Bank of London bids to buy Silicon Valley Bank’s UK arm

Global clearing house Bank of London has submitted a formal proposal to buy Silicon Valley Bank’s UK subsidiary, according to a statement disclosed by Reuters on March 12.

According to the statement, the purchase is an effort by a consortium of private equity firms:

“A consortium of leading private equity firms, led by The Bank of London, confirms that it has submitted formal proposals to His Majesty’s Treasury, The Prudential Regulation Authority at the Bank of England and the board of Silicon Valley Bank UK.”

Reuters previously reported that other UK financial institutions were considering similar moves, including SoftBank-owned lender OakNorth Bank. Abu Dhabi Investment vehicle ADQ was also interested in SVB̵[ads1]7;s arm.

A plan to save startups and technology companies affected by SVB’s collapse has been drawn up by the British authorities. The contingency plan will contain a cash lifeline for a number of businesses.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government was working “at pace” to deliver a plan in the coming hours that would ensure “operational liquidity and cash flow needs” for Silicon Valley Bank’s UK clients. The UK Treasury said in a statement that it “will put forward immediate plans to ensure that the short-term operational and cash flow needs of Silicon Valley Bank UK customers can be met.”

On 10 March, the Bank of England (BoE) suspended the operation of SVB branches, saying the bank has a “limited presence” in the UK and no “critical functions” supporting the financial system. However, a letter signed to over 200 founders and CEOs of UK technology companies claimed that many fintech firms managed banking through the SVB and will therefore go into receivership immediately unless preventative measures are taken.

US regulators and White House officials are reportedly working over the weekend to address the SVB collapse. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted during an interview that a major bailout is not being considered, but investor protections are underway.

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FIDC) reportedly started an auction process on the night of March 11 for Silicon Valley Bank. Bids are reportedly open for just a few hours, before the process closes later this Sunday.

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