The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Silicon Valley Bank’s U.K. arm to be acquired by HSBC for just over $1

HSBC agreed to purchase Silicon Valley Bank's U.K. subsidiary for just over $1 after the bank failed, the company announced on March 13. (Video: Reuters)
2 min

LONDON — HSBC has agreed to buy Silicon Valley Bank’s subsidiary in the United Kingdom for 1 pound — just over $1 — under a deal facilitated by the British government and the Bank of England following the U.S. lender’s collapse.

“This acquisition makes excellent strategic sense for our business in the UK,” the chief executive of HSBC, Noel Quinn, said in a statement Monday.

The British government said customer deposits would be protected “with no taxpayer support.”

“Customers of SVB UK will be able to access their deposits and banking services as normal from today,” it said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, HSBC’s U.K. subsidiary will finance the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited, which is expected to be completed immediately. The deal excludes all assets and liabilities of the parent company, SVB.

Silicon Valley Bank has collapsed. Here’s what we know.

The U.K. deal comes after the Biden administration moved to protect SVB customers from losses, announcing Sunday night that depositors would have access to all their money on Monday morning, approving an extraordinary intervention aimed at averting a crisis in the financial system.

Authorities said they were also extending protection to depositors of Signature Bank in New York, which state regulators closed Sunday as unease in the financial sector spread.

U.S. says all deposits at failed bank will be available Monday

The British government, the Bank of England and British financial regulators had been searching for days for a buyer for SVB’s U.K. subsidiary to protect the country’s tech sector. U.K. start-ups are particularly reliant on the bank for financing but found themselves in uncertain waters after U.S. regulators shut down SVB on Friday, in what amounted to the second-biggest bank collapse in U.S. history.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s finance minister, said the government “worked urgently to deliver” on a promise to “look after” the sector and the bank’s customers.

The Bank of England said it approved the sale “to stabilise SVBUK,” ensure “the continuity of banking services,” minimize “disruption to the UK technology sector” and bolster “confidence in the financial system.”

Jeff Stein, David J. Lynch, Tony Romm, Tyler Pager and Julian Mark contributed to this report.