Rule-breakers know the best way to stay out of trouble is not to get caught. The same applies to stress tests. The financial institutions are redoubling their efforts to raise capital and avoid a regulatory reprimand. They have raised €35.5bn in capital since last July, according to research by Morgan Stanley. Nearly €26bn of that comes from equity issuance, while an additional €6bn comes from divestments specifically for capital-raising purposes. Banks reaped an extra €3.7bn from unwinding their "carry trade" - taking cheap loans from the ECB, investing in higher yielding government bonds and using the gains to take more provisions on bad debts. More is set to come. Excluding gains from carry trades, peripheral banks in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal have accounted for €26.7bn of the capital raised. The troubles of some banks in the eurozone periphery, such as Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, have been well documented. But some analysts think bigger banks could be in for a shock if regulators increase their risk-weights to assets - which determines the amount of capital that must be held. "The real surprises will be some of the big banks who are considered safe but are not," says Alberto Gallo, head of European macro credit research at RBS. "There is almost an inverse relationship between the size of banks and how much regulatory risk they declare - some large investment banks have "optimised" their models over time to show their assets are less risky." Deutsche Bank is one such behemoth under scrutiny over its capital strength. Germany's biggest lender says it is prepared to raise equity in the next two months if regulatory pressure worsens. In addition, many German banks are exposed to lending that is both capital intensive and illiquid, such as shipping and commercial real estate, which could take a hit after the stress tests. "The majority of German banks subject to the AQR and stress test are engaged in capital-intensive asset-based finance activities, which will probably lead to some visible impact on those banks' stressed capital ratios under the ECB's tests," says Carola Schuler, a banking analyst at Moody's. At least markets are supportive. With economic recovery in prospect and a conviction that the worst of the eurozone crisis is over there is a strong appetite among investors to plough money into eurozone banks.