New Fed’s Stress Test Restrics Banks’ Dividends. The Federal Reserve (Fed) recently released the results for the 2020 stress tests for the 33 largest US-based bank holding companies. The Fed does this annual test as part of the regulations that were passed after the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed evaluates the capital adequacy and has a forward-looking component to see if the banks have enough capital to absorb losses under different economic scenarios. The Fed also evaluates the banks' plans for returning capital in the form of dividend payments and share repurchases.