. The 19 largest banking institutions that participated in the 2009 stress tests today have considerably more, and better quality capital than just a few years ago.
Those institutions have increased their buffer against future losses by more than $300 Billion since 2009, to a total of $760 Billion. The conclusion was that most of these 19 institutions likely have sufficient capital to withstand a period of intense economic and financial stress and still be able to lend to households and businesses.