Silicon Valley Bank makes a surprising appeal after its collapse

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The new chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank Tim Mayopoulos has one ask: that depositors pivot back to the lender.

“The number one thing you can do to support the future of this institution is to help us rebuild our deposit base, both by leaving deposits with Silicon Valley Bridge Bank and transferring back deposits that left over the last several days,” he wrote Tuesday in an email to clients.

The bank is open for business, making new loans and honoring existing credit facilities, Mayopoulos said. Amid a textbook bank run, withdrawals initiated by depositors and investors amounted to $42 billion on March 9 alone, regulators said. The bank was seized by regulators on March 10. Mayopoulos, who helped usher Fannie Mae through the global financial crisis, was named CEO of the bridge bank on Monday. 

“If you, your portfolio companies, or your firm moved funds within the past week, please consider moving some of them back as part of a secure deposit diversification strategy,” he wrote. “We are also open for business for any new customers.”

Mayopoulos said on a Tuesday conference call with clients that the future of the bank “is still being charted,” and that the company could be recapitalized, taken over by a new owner or wound down. He called the last “the least desirable outcome.”

A group of high-profile venture capitalists said they would continue doing business with the bank. In a statement shared by General Catalyst CEO Hemant Taneja, the group said it was recommending portfolio companies keep 50% of their total capital with SVB.

“We believe SVB is now one of the safest and most secure banks in the country,” the group said.

Mayopoulos echoed that sentiment on a client call, the contents of which were reviewed by Bloomberg. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has eliminated “any cap on the insurance coverage on deposits at our institution, so now all despots here at Silicon Valley Bridge Bank are guaranteed” without limit, he said. “This is truly the safest place in the United States to deposit your funds at a bank.”

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