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HSBC buys UK’s Silicon Valley Bank for £1

HSBC buys UK's Silicon Valley Bank for £1


HSBC on Monday saved the British tech sector from a catastrophic financial crisis by buying the Silicon Valley Bank, UK arm.

The sale was concluded after all-night talks which was led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Bank of England.

HSBC emerged as the leading bidder for SVB UK, and paid a symbolic £1 for the bank.

HSBC’s chief executive, Noel Quinn said the acquisition made “excellent strategic sense”

However, European stocks fell in Monday’s early trading while the US futures rose as investors digested regulators’ actions over the weekend.

The US government had set out emergency measures to prevent the banking system after the collapse of California-based SVB on Friday.

The sale was the best option to protect depositors funds and it was also the choice of the UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt. This move saved the UK government from intervening.

“This morning, the government and the Bank of England facilitated a private sale of Silicon Valley Bank UK to HSBC. Deposits will be protected, with no taxpayer support.

“I said yesterday that we would look after our tech sector, and we have worked urgently to deliver that promise.” Jeremy Hunt tweeted on Monday morning.

The BoE, planned to put the UK bank into insolvency after the collapse of its parent, said the move was taken “to stabilise SVB UK, ensuring the continuity of banking services, minimising disruption to the UK technology sector and supporting confidence in the financial system”.

The overnight mission to rescue SVB’s UK arm was led by Sunak, Hunt and City minister Andrew Griffith, while Andrew Bailey, BoE governor, and Sam Woods of the Prudential Regulation Authority were also involved.

HSBC’s Quinn added that the buy-off “strengthens our commercial banking franchise and enhances our ability to serve innovative and fast-growing firms, including in the technology and life-science sectors, in the UK and internationally”.

SVB UK will become part of HSBC’s UK business, which has 14mn customers and 18,500 staff.

The business, which traces its roots back to the Midlands Bank, is based in Birmingham.

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