Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), one of the most prominent financial institutions for tech startups and investors, was shut down by regulators on Friday, March 10, 2023, over concerns about its solvency. The bank struggled with liquidity issues and mounting losses from its exposure to crypto lending and other risky ventures.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced that it had taken over SVB as the receiver and would sell its assets and liabilities to another bank. The FDIC said that SVB's depositors would have access to their insured deposits of up to $250,000 per account. However, some depositors may face losses if they have funds in money market mutual funds or other uninsured products.
The collapse of SVB sent shockwaves through the tech industry, as many startups and venture capitalists relied on its services and expertise. SVB had been a pioneer in providing banking solutions for tech companies since 1983, offering loans, credit cards, treasury management, foreign exchange, and other products. It had more than 40 offices worldwide and served more than 30,000 clients.
The cause of SVB's downfall was a combination of factors, including a sudden bank run triggered by rumors of its insolvency; a sharp decline in the value of its crypto assets amid regulatory crackdowns and market volatility; a surge in loan defaults and fraud cases from some of its borrowers; and an inability to raise capital from investors or sell some of its assets.
The FDIC said that it would work with other regulators and stakeholders to ensure an orderly resolution of SVB's affairs. It also said that it would investigate the circumstances leading to SVB's failure and hold accountable any parties responsible for misconduct or negligence.
The collapse of SVB marks the largest U.S. bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis. It also raises questions about the stability and regulation of the banking sector in an era of rapid technological innovation and disruption.