Silicon Valley Bank is Collapse
A financial institution situated in Silicon Valley met an unfavorable fate and faced a takeover by regulators. In a comparable scenario, another bank known as Signature Bank also became defunct. The administration subsequently intervened to safeguard the funds deposited in those banks and establish a mechanism for other financial institutions to procure more liquidity.
What led to this unprecedented event and what could occur in the future? Presented below are a series of inquiries and responses to assist readers in comprehending this matter
What is Silicon Valley Bank?
If you’ve ever searched for a bank to help finance your company, you’ve probably heard of Silicon Valley Bank. However, what is it specifically and how is it different from other banks? We’ll give a thorough overview of Silicon Valley Bank’s background, offerings, and startup help in this post.
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, California, the bank was established in 1983 and is the 16th largest bank in the United State.
In order to promote creative businesses throughout the globe, Silicon Valley Bank has grown to become one of the top banks for startups and venture capital.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Silicon Valley Bank, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, had assets worth $209 billion by the end of 2022.
Investors and the general public have expressed concern following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), with worries that it may be the beginning of a new financial crisis like the one that occurred in 2008.
Services Offered by Silicon Valley Bank
SVB offers a wide range of financial services to its clients. These services include:
- Business Banking
- Corporate finance
- Investment services
- Private banking
- Foreign exchange services
- Treasury management
Financial organization Silicon Valley Bank offers banking services to venture capitalists, private equity firms, and particularly to technology and life science enterprises.
It provides a variety of services, such as foreign exchange, cash management, commercial loans, deposit services, and payment services.
These worries, however, are probably baseless because SVB’s demise was caused by its heavy exposure to the technology industry and its investment choices, such as borrowing short and lending long, which made it susceptible to increasing interest rates.
It’s doubtful that the effects would spread to the whole financial system, even if it’s feasible that other banks with comparable holdings may have comparable difficulties.
SVB had invested a considerable sum in mortgage securities that matured in over a decade.
These mortgages, unlike in the financial crisis of 2008, were not toxic nor were they headed toward foreclosure.
However, the predicament for SVB was that these securities were procured when interest rates were at an exceptionally low point.
The issue escalated once the Fed instigated a measure to curb inflation by increasing interest rates. As a consequence, the mean yield on SVB’s bonds was only 1.79%, while the 10-year treasury yield stood at a significant 3.9%.
If SVB intended to vend these bonds, they would have to do so at a markdown to compensate the buyer for the meager returns.
This ultimately led to the devaluation of over 40% of SVB’s portfolio, which accounted for a whopping $91 billion worth of bonds that had a measly valuation of only $76 billion.
Historical Reason for Silicon valley bank collapse
The FDIC insurance limit was $250,000, leaving deposits exceeding this amount unprotected.
During the global financial crisis, FDIC covered every depositor, including those with large deposits.
In 2010, Congress authorized FDIC to intervene in bank insolvency, extending protection to large deposits and credit obligations of the bank.
FDIC now covers all of SVB’s accounts, including those running into millions due to most tech companies using SVB as their primary bank.
The Federal Reserve has also extended emergency loans worth over $300 billion to the FDIC holding company that controls SVB, and other banks in need of liquidity.
The collapse of SVB demonstrates that the problem was not just increasing interest rates and a portfolio that was strongly weighted toward long-term bonds, as is being advocated by lawmakers, but also the bank’s connection to the technology industry.
The tech sector is known for having high debt levels and persistently poor revenue, which is then followed by an increase in stock values. When the tech sector fell, so did SVB.
This raises the question of whether the government ought to compel banks to diversify their holdings and disperse risk across other businesses.
Why was there a run on the bank?
The cause of a bank run is difficult to pinpoint, as it is influenced by crowd psychology.
Concerns may have arisen following the announcement of a capital raise and the sale of securities at a loss.
SVB primarily served venture capitalists and technology startups, resulting in large corporate deposits exceeding the FDIC’s insurance limit.
As of the end of last year, SVB had over $150 billion in uninsured deposits.
Losses on assets are not required to be charged against the balance sheet until they are sold under the law.
The bank would have been alright if they had held onto these assets until they matured.
A “run on the bank” occurred when news of the bank’s difficulties surfaced, and numerous depositors demanded their funds simultaneously.
The Federal Depositor Insurance Corporation (FDIC) intervened within 24 hours and took over control of the bank’s assets.
Why did it collapse
The collapse occurred due to various reasons, which include a failure to diversify and a conventional bank run.
A bank run happened when numerous depositors simultaneously withdrew their deposits because they feared that the bank would become insolvent.
Most of the depositors who pulled their deposits out of SVB were startup companies.
These startup companies deposited substantial amounts of cash from investors because of the high demand for technology during the pandemic.
According to Jay Jung, the founder and managing partner of Embarc Advisors.
Silicon Valley Bank bought “safe” assets like U.S. Treasurys and government-backed mortgage bonds since the pandemic began.
Rising interest rates caused fixed interest payments on these assets to not keep up, resulting in potential losses of over $17 billion by the end of last year.
The bank faced deposit withdrawal requests of $42 billion last week.
The bank couldn’t raise enough cash to cover the outflows, and regulators closed the bank.
What happened to Signature bank
SVB encountered issues that seemed to affect Signature Bank as well, leading its customers to request significant withdrawals. Signature Bank, similar to SVB, had a considerable amount of uninsured deposits due to its focus on serving private enterprises. Additionally, being one of the leading banks serving cryptocurrency companies may have contributed to the situation.
Is another bank also at Risk?
No other bank failures have been reported, although there are stories of customers withdrawing deposits from other banks.
At least one bank has confirmed that it has arranged for more cash reserves.
The Federal Reserve has established a lending facility, known as the Bank Term Funding
The program, allows banks to borrow cash by posting specific assets as collateral.
Banks could potentially use the funds from this program to cover deposit withdrawals.
The attempt to sell SVB will be under close scrutiny, as will questions about the overall health of banks, which investors are already raising.
While the Fed’s borrowing facility may alleviate immediate cash shortages, it will not address the issue of restoring the value of banks’ securities portfolios if interest rates remain stable.
Banks had largely slipped from Washington’s attention since the financial crisis, but the situation has now changed.
Alternatives to Silicon Valley Bank
If you’re considering banking with SVB, but you’re not sure if it’s the right fit, there are several alternatives to consider. Some popular alternatives include:
- First Republic Bank
- City National Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Chase Bank
An innovative bank with a focus on startups and innovation is called Silicon Valley Bank. It is a desirable choice for startups and other enterprises in the technology sector because of its specialized services, first-rate customer support, and extensive network of contacts. Before choosing a choice, it is crucial to weigh the risks and worries and study all of the options.
Is Silicon Valley Bank only for startups?
No, SVB offers a wide range of services to businesses in different industries, but its focus is primarily on startups.
How do I open an account with Silicon Valley Bank?
You can apply for an account online, and a representative will contact you to complete the process.
Does Silicon Valley Bank have any physical branches?
Yes, SVB has branches in several locations, including California, New York, and London.
What fees does Silicon Valley Bank charge?
SVB’s fees vary depending on the services you use. It’s best to review its fee schedule before opening an account.