House panel makes bipartisan move to hold series of hearings on bank failures

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The Republican chairman and top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee announced Friday the panel will hold the first of “multiple” hearings on the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, failures that have roiled the banking industry and financial markets. 

Chairman Patrick McHenry, North Carolina Republican, and Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, said they will question federal regulators Martin Greunberg, chairman of the board at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Michael Barr, vice chair of the Federal Reserve. The hearing will be on March 29.

They said the committee “is committed to getting to the bottom of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.”

“This hearing will allow us to begin to understand why and how these banks failed,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “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. We will conduct this hearing without fear or favor to get the answers the American people deserve.”

Both banks were closed by regulators after they couldn’t meet demands by customers for withdrawals. SVB had reported $209 billion in assets at the end of 2022.

President Biden on Friday called on Congress to approve tougher penalties for executives at banks that fail.

Lawmakers in both parties on the House committee had criticized the Fed at a hearing two weeks ago over Mr. Barr’s tentative plan to raise capital requirements for banks, saying the proposal was unnecessary and could harm economic growth. Mr. McHenry said at the time that lawmakers were unaware of any banks with liquidity problems. Two days later, SVB collapsed.





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