(Washington) Americans can “have confidence” in a “sound” banking system, Joe Biden assured Monday, as European officials seek to provide reassurance about the risk of contagion to global finance from the bank’s collapse Californian SVB.
“We won’t stop there,” the US president assured Monday morning from the White House, seeking to fuel confidence, the only bulwark against a large-scale contagion of trouble from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
The US authorities placed this bank close to technology circles under guardianship on Friday, and put it up for auction with the aim of finding a buyer as soon as possible.
They also intervened hastily in the face of the bankruptcy of two smaller establishments, Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank, known for its privileged links with the cryptocurrency community.
Joe Biden promised that US taxpayers would not be taxed, but warned that investors and shareholders will not be “protected” from their losses.
He also said he would ask Congress to legislate to “strengthen” banking regulation, toughened after the Lehman Brothers debacle in 2008 but later eased by his predecessor Donald Trump.
The US central bank (Fed) has announced that it will review the conditions of supervision and regulation of SVB, the events requiring “thorough, transparent and timely analysis”, according to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
Results will be released on May 1.
On the other side of the Atlantic, European politicians are also trying to reassure about the risk of contagion to the entire banking sector.
“There is no direct contagion and the possibility of an indirect impact is something we need to monitor, but at the moment we do not see a significant risk,” the European Commissioner for the Environment said in Brussels. ‘Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, before a meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers.
“Calm down, calm down, and look at the reality!” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told investors, saying that “the reality is that the French banking system is not exposed to the SVB. There are no connections between the different situations” in the United States and Europe.
Wall Street ended on a mixed note on Monday, after starting in the red. The regional bank First Republic nevertheless lost nearly 62% at the close.
European markets also picked up a few colors after a low in the early afternoon, but ended down sharply. Credit Suisse shares, perceived by investors as a “weak link” in the Swiss banking sector, suffered particularly strong shocks.
On Sunday, US authorities announced that they would guarantee the withdrawal of all deposits from SVB and allow access to all deposits from Signature Bank.
In addition, the Federal Reserve – the Fed, the American central bank – has agreed to lend the necessary funds to other banks that need them to honor withdrawal requests from their customers.
London, for its part, announced that the British branch of SVB had been sold to the British banking giant HSBC, for a symbolic pound.
“SVB UK customers will be able to access their deposits and banking services as normal from today,” the UK Treasury said.
The authorities are desperate to avoid a panic in the markets on Monday and mass withdrawals of bank customers, a “bank run” with potentially devastating effects.
The SVB debacle illustrates the disruption of the entire US banking system in the face of Fed monetary tightening.
Interest rate hikes in the United States have encouraged customers to put their money in financial products that pay better than current accounts, drying up a crucial source for the cash-hungry new technology sector.
The race against time this weekend recalls September 13 and 14, 2008. The American authorities had failed to find a buyer for Lehman Brothers and refused to intervene, pushing the bank to file for bankruptcy, with dramatic consequences for the sector. finance and the global economy as a whole.