Bank stocks face new rout as Credit Suisse tumbles

STORY: Shares in European lenders tumbled again on Wednesday (March 15), dashing hopes that the storm had passed.

By late morning the region’s STOXX banking index was down around 6%.

Credit Suisse was leading the way lower.

The embattled Swiss bank saw its shares fall over 20%.

It’s faced a long series of scandals, and seen huge outflows of capital.

This week it admitted to finding “material weaknesses” in its past financial reporting.

On Wednesday its top investor, Saudi National Bank, said it couldn’t put in any more money.

The turmoil for the sector comes after the collapse of tech-focused lender Silicon Valley Bank.

U.S. regulators have tried to assure depositors that any cash held there, or in other banks, remains safe.

There’s now also talk of tighter regulation for lenders.

But contagion fears have pummelled stocks for the whole sector.

They also pose a dilemma for central bankers.

The U.S. Federal Reserve had been expected to hike rates again to tackle stubbornly high inflation.

But some market watchers think those plans may now have to be revised for fear of sparking deeper trouble for banks.