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TCF bank CEO criticizes government's 'stress test'

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TCF Bank
TCF Bank in St. Paul
MPR Photo/Steve Mullis

The CEO of a Minnesota-based lending institution said the federal government's so-called "stress tests" of 19 large banks will not be representative of the bank's true health. Federal regulators are focusing on the risks of bad mortgages and other loans to determine which banks are healthy and which might fail if the recession worsens.

Bill Cooper is CEO of Wayzata-based TCF Financial. He says trying to determine the viability of banks, or any industry, during a disaster scenario, will make banking look like it's in a lot of trouble.

"Any company can be painted as vulnerable if economic times get bad enough," Cooper said. "But, to say in a nuclear holocaust that the banking industry is going to be in trouble, I think those are mistakes. It just weakens confidence in the banking industry and nobody really believes we're going to go through those kind of economic times."

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release results of the stress tests early next month.