Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger said Tuesday that his firm is still experiencing sizable inflows, contrary to fears that the banking crisis brought on by the Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse is spreading in the sector.
“What we’re seeing is asset inflows to the firm in significant numbers,” Bettinger said to CNBC’s Sara Eisen on “The Exchange.”
He said Schwab clients brought in almost $42 billion in net new assets in February. Month to date, they’ve averaged about $2 billion a day, the CEO said.
Meanwhile, Bettinger revealed that he bought 50,000 shares Tuesday morning for his personal account. “That much confidence I certainly have in this company,” said the CEO. Those shares are worth nearly $3 million at Schwab’s open price Tuesday.
The Westlake, Texas-based financial company saw its stock fall nearly 12% on Monday, and it rebounded about 11% Tuesday. Schwab took hits along with other financial firms with massive bond holdings.
The fear is that these firms, like Silicon Valley Bank, would need to sell these holdings early at large losses in order to cover deposit withdrawals. But Bettinger stressed that his firm doesn’t buy long-duration assets and has a low loan-to-deposit ratio.
“What I’ve heard from the advisors that I spoke with yesterday is great confidence in our firm. … They know how conservative we are. They know we don’t take risks,” Bettinger said. “That’s why we don’t go out a long way in terms of duration, and that’s why we maintain access to liquidity in the way that we do.”
“Our bank is very conservatively managed. If you look into the holdings of the bank, we have about 10% of client deposits outstanding in loans,” Bettinger said.
The demise of Silicon Valley Bank, as well as crypto-focused Signature Bank, prompted extraordinary rescue action from regulators and caused a financial shock that rocked markets, especially shares of regional banks. In addition to backstopping the deposits at SVB and Signature Bank, federal regulators also announced an additional funding facility for troubled banks.