Why do these large financial institutions with hundreds of billions on their books fail out of the blue?
What role do central banks play in these dramatic failures?
How can the global financial system be reformed to be more resilient, and what path should South Africa take?
Why Banks Fail
In a world where banks are perceived as unshakeable fortresses, there is a worrying truth that lies just beneath the surface: banks are far more fragile and fail more frequently than we choose to believe.
In the US alone, more than 560 banks have failed since the turn of the century. In South Africa, the collapse of Saambou in 2002 sparked the A2 Banking Crisis, which saw half the country’s banks deregistered in the aftermath. In 2023, the high-profile failures of Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse dominated global headlines and set off waves of panic across the international banking landscape.