Daily Mail

Bid launched to save SVB’s British division

- By John-Paul Ford Rojas

A FORMAL rescue bid for the UK arm of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank was last night submitted by a consortium led by the Bank of London.

It came as the Government scrambled to limit the fallout from the crisis at SVB, which threatens to destabilis­e swathes of Britain’s tech sector.

The Bank of London, founded just two years ago, is a relative minnow compared with the likes of Barclays and Lloyds – which have reportedly also been sounded out over bids.

But it was the first to put forward a proposal to be considered by the company’s board as well as the Treasury and Bank of England amid fast-moving events following SVB’s demise last Friday.

The Bank of London’s founder and chief executive Anthony Watson said: ‘Silicon Valley Bank cannot be allowed to fail given the vital community it serves.

‘This is a unique opportunit­y to ensure the UK has a more diversifie­d banking sector, whilst allowing continuity of service to SVB’s UK client base.

‘It would be deeply disappoint­ing for this moment to lead to further consolidat­ion of power among big banks.’

Another lender, Oaknorth, has also been in talks over a bid while a Bloomberg report said there had been interest from Abu dhabi’s Royal Group.

Advisers at Rothschild are overseeing the emergency sale process.

SVB UK was reported to have held £7bn in deposits when the Bank of England put it into an insolvency process late on Friday. It had applied for £1.8bn in shortterm funding from the Bank before collapsing as billions of pounds were withdrawn.

Fintech company Revolut saw a 16-fold increase in funds being transferre­d to it from Silicon Valley Bank at the end of last week as its finances unravelled.

SVB UK is led by Erin Platts, an American who first joined its US parent company in 2004 before moving to Britain in 2007 and taking over as UK and Europe boss in 2019.

Platts sought to reassure clients on Friday, hours before the Bank of England intervened, saying the business was a standalone entity with its own governance and balance sheet.

The bank, which also covers European clients, only became a separate entity in September.

 ?? ?? Bad tech: SVB’s UK boss Erin Platts sought to reassure clients on Friday
Bad tech: SVB’s UK boss Erin Platts sought to reassure clients on Friday

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