Experts: Estonia, Europe unlikely to be impacted by US banks collapsing

Silicon Valley Bank.
Silicon Valley Bank. Source: SCANPIX/REUTERS/Kori Suzuki

The collapse of two U.S. banks will not severely affect the Estonian and European banking sectors, experts said on Monday. While shares nosedived, the Bank of Estonia believes this is only an emotional reaction.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) dealt with a narrow area of the economy and should not affect the wider sector, said Jaak Tõrs, head of the Bank of Estonia's Financial Stability Department.

"If we look at SVB bank's problems, they are largely related to its business specificity and probably also to mismanagement of risk. If you look at the current situation in the U.S. banking industry, it is really down to individual banks. The Federal Reserve has also taken steps to minimize the risk of contagion to other banks," he told Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

LHV's financial manager Meelis Paakspuu echoed the same thoughts: "Here, we do not see such an impact on other sectors and on the wider geographical area. Particularly now that the U.S. regulator has given assurances that all deposits will be paid out, so there is no cause for panic."

Big European banks are not known to have been affected, Tõrs said.

"There has been an impact on share prices, and this is largely linked to the fact that shareholders are the last to receive money from the bank in case of difficulties. And the uncertainty surrounding this event has been high," he said.

However, the startup sector may take a hit.

"There may be a bit of an impact because if, broadly speaking, startups have been very much in the hands of a small number of banks, and those banks are not doing the best at the moment, then investors' fears about startups will also increase a little," Paakspuu said.

But Startup Estonia's Eve Peeterson said, while some companies do have money in SVB, no problems have been reported so far.

"All these banking concerns are often linked to speculation and fears... At the moment, we are not hearing any pushback from investors," Peeterson told AK.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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