Sarb sees no effects from US banks turmoil

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the turmoil at Credit Suisse are not expected to affect South Africa’s banks or financial system, the South African Reserve Bank said on Friday.

“While these events reflect fragilities in the global financial system, the likely spill-overs to South Africa are expected to be minimal,” the central bank said in a statement.

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It added that South African regulators are in constant communication with global regulators and have sufficient information to monitor the risks stemming from these jurisdictions.

The US government launched emergency measures on Sunday to shore up confidence in the banking system after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the largest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisis. New York regulators also closed Signature Bank on Sunday.

Within days, the market turmoil had ensnared Swiss lender Credit Suisse, forcing it to borrow up to $54 billion from Switzerland’s central bank to shore up liquidity.

South Africa’s four largest banks have all reported annual profit rises of between 13% and 33% for 2022 in recent weeks, while warning of the risks to Africa’s most industrialised economy from rolling power cuts.

“South African banks do not have the same exposure to investment banking products and derivative trading as some global banks,” South Africa’s central bank said. “We remain vigilant about risks in our domestic financial sector.”