Risks in banking sector haven’t ‘come home to roost’: StanChart CEO

The banking crisis may be over but the underlying issues remain, Standard Chartered CEO says

Standard Chartered‘s chief executive warned Monday that the banking sector may face fresh issues, even as the immediate risks from last month’s market turmoil have subsided.

Bill Winters said other issues could “come home to roost in some form of a crisis” as imbalances in some banks are exposed.

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“I think we can put the crisis behind us. I don’t think we can put the issue behind us,” Winters told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche.

Swift intervention by regulators last month prevented the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — and later, Credit Suisse — from escalating into a wider banking crisis.

But Winters cautioned that the “dramatic change in the macro-economic environment” — namely, rapid interest rate hikes aimed at taming soaring inflation — had accentuated existing issues at some lenders, which could yet play out.

“That exposed some underlying flaws in business models, or exacerbated flaws that we knew were there but maybe didn’t appreciate how serious they were,” he said.

There are other imbalances … that haven’t come home to roost in some form of a crisis.”

Bill Winters

chief executive, Standard Chartered

“Those flaws are still there,” Winters added.

“There are other imbalances that built up during this long period of very low interest rates that haven’t come home to roost in some form of a crisis. It’s incumbent on us to understand where those are to try and anticipate the changes that can come,” he said.

Winters commended the “highly impactful” work of both U.S. and Swiss central bankers in stemming wider contagion.

However, he noted that the episode also highlighted some regulatory shortcomings, which would need to be addressed with caution and consideration.

“There were clearly some regulatory gaps that were highlighted through this, and I have no doubt that we’ll close the specific gaps that have been identified,” he said.

“I think there’s a risk that we’ll react now and try to close every gap as if everybody had an equal gap to begin with, and that’s not the case,” he added.

“I think we could burden the economy with a tremendous amount of excess regulation in response to this if we’re not careful.”

Standard Chartered, which makes most of its profit in Asia and emerging economies, is set to report earnings Wednesday. Last quarter, the bank reported a 28% rise in annual pretax profit as global interest rate hikes boosted its lending revenue.

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