Biden says banking crisis has calmed down
By Jeff Mason and Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday the banking crisis has calmed down after the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.
Biden has sought to reassure investors and depositors that the global banking system is safe as financial stocks have lost billions of dollars in value since the collapse of the two mid-size U.S. lenders over the past week. Biden, earlier this week, promised Americans that their deposits are safe.
“Yes,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday when asked if the banking crisis had calmed down.
Californian regulators shuttered Silicon Valley Bank last Friday and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. It was the largest collapse since Washington Mutual failed during the financial crisis of 2008.
On Friday, the bank’s parent, SVB Financial Group, said it had filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Large U.S. banks injected $30 billion in deposits into First Republic Bank a day earlier, swooping in to rescue the mid-sized lender caught up in the crisis triggered by the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank.
The deal was put together by power brokers including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
Earlier on Friday, Biden had called on Congress to give regulators greater power over the banking sector, including leveraging higher fines for managers, clawing back executives’ compensation and barring officials from failed banks.
Specifically, Biden is asking Congress to give the FDIC greater authority to claw back compensation, “including gains from stock sales – from executives at failed banks like Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank,” the White House said on Friday.
Democrats who have been calling for tougher banking regulation were quick to hail Biden’s statement, but it is unclear whether it has bipartisan support in Congress.
Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker sold $3.6 million worth of shares in late February, about two weeks before the bank entered FDIC receivership, Bloomberg and CNBC reported.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, writing by Kanishka Singh, editing by Sandra Maler and Lincoln Feast.)