US seeks to protect Silicon Valley Bank’s Customer

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(VOVWORLD) - US authorities launched emergency measures on Sunday to shore up confidence in the banking system after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank threatened to trigger a broader financial crisis.

After a dramatic weekend, regulators said the failed bank’s customers will have access to all their deposits starting Monday and set up a new facility to give banks access to emergency funds.

The Federal Reserve also made it easier for banks to borrow from it in emergencies. While the measures provided some relief for Silicon Valley firms and global markets on Monday, worries about broader banking risks remain and have cast doubts over whether the Fed will stick with its plan for aggressive interest rate hikes.

Silicon Valley Bank, a mainstay for the startup economy, was a product of the decades-long era of cheap money, with unique risks that made it especially vulnerable.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday she is working closely with banking regulators to respond to the collapse of SVB and protect depositors, but a major bailout is not being considered.

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is looking for another bank that can merge with SVB to save the situation. According to the FDIC, at the end of 2022,  89% of the 175 billion USD in deposits at SVB had no deposit insurance.

Experts believe a deal to acquire SVB is too large to be reached in a short time, and that potential buyers will want special guarantees or ancillary money. The financial institution Santa Clara in California, with assets worth 209 billion USD, is said to be one of the potential buyers.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced Sunday that they will make additional funding available to ensure that all SVB deposits, both insured and uninsured, will be paid in full. The Fed also announced it will make additional funding available "to eligible depository institutions to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors."

Last Friday, SVB – one of the largest banks in Silicon Valley and the 16th largest in the US – declared bankruptcy. This is the second-largest commercial bank failure in US history, after the collapse of Washington Mutual Bank during the 2008 financial crisis.