Charles Schwab Shares Slump

Discount brokerage says its financial situation is sound

Charles Schwab sign above building entrance

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Key Takeaways

  • Shares of Charles Schwab (SCHW) fell 11.5% on March 13, with concerns that the discount brokerage could face threats similar to those that affected Silicon Valley Bank.
  • Schwab's CFO highlighted the company's core net new assets figure as a sign of its strong performance in February.
  • Despite exposure to long-term bonds, Schwab stressed that it his other sources of liquidity and will not be forced to sell bonds prematurely.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) shares continued their recent slide even as the discount brokerage tried to convince investors that it is not facing similar threats to those that brought down Silicon Valley Bank.

CFO Peter Crawford wrote in the company's monthly activities highlights report that Schwab's business "continues to perform exceptionally well," noting that last month's core net new assets of $41.7 billion were the second highest for a February in history.

Crawford added that client outflows in February were $5 billion less than in January, and so far in March, the daily average outflows are consistent with those of last month. He pointed out that more than 80% of its total bank deposits fall within FDIC insurance limits.

Longer-Term Bond Holdings

Schwab has been caught in the crossfire of the current banking crisis because of its large holdings of longer-term bonds. The concern is Schwab might be forced to sell them at a loss to try to cover client withdrawals, a scenario that led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Crawford explained that because the company has "significant access to other sources of liquidity," it won't be forced to sell bonds prematurely. He argued that Schwab is "well-positioned to navigate the current environment."

Shares of Charles Schwab fell 11.5%, although at one juncture they had tumbled 23%. The shares have lost about one-third of their value over the past three sessions.

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  1. Charles Schwab. "Schwab Reports Monthly Activity Highlights."

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