Global clearing house Bank of London has submitted a formal proposal to acquire Silicon Valley Bank’s subsidiary in the United Kingdom, according to a statement released March 12 by Reuters.
According to the statement, the purchase is an effort by a consortium of private equity firms:
“A consortium of leading private equity firms, led by The Bank of London, confirms it has submitted formal proposals to His Majesty’s Treasury, The Prudential Regulation Authority at The Bank of England and the Board of Silicon Valley Bank UK.”
Reuters previously reported that other UK financial institutions were reviewing similar moves, including OakNorth Bank, a lender owned by SoftBank. Abu Dhabi investment vehicle ADQ was also interested in the SVB branch.
UK authorities have drawn up a plan to bail out startups and technology companies affected by the collapse of the SVB. The contingency plan will provide a number of companies with a cash lifeline.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government is working “at a rapid pace” to develop a plan in the coming hours that will secure “operational liquidity and cash flow needs” for Silicon Valley Bank’s clients in the UK. The UK Treasury said in a statement that it will “immediately submit plans to ensure that the short-term operational and cash flow needs of Silicon Valley Bank UK’s clients can be met.”
On March 10, the Bank of England (BoE) suspended operations of SVB branches, stating that the bank has a “limited presence” in the UK and no “critical functions” that support the financial system. However, a letter signed for more than 200 founders and CEOs of UK tech companies claimed that many fintech companies managed banking operations through SVB and “will therefore soon be put into receivership unless preventive measures are taken”.
US regulators and White House officials are reportedly working this weekend to address the collapse of the SVB. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted during an interview that a major bailout is not being considered, but efforts are being made to protect investors.
The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FIDC) reportedly initiated an auction process for Silicon Valley Bank on March 11. Bids are reportedly open for only a few hours before the process closes later this Sunday.
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