This paper analyzes bank stock prices around the world to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the banking sector. Using a global database of policy responses during the crisis, the paper also examines the role of financial sector policy announcements on the performance of bank stocks. Overall, the results suggest that the crisis and the countercyclical lending role that banks are expected to play have put banking systems under significant stress, with bank stocks underperforming their domestic markets and other non-bank financial firms. The effectiveness of policy interventions has been mixed. Measures of liquidity support, borrower assistance, and monetary easing moderated the adverse impact of the crisis, but this is not true for all banks or in all circumstances. For example, borrower assistance and prudential measures exacerbated the stress for banks that are already undercapitalized and/or operate in countries with little fiscal space. These vulnerabilities will need to be carefully monitored as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the world’s economies.