Feds shut down Signature bank

Signature bank becomes next casualty of banking turmoil after Silicon Valley Bank.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Two days after authorities shut down Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB.O) in a collapse that left billions in savings unclaimed, state regulators have closed New York-based Signature Bank, the third-largest failure in American banking history.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took control of Signature, which had $110.36 billion in assets and $88.59 in deposits at the end of last year, according to New York state’s Department of Financial Services.

This announcement was made in a joint statement by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg. According to the Feds, all depositors in Silicon Valley Bank as well as depositors of Signature Bank will have access to their funds starting Monday.

The decision was made in consultation with President Joe Biden, according to a press release, which emphasized that the U.S. taxpayer will not bear any losses as a result of the resolution.


The Joint statement noted that banking regulations established after the 2008 global financial crisis ensured better safeguards for the banking industry and the U.S. banking system remains resilient and on a solid foundation. 

The failure of Signature Bank is the second major financial institution to have affected the market for digital assets, and it marks the third U.S. bank failure in the previous week.

Last Wednesday, Silvergate announced that it would voluntarily cease operations and liquidate, promising to reimburse its depositors in full. The bank had already declared that it would likewise discontinue the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN).

The SEN played a crucial role for crypto-native firms as a round-the-clock payment service for Silvergate’s clients. Signature Bank operates a similar service called Signet, a digital payments platform used for real-time payments by the institutions’ clients.

Though Silvergate and Signature were both popular institutions among crypto-native firms, Signature’s total assets of around $110 billion made the bank much bigger than Silvergate, which reported a total of $11 billion in assets as of the end of last year.

“Though depositors who held funds with Signature Bank will be protected when the institution reopens Monday, shareholders and certain unsecured debtholders will not be,” the statement said, adding that the crypto-friendly bank’s senior management has been removed.

The Federal Reserve Board noted on Sunday that additional funds will be made available to depository institutions that are eligible in order to assure they’re able to meet the needs of their depositors.

Following the release of the joint statements, cryptocurrency values have risen. According to CoinGecko, Bitcoin, and Ethereum have increased 7.2% and 8.2% during the last day to reach about $21,850 and $1,580, respectively.

Stablecoin USDC also swelled towards its peg to the U.S. dollar, which it previously lost amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The price of USDC, the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, fell to $0.87 after its issuer Circle said $3.3 billion of the token’s reserves were held with the failed bank.

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