Banks step up pace of borrowing from Fed emergency lending program for second week

Banks step up pace of borrowing from Fed emergency lending program for second week
© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim — Banks stepped up the pace of borrowing from the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs for the second-straight week, pointing to ongoing liquidity strains just as rumblings in the sector reemerged following recent disappointing quarterly results from regional banks.

In the week ended Apr. 26, banks borrowed an average of $73.86 billion each night, up from $69.93B from a week earlier, according to new Fed data released Thursday.

Borrowing from the Fed’s Bank Term Funding Program, the new emergency lending program launched following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank – climbed to $81.33B from $73.98B in the prior week.

Lending to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which took over the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank, fell $2.2B to $170.4B.

Total borrowing from the Fed’s emerging lending programs rose to $325.6B from $316.5B last week. But while that is below the peak of $343.7 in March, the uptick in borrowing is likely to be closely watched for fresh signs of funding constraints.

“It is encouraging that there has not been another big leg higher in lending out to banks since the initial surge, but the slow trickle higher in these balances is not a good thing,” Jefferies said in a note.

The central bank’s balance sheet declined by $30B to $8.625T as its quantitative tightening program offset the uptick in lending from the Fed’s emerging lending programs.

Investor jitters in the banking sector have remerged this week after First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) reported that deposits fell by over $100B in the first quarter, with reports suggesting the battered regional lender is now in desperate need of a rescue deal.