More banks will fail over next two years, says Man Group CEO

March 22, 2023 10:55 PM AEDT | By Reuters
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(Adds further investor and BoE comment)

By Iain Withers and Nell Mackenzie

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - The banking turmoil sparked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is not yet over, and a significant number of banks will fail within two years, the CEO of hedge fund Man Group told a Bloomberg conference in London on Wednesday.

Asked whether the crisis in the sector was over, Man Group's Luke Ellis told delegates he did not think so.

Market chaos forced the emergency rescue of Credit Suisse by Swiss rival UBS over the weekend in a move that has brought some calm to markets.

"I think we will have significantly more banks that don't exist in 12-24 months," Ellis said, adding that he thought smaller and regional banks in the United States and challenger banks in Britain could be at risk.

Ellis said the growth in social media had accelerated how quickly concerns about banks circulate. "Things happen at a much faster speed. Whether that's a crisis or it's good news," he said.

He added that he was not personally an investor in U.S. regional banks.

Many hedge funds have made money from the banking sector volatility in recent days by betting against banks.

A spokesperson for the Bank of England, which supervises the health and stability of Britain's financial system, said "the UK banking system is well capitalised and funded, and remains safe and sound".

Central banks globally have responded to the turmoil with coordinated measures to ensure the flow of cash between banks around the world.

"I think policymakers have done enough to ringfence these really unique issues," Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, told delegates in a separate debate at the event.

Alexander Chartres, investment director at asset manager Ruffer LLP, said that he expects there to be a recession in the United States and that he would therefore invest across different asset classes.

(Reporting by Iain Withers and Nell Mackenzie Additional reporting by Lawrence White Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman)


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