What’s left of the bankrupt and taken-over-by-the-government Silicon Valley Bank has been bought up by North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank, and while we don’t know the price, First Citizens got a hefty discount of at least $16.5 billion.
It’s been a wild three weeks for the banking industry since the nation’s 16th largest bank, Silicon Valley Bank, collapsed in a bank run and was shut down by regulators, in the biggest bank failure in nearly 15 years. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over the bank that had been the go-to lender for startups, and was also a major lender and banker for the wine industry, after Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was unable to cover a staggering $175 billion that their depositors came clamoring for when it looked like the bank was going insolvent.
The Simpsons - on the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. 📉— vegastar (@vegastarr) March 12, 2023
They never predicted anything… just told you the truth in advance. 🍿🥤 pic.twitter.com/AxEhi9j0fQ
The government has been shopping the bank’s remnants around for these last three weeks, and finally found a taker. The New York Times reports that North Carolina-based First Citizens BancShares is buying up most of what’s left of Silicon Valley Bank, in a deal that much like the SVB bailout itself, very unusually announced on a Sunday night.
The FDIC had trouble selling off Silicon Valley Bank. The deal with First Citizens Bank is far from a win:— Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA (@GRDecter) March 27, 2023
-First Citizens is taking over $72 billion in SVB assets, but the government is still on the hook for $90 billion
-The FDIC agreed to an 8-year loss sharing agreement on…
We don’t really have a top-line number for what First Citizens paid, but we do know what they got, and the significant haircut those assets had to take for First Citizens to touch them. According to the New York Times, the deal “included the purchase of about $72 billion in loans, at a discount of $16.5 billion.” First Citizens also took over $56 billion in SVB deposits, but the Times also notes that “Roughly $90 billion in Silicon Valley Bank’s securities and other assets were not included in the sale, and remained in the F.D.I.C.’s control.”
CNN informs us that all 17 SVB branches are open again as of Monday morning, now with the name “Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank.” But it remains to be seen if startups will be willing to stick with some North Carolina bank that doesn't have a ton of experience catering to the tech industry.
First Citizens Bank buys Silicon Valley Bank, taking on all its deposits and loans— Bloomberg (@business) March 27, 2023
SVB abruptly became the biggest US lender to fail in more than a decade earlier this month https://t.co/SKR0rtum3w pic.twitter.com/LKmtdmbmcb
“Admittedly, there has been a strong amount of runoff from the legacy Silicon Valley Bank this quarter,” First Citizens CFO Craig Nix said on an early Monday morning conference call, per the Times. “However, it is our intent to embrace the talents of our legacy SVB employees, embrace their business capabilities and then reiterate to their clients that First Citizens has an unwavering focus on holistic client relationships.”
If you’re like me, your first question here was…. What the heck is First Citizens Bank? The Associated Press explains that “First Citizens Bank was founded in 1898,” has “more than 500 branches in 21 states as well as a nationwide bank, “is one of the top 20 U.S. banks and says it is the largest family-controlled bank in the country.” Their stock price shot up more than 40% on the news (though it had taken a beating in recent weeks, as did most regional banks’ stocks). And perhaps more importantly, shares of the also extremely beleaguered SF-based First Republic Bank shares went up by almost 20% as it too seeks a buyer, which indicates the end of this banking crisis may be in sight, and we might not have to worry that banks that most of us have never heard of will somehow wreck the broader U.S. economy.
Image: BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 17: General views of the SVB, Silicon Valley Bank branch on March 17, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)