Signature Bank Tries to Distance Itself From Crypto

Signature Bank

Signature Bank is reportedly reducing its cryptocurrency exposure after having courted the industry. 

The Financial Times reported Tuesday (Dec. 6) that while 23% of the bank’s customer deposits were related to the crypto industry in mid-November, it’s looking to reduce that to less than 15%. 

“We’re not just a crypto bank and we want that to come across loud and clear,” Signature Bank Chief Operating Officer Eric Howell told an industry conference on Tuesday. 

To that end, the bank is “going to exit about $8 billion to $10 billion worth of deposits in that space, which we can easily cover through cash and borrowings,” Howell added. 

The bank is one of few federally regulated banks that are known to have taken large deposits from crypto clients, and it had achieved rapid growth after pursuing the market around cryptocurrencies, according to the report. 

However, its shares are down more than 50% this year, and one of its clients was the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. 

Signature Bank did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 15 that Signature Bank was one of three small banks — along with Silvergate Capital and Customers Bancorp — that were happy to land cryptocurrency-related businesses as clients when the industry was booming, but went on something of a roller coaster when crypto prices plunged. 

Among Signature’s customers was the crypto lender Celsius Network, which filed for bankruptcy in July. 

As PYMNTS reported Tuesday, another one of those banks — Silvergate Capital — released a public letter Monday (Dec. 5) addressing its involvement with FTX and Alameda Research. 

“While this has been a turbulent time in the digital asset industry, our customers’ deposits are, and have always been, safely held,” Silvergate Capital CEO Alan Lane wrote in the letter. 

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