Silicon Valley Bank UK - message from techUK CEO Julian David
You will be aware that SVB UK has been placed in insolvency measures by the Bank of England as has its US parent by the authorities in the US.
The communications from the Bank of England have been unclear and, for tech, misleading as they have stressed the fact that SVB is not a major player in the overall UK financial system. This is accurate at one level but ignores the significance of SVB UK to the tech startup and scaleup economy. This is not just as a major player in funding growth businesses across tech from fintech to biotech and other areas but also its role as the main bank used by such companies for loans and deposits. This has led to many companies facing operational questions with regard to making payroll and supplier payments as well as the issue of future funds for growth.
It is not yet clear to us how significant a financial partner SVB UK is for techUK members, but it is clear that it is essential to the overall UK tech scene and that a solution to this problem must be found quickly.
I joined a call on Saturday with HM Treasury, Number 10, DSIT ministers and officials led by Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan and Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury. I was among many figures who work across the innovation and tech startup and scaleup scene and across the UK finance industry.
The call was about getting input from us all about the nature and scale of the problem and views on possible actions. This was certainly achieved but it was also reassuring to know that government at the highest level does understand the significance of this matter and the need for speed to resolve it and avoid the risk of firms failing and contagion spreading across the wider financial and tech ecosystem.
Treasury officials have already been developing options to achieve the objective of protecting firms in our sector and we were clearly told 'We value this sector'!
The techUK team will keep focus on this over the next hours and days but we are also keen to hear from members if they or associated companies are affected. We have been invited to feed in any further information to DSIT and HM Treasury.
Companies can also do this directly to the Treasury via email to [email protected] with SVB UK in the subject line and with your company name and any relevant details of your exposure to a failure of SVB UK.
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