Signature says it is ‘not just a crypto bank’ as it sheds deposits

Signature Bank plans to dump as a lot as $10bn in deposits tied to the cryptocurrency business, a U-turn for a US lender that achieved speedy development after aggressively courting digital property.

The transfer comes as turmoil envelops the crypto business within the wake of falling token costs and the chapter of the FTX trade, a consumer of Signature’s. The New York-based bank’s shares are down greater than 50 per cent this yr after it was the best-performing inventory within the KBW Bank index final yr.

About 23 per cent of Signature’s $103bn in buyer deposits have been associated to the crypto business as of the center of November. It is now in search of to scale back the share to lower than 20 per cent and finally lower than 15 per cent of whole deposits, chief working officer Eric Howell informed an business convention on Tuesday.

“We’re not just a crypto financial institution and we wish that to come back throughout loud and clear,” he stated.

Reducing crypto publicity meant Signature was “going to exit about $8bn to $10bn price of deposits in that house, which we will simply cowl by money and borrowings”, Howell stated.

Signature is one of many solely federally regulated US banks recognized to have taken large-scale deposits from crypto shoppers, having began the enterprise 4 years in the past with a determination to simply accept crypto exchanges, stablecoin issuers and bitcoin miners as clients. This helped Signature’s deposits triple from $33.4bn in 2017.

FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, was one of many world’s largest crypto exchanges earlier than its failure in November. Signature stated final month that its deposit relationship with FTX and its associated corporations amounted to lower than 0.1 per cent of its general deposits.

Signature’s share worth was down about 4.5 per cent in New York buying and selling on Tuesday. Its different companies embody wealth administration and fund lending, by which it bankrolls capital calls to funding funds on behalf of shoppers.

In a additional signal of the issues round losses within the crypto market spilling over to US lenders, Silvergate, one other US financial institution which took deposits from crypto shoppers, this week defended its function in accepting deposits from FTX and Alameda Research, a buying and selling group based by Bankman-Fried.

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