Signature Bank’s Crypto Deposits Grew $1B in Q2

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Out of the nearly $8 billion in deposit growth that Signature Bank saw in the second quarter of 2020, $1 billion was raked in by the firm’s digital assets team, according to the bank’s most recent earnings report.

While Signature doesn’t break out its total deposits by business line, the increase is a record for the New York-based, crypto-friendly bank. On an earnings call, Signature CEO Joseph DePaolo also attributed deposit growth to an increase across every business line in the bank, including the blockchain-based payment platform Signet. 

The crypto industry is often a rich source of low-cost, non-interest bearing deposits for crypto-friendly banks like Signature, Silvergate Bank and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, and analysts have paid close attention to Signature’s deposit growth as a result. 

“This is now the fourth consecutive quarter exceeding $1 billion in both total and average deposit growth, non-interest bearing deposits of $16.1 billion still represent a high 32% of total deposits since the second quarter of last year,” DePaolo said on an earnings call on Tuesday. 

The cost of those deposits also decreased to 56 basis points from 98 basis points because of the low interest rate environment, the CEO added. For the sake of improving profitability, the bank wants to get the cost of deposits down around 40 basis points, the CEO said. 

The company’s executive vice president of corporate and business development, Eric Howell, commented on the earnings call that the bank’s net interest margin will be up if the bank gets back to a more “stable” deposit growth of between $500 million to $1 billion a quarter.

The bank earned around $117 million in second quarter 2020, a significant decrease from the $147 million in second quarter 2019 after putting up a provision for credit losses of $93 million this last quarter. 

Custody provider Copper announced on Monday that it had integrated with the bank’s blockchain payments platform, Signet. 

The integration means Copper clients like crypto exchanges will now get to use Signet for faster payments and settlement times in U.S. dollar transactions. 

“Previously, the process of paying and settling transactions was far more complex,” Copper CEO Dmitry Tokarev said in an emailed statement. “In order to route fiat currencies, customers had to go from their exchange account, back to Signature Bank, then back to their exchange account. Now, both fiat and digital assets can be moved within the Copper platform.”

Copper offers multi-signature custody and prime brokerage to its clients. This is provided by Copper’s Walled Garden infrastructure, giving clients access to trading facilities without taking digital assets out of custody. 

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