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UK banks not seeing deposit ‘flight to quality’ after SVB collapse – Lloyds CEO



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A security guard stands outside of the entrance of the Silicon Valley Bank headquarters in Santa Clara, California, U.S., March 13, 2023. REUTERS/Brittany Hosea-Small

By Iain Withers and Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – British banks are not yet seeing a “flight to quality” in deposits among customers nervous about the safe-keeping of their money following the collapse of U.S. lender Silicon Valley Bank last week, Lloyds (LON:) chief executive Charlie Nunn said on Tuesday.

“What’s happened with SVB is relatively idiosyncratic compared to the UK,” Nunn told a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) event, referring to the demise of the specialist lender, which has triggered widespread banking turmoil and a rout in stocks globally.

Shockwaves from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank further pounded bank stocks across Asia and Europe on Tuesday as worries about potential contagion to other lenders deepened.

Major U.S. banks including JPMorgan (NYSE:) and Citigroup (NYSE:) have seen a wave of customers applying to shift their accounts to larger lenders, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

“We haven’t seen what we’ve seen in the U.S., which is the flight to quality,” Nunn said. “But let’s see how that plays out and we’ll see how people feel over the next period of time.”

The U.S. has taken emergency measures to give banks vulnerable to a run on deposits special access to additional funding, but assurances from President Joe Biden and other policymakers have so far done little to calm markets.

Investors and analysts are now forecasting tweaks to global interest rate policies designed to bring runaway inflation under control, with any further rate hikes likely to weaken some bank balance sheets.

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