Silicon Valley Bank Colllapse Triggers Panic
US regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank on 10 March in what has emerged to be the largest failure of a US bank since the 2008 financial crisis.
A major lender to tech firms, the bank faced "inadequate liquidity and insolvency" as it scrambled to raise money to plug a loss from the sale of assets affected by higher interest rates, according to banking regulators in California. Its struggle set off a series of customer withdrawals and sparked fears for the wider banking sector.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said it had taken charge of the roughly $175 billion in deposits held at the bank, the 16th largest in the US. Many firms with money tied up in the bank have been left in uncertainty regarding their futures.
The bank's UK branch was put into insolvency from the evening of Sunday 12 March but swiftly rescued by HSBC for only £1 in a move praised by Krista Griggs, Head of Financial Services & Insurance at Fujitsu. “The UK technology industry is thriving and it requires a commitment to long-term success if the country is going to achieve its ambition of becoming a scientific and technology superpower," she said in a statement.
“HSBC’s fast response is a welcome move that will ensure continuity for businesses at risk from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. It shows commitment to innovation and I expect to see more involvement from traditional banks as they look to provide stability during disruption - as well as further union between them and FinTech companies as this sector continues to rapidly evolve."