The United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has reportedly asked potential rescuers of some failed U.S. banks not to support any crypto services.
The FDIC regulators have asked banks interested in acquiring failed U.S. lenders like Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank to submit bids by March 17, Reuters reported.
The authority will only accept bids from banks with an existing bank charter, prioritizing traditional lenders over private equity firms, the report notes, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The FDIC aims to sell entire businesses of both SVB and Signature, while offers for parts of the banks could be considered if the whole company sales do not happen.
The FDIC has also required any buyer of Signature to agree to give up all cryptocurrency business at the bank.
New York-based Signature is a major crypto-friendly bank in the United States. The bank is known for many partnerships in the crypto industry, servicing companies like Coinbase exchange, stablecoin issuer Paxos Trust, crypto custodian BitGo, and bankrupt crypto lender Celsius — among others.
The news comes amid U.S. Representative Tom Emmer sending a letter to the FDIC, expressing concerns that the federal government is “weaponizing” issues around the banking industry to go after crypto.
“These actions to weaponize recent instability in the banking sector, catalyzed by catastrophic government spending and unprecedented interest rate hikes, are deeply inappropriate and could lead to broader financial instability,” Emmer said in the letter to FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg.
Today, I sent a letter to FDIC Chairman Gruenberg regarding reports that the FDIC is weaponizing recent instability in the banking sector to purge legal crypto activity from the U.S. pic.twitter.com/fDmaA0XGWv
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) March 15, 2023
The New York State Department of Financial Services officially closed down and took over Signature on March 12, appointing the FDIC as the receiver. To protect depositors, the FDIC transferred all the deposits and most of the assets of Signature Bank to Signature Bridge Bank, a…