FDIC Crypto Warning Underlines U.S. Banking Agencies’ Arm’s-Length Policy

The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. added crypto as one of five broad categories this year in its annual risk report, a snapshot of the dangers the banking regulator considers a top priority at the moment.

The 2023 Risk Review, which mostly looked back at crypto’s turbulent 2022, says the agency is prepared to engage in “robust supervisory discussions” with the depository institutions it oversees.

“As warranted, the FDIC will issue additional statements related to engagement by banking organizations in crypto-asset-related activities,” it said.

The report makes no new policy, and it adds to the consistent view from U.S. banking agencies – including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve – that banks should mostly keep their distance from digital assets, unless their federal regulators are comfortable with the specific activity.

Last week, the Fed announced a new supervisory program that would include crypto oversight for the bank holding companies it oversees.

Several crypto-friendly banks collapsed earlier this year, including Silvergate, Signature and Silicon Valley Bank, the latter of which became the third-largest bank collapse in U.S. history.

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