WASHINGTON: The US Federal Reserve called for greater banking oversight while admitting to its own failures in a widely-anticipated report published Friday into the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) last month.
SVB’s failure on March 10 after taking on too much interest-rate risk caused shock waves throughout the banking sector, and led to the failure of New York-based Signature Bank and the merger under pressure of Swiss investment banking giant Credit Suisse with regional rival UBS.
“Following Silicon Valley Bank’s failure, we must strengthen the Federal Reserve’s supervision and regulation based on what we have learned,” Federal Reserve vice chair for supervision Michael Barr wrote in a statement accompanying the report.
SVB’s management failed to adequately manage risk prior to the bank’s swift collapse, while Fed supervisors “failed to take forceful enough action” after identifying issues at the Californian high-tech lender, he said.
Concerted efforts by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic in the days that followed SVB’s collapse appear to have reduced the banking turmoil and lowered volatility in the financial markets.
Barr’s report found that the Fed “did not appreciate the seriousness of critical deficiencies in the firm’s governance, liquidity, and interest rate risk management,” as SVB’s assets more than doubled in size between 2019-2021 in the middle of a high-tech boom.
The report was also critical of a Trump-era law that rolled back some banking regulation.