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ECB watchdog says bank safety checks running according to plan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Efforts by the European Central Bank to collect reams of lending data from leading euro zone banks are almost done, and plans to complete safety checks are running according to plan, the ECB’s top financial supervisor said on Wednesday.

Daniele Nouy, the head of the new banking watchdog at the ECB, said preparations for the so-called asset quality review, or AQR, which aims to test bank's balance sheets, were on track for a timely finish.

"The AQR data collections have been almost fully completed," Nouy said in a presentation.

The ECB's Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) is preparing to oversee around 120 banks as the leading European watchdog from Nov. 4.

(Reporting by Paul Carrell; Writing by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Maria Sheahan)