Government and BoE facilitate sale of Silicon Valley Bank UK to HSBC

On 13 March 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (UK) Ltd (SVB UK) was sold to HSBC for £1, enabling customers of SBV UK to access their deposits and banking services as usual.

The sale was facilitated by BoE in consultation with Treasury, PRA and FCA, using powers granted under the Banking Act 2009. No taxpayer money was involved.

A statement from BoE described the action as necessary to stabilise SVB UK, ensure the continuity of banking services and confidence in the financial system, and to minimise disruption to the UK technology sector. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also focused on the economic importance of the UK’s tech sector in his statement.

BoE reassured existing SVB UK customers that all depositors’ money was safe as a result of the transaction, that they could continue to contact SVB UK through usual channels, and that borrowers should make any loan repayments as normal. SVB UK staff remain employed, and the firm continues to be a PRA/FCA authorised bank.

The sale overrides BoE’s statement of 10 March 2023 that, absent any meaningful further information, it intended to apply to the Court to place SVB UK into a Bank Insolvency Procedure. The emergence of HSBC as a credible purchaser meant BoE determined that using its resolution powers for stabilising failing banks was the appropriate route forward.

Laura Wiles