Signature Bank Closure Has Nothing to Do With Crypto, Says Regulator

The New York State Department of Financial Services said that the decision to close down Signature Bank had nothing to do with crypto.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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After the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) took possession of Signature Bank on Sunday, there have been speculations regarding whether the regulatory action was linked to cryptocurrency.

Former U.S. Representative Barney Frank, who was involved in the drafting of the Dodd-Frank Act and had been a member of Signature Bank’s board since 2015, believes that the regulator’s move was related to cryptocurrency. 

He told CNBC Monday, “I think part of what happened was that regulators wanted to send a very strong anti-crypto message.”

He further opined, “We became the poster boy because there was no insolvency based on the fundamentals.” 

In September last year, the cryptocurrency sector accounted for nearly 25% of Signature Bank’s total deposits. However, the bank said in December that it plans to reduce crypto-related deposits by $8 billion.

Responding to claims that the closure of Signature Bank was crypto-related, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Financial Services told Fortune,

“The decisions made over the weekend had nothing to do with crypto. The decision to take possession of the bank and hand it over to the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] was based on the current status of the bank and its ability to do business in a safe and sound manner on Monday.”

The NYDFS official also stated that withdrawal requests spiked over the weekend but that credible and consistent data was not provided by Signature Bank.

Regarding crypto, the representative claimed that the NYDFS is a national model for regulating the industry and has been facilitating well-regulated crypto activity for a number of years.

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