The Outlook Edition  

The global economy has been impacted significantly by the recent collapse of SVB and Signature Bank in the US and the contagion with Credit Suisse, forcing an unprecedented merger where AT1 bond holders ranked lower than equity and HSBC stepped in to buy SVB’s European franchise for GBP1. This was the fastest digital run on a bank ever, resulting in lessons to be learnt by the entire marketplace as well as regulators and boards. This would have a direct impact on new requirements in risk management, risk stress testing, treasury reporting and even the allure or worth of AT1 bonds from an investment profile perspective.

SVB’s collapse was mainly due to overexposure to safe assets such as US bonds with long-term maturity, whose values declined after continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. These were not hedged for short-term liquidity needs, eventually leading to a bank run. New regulatory changes are on the way; one such is the “bank term funding programme” (BTFP), which refers to an emergency lending programme designed to provide liquidity to distressed banks. This is just the start of new reforms in this area, and we are certain the European Central Bank will roll out similar measures in Europe.

All this turmoil on top of the problematic higher interest rates and the decline in investment banking deal pipelines is creating a near-perfect storm and a circular issue for market confidence. We see banks and asset managers turning in earnest to enhancing cost-cutting measures. Many banks and asset managers have still not grasped the opportunity of using transformation and analytical support, and we continue to advocate this widely. We believe it is time for those of our clients in such a situation to more strategically partner with us to effect larger-scale transformation and cost savings. We have wide experience in assisting with such transformations and are ready to help you with execution in 2023 and prepare you to enjoy a more robust P&L in 2024.

Gyanendra N Pati, Senior Director, Global Head of Marketing

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Acuity Knowledge Partners is a leading research, analytics, and business intelligence consultant to the financial services sector. The company’s network of analysts and industry experts, combined with advanced data and technology, supports over 520 financial institutions and consulting companies worldwide to operate more efficiently, and unlock their human capital, driving revenue higher and transforming operations. It specialises in investment banking, investment research, private equity and consulting, and commercial lending. Acuity is headquartered in London and operates from nine locations worldwide. In 2019, the company was established as a separate business from Moody’s Corporation through its acquisition by Equistone Partners.
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