Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said the U.S. banking system remains in solid shape despite the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the past two weeks and a swoon in bank stocks.
“This is not a credit crisis,” Fraser said at the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday, as reported in a Reuters video. “This is a situation where it’s a few banks that have some problems and it’s better to make sure that we nip that in the bud.”
Fraser downplayed any comparisons of the current situation to the global financial crisis after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
contributed $5 billion as one of 11 banks to deposit a total of $30 billion into ailing lender First Republic Bank
last week after a flight of deposits from the company.
Bank stocks have swooned this month as speculation mounted about a failure of another bank after Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed, as well as this past week’s forced merger between UBS Group AG
and Credit Suisse
“So one of the great things about this was actually that the banks did all come back together because we usually try and kill each other in different deals that we’re trying to do,” Fraser said. “You don’t want someone else to win a pitch over yourselves. There’s a lot of competition between us. But in this instance, this is one where we’re in a strong position, we want to stop what could have been a problem…”
Fraser, the first female CEO in the history of Citigroup, took the job in 2021 after working as president of Citi and CEO of Citi’s Global Consumer Bank.
She was one of several megabank CEOs to appear before the House and Senate this past fall to field questions on the U.S. banking business.
Citigroup stock rose 1.5% Thursday as bank stocks recovered from losses in the previous session.
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