RBS exterior shotAnalysts from Credit Suisse claim Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is Europe's 'most vulnerable' bank. Some accolade given the competition. The Credit Suisse worry is premised on upcoming new stress tests. Applied to RBS, it could be looking at a £16.9bn shortfall. RBS joins Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA, who collectively could need a cash injection of some €47bn.

Barclays and Société Générale may also need up to €13bn. Credit Suisse is basing its numbers on the July stress tests, but revamped to reflect the banks' half-year results, applying a 9% Tier 1 capital ratio (4% more than the rate used earlier in the summer) to risk-weighted assets.

This view though is not shared by all. Other analysts claim banks like RBS shouldn't need such help, given that it is shrinking its balance sheet and dividends.

This gap in opinion reflects the on-going uncertainty of what the next set of stress tests - after the botched job in the summer by the European Banking Authority (EBA) - will actually detail, particularly on capital targets. The economic climate has also moved on, for the worse.

However, we do have a clear timeline from the Independent Commission on Banking which, despite the bullying from the big name banks, did hold out for ring-fencing retail customers from the casino arms. We're also closer to getting "living wills" drawn up by UK banks, though Europe is being much slower.

If you believe in RBS' five-year plan - it's almost halfway through - then you may feel more optimistic. But the outlook is grim. Shares have plunged from £6 to 24p (current price) in four years. And if the economy continues to slow... (The Western economy, at least.)

So the mismatch between policymakers, consumer confidence, industry (there are plenty of companies out there who are doing okay) and global markets remains huge. RBS boss Hester, it's worth remembering, has been here before.