Another day, another bank collapse on Wall Street it seems.
On Sunday, New York regulators closed Signature Bank following a run on deposits, marking the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history. The collapse was the second prominent bank for U.S. crypto companies, following the end of Silvergate Bank last Wednesday.
Signature had 40 branches, assets of $110.36 billion and deposits of $88.59 billion as of December 31, 2022, according to a regulator filing. Signature also operated a 24/7 payments network for crypto clients that converted digital currency into dollars in real-time, holding $16.5 billion in digital asset deposits.
The bank's collapse led to even more declines for already batter regional banks, with the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF
The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposits Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a joint statement on Sunday that the federal regulators are taking "decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system."
The joint announcement stated that depositors will be protected above the $250,000 guaranteed by the FDIC, a move aimed at reassuring banking customers that their money will not be frozen. Depositors will have full access to their funds starting Monday, the regulators said.
The Fed also said it is creating a new Bank Term Funding Program designed to safeguard institutions affected by broader market instability in the wake of SVB and other potential bank sector turmoil. The program will offer loans of up to one year to banks, savings associations, credit unions and other firms.
"This action will bolster the capacity of the banking system to safeguard deposits and secure the ongoing provision of money and credit to the economy," the Fed said in a statement. "The Federal Reserve is prepared to address any liquidity pressures that may arise."
The joint statement from federal regulators noted that there will be no bailouts nor taxpayer costs associated with another of the new plans. Additionally, shareholders and other unsecured creditors will not be protected.
Signature Bank and Silvergate's failure raised some grave concerns for the health of the already-in-crisis crypto world, as both banks operated heavily in the space. Coinbase
This string of bank failures have also caused many on Wall Street to speculate whether or not the central bank will deliver another interest rate hike at the conclusion of its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week, as increasing interest rates already pressure the financial sector.
Goldman Sachs analysts said on Monday that is does not expect the Fed to hike rates this month, while analysts at Bank of America and Citigroup said they expect the central bank to issue a 25 basis point hike. All three firms agree, however, that the Fed is prepared to issue quarter-point hikes at its May, June and July meetings.
"We think Fed officials are likely to prioritize financial stability for now, viewing it as the immediate problem and high inflation as a medium-term problem," Goldman told clients in a note, quoted by CNBC.