House Committee Sets Date for First Hearing Into Banking Crisis

Federal regulators will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on March 29 about the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank collapses, according to a press release

Committee Chair Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., confirmed Friday that the hearing would “allow us to begin to understand why and how these banks failed.”

“We are working around the clock to deliver answers to the American people in order to protect depositors, promote the safety and soundness of America’s banks, and strengthen our financial system,” McHenry and Waters said.

“We will conduct this hearing without fear or favor to get the answers the American people deserve,” they added.

Witnesses will include Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg and Michael Barr, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve for Supervision.

According to the release, more individuals might also be called as the hearing date approaches.

The announcement comes one day after the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over the department’s 2024 budget request, in which lawmakers probed her over the recent turmoil.

Yellen admitted to the upper chamber that not all depositors would be protected over the FDIC insurance limits of $250,000 per account — an exception that was made for customers of SVB and Signature Bank.

“Our banking system remains sound, and Americans can feel confident that their deposits will be there when they need them,” she assured the panel Thursday.

SVB, a former financial institution that primarily lent to technology startups, became the second-largest banking failure in American history when it closed its doors last week. Several days later, Signature Bank followed.

Since then, European bank Credit Suisse underwent a sharp downturn in its shares before the Swiss National Bank offered it a lifeline.