Canada’s banks have suffered losses since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the ensuing liquidity crisis, but the damage is not expected to be significant, a report from DBRS Morningstar says.
The Big Six banks lost approximately $57 billion, or 9.2%, in market capitalization over the past two weeks, the rating agency said. While the decline may be painful for investors, DBRS called the SVB failure “idiosyncratic” given its business model catering to U.S. tech companies and not representative of the Canadian banking sector.
The Big Six and Canada’s medium-sized banks have a lower exposure to fixed-income securities and sufficient liquidity to navigate the current turbulence, the report said.
Like other banks globally, Canadian banks invested some of the excess deposits during the pandemic into low-credit-risk securities, and have since seen “significant increases in unrealized losses” as interest rates have climbed, the report said.
However, unlike SVB, Canadian banks have broad customer deposit bases and well-laddered wholesale debt maturities, DBRS said.
“We do not currently expect that the Canadian banks will require premature sales of securities given their solid liquidity and funding profiles,” said Carl De Souza, senior vice-president, North American financial institutions, with DBRS Morningstar, in a statement.
“Nevertheless, the market remains nervous with market volatility not necessarily based on fundamentals.”