A run on the bank is a situation in which a large number of customers try to withdraw their money from a bank or financial institution at the same time. This can happen when there is a sudden loss of confidence in the institution’s ability to meet its financial obligations or if there are rumors or news of financial trouble.
During a run on the bank, customers may queue up outside the bank’s branches, demanding to withdraw their money or transfer it to another institution. This can cause panic and chaos, and can quickly escalate if the bank is unable to meet the demand for cash withdrawals.
One of the most famous examples of a run on the bank occurred during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Banks were struggling to keep up with the demand for cash withdrawals as customers lost faith in the banking system. In response, the US government introduced a series of measures, including the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect depositors’ savings in the event of a bank failure.
Another notable example of a run on the bank occurred in the UK in 2007 when Northern Rock, a mortgage lender, faced a liquidity crisis. Customers queued outside branches to withdraw their savings, leading to the bank being nationalized by the UK government.
Run on the bank can have severe consequences, including the collapse of the institution and the loss of customers’ savings. It can also have broader implications for the wider economy, as the failure of a significant financial institution can cause a ripple effect, leading to a broader financial crisis.
Governments and financial regulators have implemented various measures to prevent or manage runs on banks. These measures include deposit insurance, liquidity requirements, and lender of last resort facilities. In addition, banks are required to conduct stress tests to assess their resilience in the event of a financial shock.