In what may be a harbinger of more hard days ahead for the tech world in the Bay Area, a prominent lender to startups and one of the 20 largest banks in the country, SVB Financial Group or Silicon Valley Bank, has failed.
There was a run on the bank Friday morning as it appeared in desperate straits and seeking to be bought out, and trading in the bank's stock had to be halted following a Wall Street panic. Now the bank, which held $210 billion in assets, has been fully shut down by state regulators and it's been put into receivership with the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
As CNN reports, "The FDIC is acting as a receiver, which typically means it will liquidate the bank’s assets to pay back its customers, including depositors and creditors."
The FDIC said in an announcement Friday morning that SVB customers are expected to be able to access their deposits and withdraw assets no later than Monday, March 13. And, the agency said, SVB's checks would continue to clear in the interim. But, as the New York Times notes, the FDIC has limits on the size of deposits it insures, and customers with accounts holding more than $250,000 may not see all their money returned, or not right away.
SVB is the 16th largest bank in the country, and multiple news sources have noted that this is the biggest bank failure in the U.S. since Washington Mutual's collapse in 2008.
The panic began on Thursday, as Axios reports, when "SVB announced a $2.25 billion balance sheet bolstering plan, after rising interest rates had sparked losses on its Treasury and mortgage-backed securities portfolios."
The extent of the bank run is not known, but because of the stock collapse — in which the company lost 60% of its value in pre-market trading Friday morning — the bank began immediately seeking a buyer.
Also, when it comes to blame, as Axios writes, "SVB appears to have not fully appreciated the diverging dangers of rising rates and falling venture capital investment levels. But, more importantly, its response yesterday was miserable."
CNBC notes that, according to Wall Street analysts, the collapse of SVB is "unlikely to spread widely throughout the banking system," and "Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients that SVB’s issues were 'highly idiosyncratic.'"
The local repercussions of this, though, could be widespread. Stay tuned.
Top image: People line up outside of the shuttered Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) headquarters on March 10, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. Silicon Valley Bank was shut down on Friday morning by California regulators and was put in control of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Prior to being shut down by regulators, shares of SVB were halted Friday morning after falling more than 60% in premarket trading following a 60% declined on Thursday when the bank sold off a portfolio of US Treasuries and $1.75 billion in shares to cover declining customer deposits. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)