According to a Friday regulatory filing, investors and depositors attempted to withdraw $42 billion from Silicon Valley Bank on Thursday in one of the largest US banks runs in more than a decade.
According to an order taking control of the bank that was issued on Friday by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, California’s bank regulator, the bank had a negative cash position of $958 million as of the close of business on March 9.
The ruling sheds insight on the severity of the Silicon Valley bank run that the lender experienced before it was placed into receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The volume of withdrawal attempts was so great that the bank ran out of cash and funding sources.
The California regulator claims that when the Federal Reserve delivered to SVB its cash letter or a list of checks and other transactions for the bank to handle, it was unable to gather enough cash to satisfy it.
The decision from Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett said that “despite attempts by the bank, with the support of regulators, to move collateral from various sources, the bank could not satisfy its cash letter with the Federal Reserve.”
Greg Becker, the chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bank, wrote a letter to shareholders on Wednesday that served as the catalyst for the run. The bank announced its intention to seek $2.25 billion in capital to strengthen its finances after suffering a $1.8 billion loss on the sale of US treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.
Several of the venture capital businesses the bank had spent years cultivating quickly sought to withdraw their money from the bank. According to persons with knowledge of the situation, businesses were encouraged to withdraw their funds from the bank by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Coatue Management, Union Square Ventures, and Founder Collective.
According to the regulator, depositors and investors requested $42 billion in withdrawals alone on Thursday. The California watchdog said that although the bank had been solvent before Thursday, the run “caused the bank to be unable of meeting its obligations as they fell due” and that it was now insolvent.
The bank was subsequently shut down and placed under FDIC receivership by the California DFPI, making it the largest US bank failure since the financial crisis.