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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bank shares sink as Joe Biden fails to reassure markets – latest updates

Joe Biden said “Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe” as small bank shares crashed as markets opened in the US.

Western Alliance Bancorp dropped nearly 75pc as the opening bell sounded while shares in First Republic Bank dropped 67pc. PacWest Bancorp dropped more than 35pc.

The major US banks were also hit, with Wells Fargo falling 7.5pc, Bank of America dropping 7.4pc, Citigroup down 5.8pc and JP Morgan falling 2.7pc.

The President addressed the nation from the Roosevelt Room in the White House in an attempt to avoid a broader crisis triggered by the collapses of US lenders Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

The crisis has seen traders alter their outlook for interest rates, with many betting the US Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates at all at their meeting next week in an attempt to ease pressure on the banking sector.

Mr Biden said investors would lose their money following their collapses in the last few days, adding that they took a risk and “that’s how capitalism works”.

He insisted “no losses will be borne by the taxpayers” and called on Congress and regulators to “strengthen rules” on banks after the failures.

The selloff of banks has hit global stock markets, with the FTSE 100 down 2pc and FTSE 250 losing 2.7pc.

Shares in HSBC, which bought the UK arm of SVB for £1 after a weekend of fraught negotiations, have fallen as much as 4.6pc, with Lloyds down as much as 4.8pc, Barclays falling 5.8pc and NatWest dropping as much as 5.4pc.

Read the latest updates below.

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