a financial tremor the ongoing cost of svbs collapse on us banks 384


A Financial Tremor: The Ongoing Cost of SVB's Collapse on US Banks


Benjamin Hughes

March 7, 2024 - 12:57 pm


The Rising Costs for US Banks in the Aftermath of Silicon Valley Bank's Failure

One Year Later: The Snowballing Impact

A year has passed since the financial tremors from Silicon Valley Bank's collapse shook the foundation of the American banking landscape. Today, banks across the United States continue to feel the aftershocks, with forecasts indicating that the clean-up costs could surge by another $4.1 billion.

The FDIC's Escalating Loss Estimates

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has disclosed in its latest annual report from late February that the anticipated losses from the downfall of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the New York-based Signature Bank have risen sharply. The new estimate, standing at $20.4 billion, marks a significant 25% increase from the previously predicted $16.3 billion in November.

This upward revision underscores a harsh reality for a wide spectrum of financial institutions. From banking titans such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., to regional players like PNC Financial Services Group, and even more localized banks, there's an anticipatory cloud suggesting that they may face heavier contributions to resuscitate the Deposit Insurance Fund. This fund represents a vital safety net the FDIC deploys to shield depositors in the event of a bank's failure.

U.S. Banks face soaring costs in the wake of SVB collapse, Source: FDIC

Banks Speak Out on the Financial Strain

PNC, a financial institution with its roots firmly planted in Pittsburgh, has publicly disclosed that it now anticipates an additional $130 million in expenses for this quarter—a sizable increase on top of the $515 million already recorded in the fourth quarter. Other banks such as BNY Mellon adjusted their 2023 financial results to include an extra $127 million in pre-tax expenses, revising their original estimate of $505 million. Fifth Third Bancorp and Comerica Inc. echoed similar sentiments, predicting a hit to their financials as well.

The FDIC's Forthcoming Quarterly Report

There is an imminent quarterly report due from the FDIC, scheduled for release on Thursday, that should shed further light on the collective health of the nation's banks. A key focus of the report is typically the Deposit Insurance Fund's current status. An FDIC representative, while declining to comment, brings into perspective the anticipated insight this report is expected to provide.

The Burden of a Special Assessment

Contributing to the financial strain for banks was a "special assessment" initiated last year. Swift and consecutive failures at some of the largest regional lenders necessitated a drawdown from the insurance fund by the FDIC to prevent further economic instability.

Ordinarily, the Deposit Insurance Fund is gradually replenished through quarterly fees paid by all insured banks. Yet, the colossal payouts by the FDIC in this instance strained the fund with unusual rapidity. This was compounded by the decision of U.S. authorities to guarantee even those depositors with uninsured accounts at SVB and Signature Bank in a bid to quell the chaos.

Industry Reactions to the Increased Levies

The critical role that FDIC insurance plays in stabilizing depositor confidence and averting bank runs is unanimously recognized by both regulators and banks alike. Despite this, with the foreseeable hike in the cost of FDIC insurance, industry lobbying groups have begun to voice their concerns.

The American Bankers Association Weighs In

The American Bankers Association, via spokesperson Josh Britton, has articulated its stance. Since spring last year, they've been urging the FDIC to exhaust all possible avenues to minimize the impact of any special assessments on banks, ensuring transparency throughout the process. Britton argued that at the very least, both the banks and the general public merit a thorough disclosure of the reasons behind the jump in the eventual costs.

The FDIC has not remained silent on the matter. It acknowledges that the projected loss figures could see variations over time. As expressed back in November, it anticipated that the estimated loss would undergo adjustments as the calculable amount of uninsured deposits became more precise. Furthermore, the regulator has the prerogative to impose a conclusive special assessment to cover any potential shortfalls following the closure of receiverships for both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Analysts Offer a Silver Lining

Notwithstanding the additional financial burdens, banking analysts propose a reason for optimism. "The banks should brace themselves, but the impact of these increased costs will not take an unbearable toll. The extra capital required is quite manageable, especially when viewed against their earnings each quarter," commented Jason Goldberg from Barclays in a recent discussion.

The blueprint that ensures depositor security established by the FDIC continues to be a bedrock in the American banking system. In the current financial year, the strengthened measures to compensate for bank failures illustrate a proactive approach in preserving confidence in the integrity of financial institutions.

Commentary From Experts Offered by Bloomberg

Providing additional insights on the situation, experts Bre Bradham and Katanga Johnson contributed analyses to further elaborate on the unfolding developments concerning the banking sector.

Final Considerations and Source Acknowledgement

As the banks grapple with this financial hurdle, it stands as a reminder of the interconnectedness and fragility inherent in the modern banking industry. The additional cost imposition to the banks remains a focal point for the financial community, laying bare the repercussions of bank failures and highlighting the centrality of FDIC insurance in safeguarding depositor interests.

With acknowledgments to Bloomberg L.P., the source from which this news has been drawn, there remains a keen anticipation for further news unfoldment as FDIC's upcoming quarterly report is likely to offer critical new insights into the health and stability of the nation's financial fabric.


©2024 Bloomberg L.P. For further details, please refer to Bloomberg’s original report.

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