Worst-case scenarios such as another housing bust or the failure of major counterparty are among the theoretical challenges envisioned for the largest U.S. banks under next year's stress tests. The focus is counterparty credit risk in the wake of the last crisis amid growing concern over the possibility of more asset bubbles. The Federal Reserve said the prime lending rate would be a major factor in the tests. The Fed says 12 new financial groups with operations in the U.S. will also be taking part in the stress tests, including RBS Citizens Financial, Santander and BMO Financial.

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