Silicon Valley Bank Shuttered by State Regulators

The startup-focused bank had a number of crypto clients.

AccessTimeIconMar 10, 2023 at 4:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 10, 2023 at 9:51 p.m. UTC
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Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was shuttered by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation on Friday, marking the second bank to shut down within days.

The DFPI said in a statement that it had taken possession of the bank, “citing inadequate liquidity and insolvency.” The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has taken receivership of the bank, DFPI said, which the FDIC confirmed.

“Silicon Valley Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank and member of the Federal Reserve System based in Santa Clara, with total assets of approximately $209 billion and total deposits of approximately $175.4 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022. Its deposits are federally insured by the FDIC subject to applicable limits,” DFPI said in its statement.

The bank’s closure follows fast on the heels of competitor Silvergate’s voluntary liquidation earlier this week. Holding company Silvergate Corp. (SI) said in its announcement earlier this week that all deposits would be repaid.

While not perceived as “crypto-friendly” as Silvergate, the tech-forward Silicon Valley Bank did count a number of crypto entities as clients – especially hedge funds and VC firms. According to CoinDesk research, Blockchain Capital, Castle Island Ventures, Dragonfly and Pantera all had relationships with the bank.

Among the bank shares moving lower on the news are fellow West Coast lenders First Republic Bank (FRC), now off 15%, and Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL), now down 25%. Crypto-friendly Signature Bank (SBNY) has also added to losses, the stock now off 13%.

The broader stock market has turned from modest gains to modest losse. The S&P 500 is now lower by 0.3%. Bitcoin is little changed at just above $20,000.

A SVB client in the U.K. told Reuters the bank's dashboard, which should show "account balances and money transfers," was down.

SVB’s collapse with $211 billion in assets is among the largest in history, second only to Washington Mutual Bank’s failure during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008.

According to the FDIC press release Friday, “All insured depositors will have full access to their insured deposits no later than Monday morning.”

Uninsured depositors will receive “an advance dividend” in the coming week, and may receive more as the FDIC sells off SVB’s assets.

UPDATE (March 10, 2023, 17:00 UTC): Adds additional detail.

UPDATE (March 10, 17:25 UTC): Adds context from FDIC press release and notes SVB's failure compared to Washington Mutual.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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