EU Commission monitoring SVB collapse, says very limited presence in EU

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BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) – The European Commission is monitoring the situation after the collapse of tech lender Silicon Valley Bank which has a very limited presence in the European Union, a spokesperson for the EU executive said on Monday.

“We take note of the swift and decisive reaction by U.S. authorities. At EU level, there is a very limited presence of Silicon Valley Bank in the EU and we are in touch with the relevant competent authorities,” the Commission spokesperson said.

Italy’s Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti is closely watching market developments following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the ministry said on Monday, adding that the European Union should act quickly to shore up banks if needed.

“We appreciate the timeliness with which the U.S. authorities intervened and trust that, if necessary, European authorities will intervene with the same timeliness, assessing the implications for the conduct of monetary policy and financial stability,” the economy ministry said in a statement.

Bank shares in Europe and Asia plunged on Monday as the United States’ move to guarantee the deposits of the collapsed tech-focused lender SVB failed to reassure investors that other banks remain financially sound.

A government official said there was no sign of negative effects spreading to the broader Italian financial system at present, and played down Monday’s fall in bank shares as something that was to be expected.

Shares of the country’s largest lenders Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit and Banco BPM fell between 5% and 7% in morning trading on the Milan bourse.

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