Over the past fortnight, US banks borrowed a combined $164.8 billion from two Federal Reserve facilities, according to Fed statistics released Thursday, as lenders rushed to develop the liquidity to endure any potential bank runs in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature bank.
The data showed that in the week ending March 15th, US lenders borrowed $152.85 billion from the discount window, compared to $4.58 billion the previous week. The figure beat out the all-time record which had been set during the 2008 financial crisis.
The Fed’s discount window is a tool which allows the Fed to provide liquidity to banks as loans offered against safe collateral for up to 90 days. Lenders also acquired another $11.9 billion by borrowing through the Fed’s Bank Term Funding Program, a program launched after the collapse of SVB, which offers funding for up to one year.
The Financial Times reported earlier in the week that the six biggest Wall Street banks saw $165 billion in market capitalization evaporate this month, equal to roughly 13% of their combined value, following the largest US bank failure seen since 2008.
Last week a collapse of two US lenders, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank, following the liquidation of the crypt-focused Silvergate bank, touched off a crisis in the sector, as panicked depositors began withdrawing deposits, and investors grew uneasy with the sector.
The Fed report did not detail the number of banks seeking liquidity, or the identity of the institutions which secured funding. At the same time, US banking majors have not given any signs they are experiencing any liquidity issues.
Reports indicate many depositors are withdrawing their funds from smaller banks, seeking to place them in larger banks, which will be likely to be deemed “too big to fail” in the event of any widespread crisis.
Earlier in the week, US President Joe Boden had sought to assure the American public that the banking system remained safe, adding that they government would do “whatever is needed,” to prevent a larger crisis.