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Up to 30 Scottish firms hit by SVB UK collapse

Silicon Valley Bank collapsed earlier this month

As many as 30 Scottish technology businesses were impacted by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank UK, Daily Business has learned.

The widespread effect of the US bank’s failure emerged as the Bank of England disclosed that British technology clients withdrew almost £3 billion in one day.

SVB UK was rescued by the Bank of England and the Treasury in a deal rapidly concluded with HSBC, easing fears of contagion in the banking sector.

However, the SVB was a key source of funding for tech companies and there were initial fears that many would fail if the bank’s assets had not been secured.

A source told Daily Business that between 20 and 30 Scottish firms were impacted in various ways.

“Panic over, but It’s been unsettling,” said the source.

The Bank of England said the volume of withdrawals was far in excess of normal liquidity management rules, according to the Bank of England

In written evidence to MPs, Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said the scale of withdrawals on 10 March was 30% of the SVB UK’s entire deposit base and it was not clear if it could continue to withstand that scale of outflow.

Mr Bailey said the collapse of its US parent meant the UK subsidiary could not have survived as a viable stand-alone business because of its reliance on its parent for technology and systems.

However, changes to the UK banking supervision enabled the Bank, working with the Treasury, to quickly secure SVB UK and its clients reserves over the 11-12 March weekend and bring in HSBC to acquire the bank ahead of the start of trading on Monday 13 March to stabilise the market.

Outlining the events leading to the bank’s collapse he said that on 10 March SVB UK experienced a “deposit run” as news of the US parent’s difficulties crossed the Atlantic.

The scale of that day’s outflow was “far in excess of the outflows envisaged by the liquidity coverage ratio” — the formula that determines the minimum amount in cash and liquid assets that banks are required to hold at any time.

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