'We're not in crisis.' NC pensions had 'small exposures' from collapse of SVB and Signature Bank

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023
NC pensions had 'small exposures' from banks collapse: State Treasurer
From Wall Street to individual accounts to investment plans, the ripple effect of the two banks' collapse is being felt across the globe including North Carolina.

NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD) -- The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are probing the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and federal regulators have seized Signature Bank in New York.

From Wall Street to individual accounts to investment plans, the ripple effect of the two banks' collapse is being felt across the globe.

The fallout is also being felt in North Carolina.

Wednesday, ABC11 confirmed state pension plans included millions in stock from both banks.

"We have small exposures to both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank as shareholders of their stock. As of February 28, we had a total of approximately $9.9 million of Silicon Valley Bank stock as well as approximately $7.8 million of Signature Bank stock across the DB Plan, the DC Plan, and our AGPIP portfolios. This equates to less than 0.01% of the value of all three of these portfolios," State Treasurer Dale Folwell said.

He says the investments equate to less than one percent of the portfolio and pensions really won't be impacted.

"We're not in crisis," said Folwell. "We don't like losing any pennies or any paper clips at the Treasurer's Office, but in the grant scheme - the fact that we managed nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars here - we're very pleased our exposure was this small."

Silicon Valley has an office located on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh.

Scot Wingo is CEO of Spiffy. His start-up is an on-demand car care company and it's headquartered in the Triangle. Wingo sent out a message to investors letting them there are no ties these days to Silicon Valley Bank, but that was not so long ago.

"It's kind of ironic. 18 months ago we were with Silicon Valley Bank and they fired us as a client, as we were too risky," said Wingo.

However, Wingo does worry that there could be a domino effect of banks falling and he's making adjustments.

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"These banking crises are scary because we don't know how long it's going to last or how deep it's going to go," said Wingo. "We've diversified where we keep our cash. We're being very conservative as we head into these next six months as we see is this a crazy thunderstorm we're heading into or is the worse behind us. We just don't know yet."

Monday, President Biden addressed the nation in an effort to ease consumers' fears and angst as the news for the banks collapse broke.

The stock market tumbled hard Monday and rebounded Tuesday. However, upon opening Wednesday it tumbled again, erasing all of Tuesday's gain.

The DOJ and SEC probes, which are separate, are in the preliminary stages and it is not clear whether any wrongdoing has been committed. It is not uncommon after a large public collapse of a bank or company for the Justice Department or SEC to step in and investigate, ABC News reports.

The regulatory takeover of a New York-based crypto-focused Signature Bank was intended to send a message to U.S. banks to stay away from the cryptocurrency business, a former member of Congress who was on the bank's board told ABC News.