The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) wants Signature’s digital asset client base to cash out by next week, regardless of whether they have found a new banking partner.
According to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday, an FDIC spokesperson said that the agency had been reaching out to Signature’s depositors that had not been included in the sale to Flagstar Bank, informing them to close their accounts by April 5.
The FDIC also informed these depositors in an earlier notice that their accounts would be automatically shut down after next week’s deadline, and any cash remaining in the accounts would be delivered via a check in the mail.
Some $4 billion worth of deposits from Signature’s digital asset business were excluded from the deal when New York Community Bancorp’s Flagstar acquired the bank earlier this month. Flagstar assumed $88.6 billion of deposits and $110.4 billion of assets from Signature’s 40 branches, and opened for business on March 20 for other bank’s other depositors.
Signature’s instant payments network for digital assets Signet was still under the FDIC’s receivership at the time of writing, and its fate remains largely unknown.
The closure of Signature came shortly after Silvergate Bank announced a voluntary liquidation, marking the end of two crypto-friendly banking institutions over the span of one month. Several market participants have raised questions about the actions taken by regulators that have likely played a part in this, with some even suggesting a coordinated effort to take down the crypto industry altogether may be in play.
While many believe that regulators taking control and shutting down Signature was an unwarranted step, FDIC chairman Martin J. Gruenberg explained that decision was brought about by the contagion effects that followed the news of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) problems.
“Over the weekend, liquidity risk at the bank rose to a critical level as withdrawal requests mounted, along with uncertainties about meeting those requests, and potentially others in light of the high level of uninsured deposits, raised doubts about the bank’s continued viability,” said Gruenberg, in a March 28 speech before the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban affairs.