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European banking system is robust and has tight rules

Finance Minister Fernando Medina said today in Brussels that the European banking system is not comparable to the US, being “more robust” and with “tighter rules”, commenting on the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

“The European banking system is subject to the supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), it has tighter rules [than the US], it is much more robust, supervision and regulation have had a big change in these years post financial crisis [of 2013],” Medina said in statements at the entrance of the eurozone finance ministers’ meeting (Eurogroup).

The SVB, Medina also noted, was a “very regional” and “very specialised” institution, highlighting the quick reaction of the US authorities.

The European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, stressed that there was “no direct contagion” to the European banking system following the bankruptcy of the SVB.

“There is no direct contagion and the possibility of an indirect impact is something we must keep an eye on, but so far there is no significant risk,” he said.

Silicon Valley Bank announced bankruptcy on Friday and Signature Bank also closed later, but in the meantime the US Federal Reserve has announced it will provide “additional funding” to US banks to help ensure institutions have the capacity to meet the needs “of all their depositors”.

Today, HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, bought SVB’s UK subsidiary after it collapsed last week through a private rescue facilitated by the British government and the Bank of England, the British executive announced.

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