Silicon Valley Bank’s new CEO sends letter to customers: ‘It’s business as usual’


Silicon Valley Bank Customers received an email in their mailboxes Monday evening from the bank’s new CEO, Tim Myopoulos, saying that not only was the facility open, it was business as usual.

“Silicon Valley Bank, NA is open and business as usual,” the email, obtained by TechCrunch from multiple sources, read. At the time of publication, the SVB website has been restored. Still, some founders tell TechCrunch they’re struggling to access their account and waiting for wires to be cleared officially.

Myopoulos, who joined the company as CEO on Monday, said new deposits — as well as existing ones — are protected by the FDIC at the new bank, Silicon Valley Bank, N.Y.

The explanation behind SVB’s surprise return is that the FDIC transferred deposits and former SVB assets to a “newly created, full-service FDIC-operated ‘bridge bank,'” the e-mail states. “All wire payments submitted on March 9 or 10 have been cancelled. If you want to complete those transactions, you must restart.

Myopoulos, meanwhile, is using its experience during the 2008 recession to steer the new bank through the crisis.

The executive was part of the management team of mortgage financing company Fannie Mae in 2008, and has since served as CEO of that business. Most recently, he was president of Blend, which brings software to the consumer banking industry. “I am very proud of the work we have done to return the company to profitability and stabilize the housing finance system in an unprecedented challenge,” Mayopoulos said in an email, sharing his first-hand experience with clients.

SVB’s new chief executive has said he wants to restore confidence, and it’s only days since the bank’s depository was seized by regulators and former chief executive Greg Baker was ousted in a historic banking move. SVB is seen as the largest US bank failure to date. Its UK arm was bought by HSBC UK for a symbolic £1, saving it from bankruptcy.

Regulatory intervention has provided relief to the tech sector, including startup founders who have been scrambling to get paid and keep their businesses going despite uncertainty about funding.

“At this time we want to restore your confidence and support you and your companies,” the email ends. The FDIC’s latest statement confirmed SVB’s new track, adding that senior management has been removed from the bank.

By continuing the US operation, SVB may now have a better chance of persuading an institution – whether that’s another bank or a private equity firm – to buy the property – especially after the last attempt to do so failed. Unanswered questions remain, including what will happen to SVB’s assets and whether customers will return to the bank.

The big questions ahead are what will happen to the rest of SVB’s assets and will the founders return to the institution at the clip they left?

TechCrunch has reached out to SVB for more information and will update the story accordingly. TechCrunch was unable to reach the FDIC for comment and will update the story if this changes.

How are you responding to the SVB crash? What are you telling your colleagues, portfolio companies, founders and investors? For tips and ideas, you can reach Natasha Maskerenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Her email is Anonymous questions are respected.


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