Wall Street is buying itself

Buying frenzy.
Reuters/Luke MacGregor

With the Federal Reserve’s big test out of the way Wall Street is going on a huge buying binge.

That is, it is buying itself.

The Dodd-Frank stress tests, which measure whether financial institutions with more than $50 billion in US-based assets could survive a severe recession without infecting the rest of the economy, mandate that if a bank fails the firm is not allowed to return cash to shareholders in the form of dividend and buybacks.

Now that the tests are over, the banks that passed are rolling out their buyback plans for the year, and they’re huge.

This year only Deutsche Bank and Santander failed the tests, while Morgan Stanley received conditional approval. For the rest of the firms, the cloud has been lifted and the buyback spree can begin.

Here’s a run-down of the banks that have announced that they’re buying their own shares. The buyback period is over the next 12 months unless otherwise noted:

    JPMorgan: $10.6 billion Citi: $8.6 billion Bank of America: $5 billion Goldman Sachs: Will buy back stock, but did not release the amount. State Street: $1.4 billion Ally Financial: $700 million American Express: $3.3 billion BB&T: $640 million Capital One: $2.5 billion Discover Financial: $1.95 billion PNC Bank: $2.0 billion SunTrust: $960 million Northern Trust: $275 million Regions Financial: $640 million KeyBank: $350 million