Silicon Valley Bank: Parent Company, CEO and CFO Sued Amid Market Turmoil

 Silicin Valley Bank Financial Group and 2 top executives have been sued by shareholders over the Silicon Valley Bank Collapse, as global stocks continued to suffer on Tuesday March 14, 2023 despite assurances from the US president, Joe Biden.

Silicon Valley Bank

The bank’s shareholders accuse the SVB Chief Financial Officer, Daniel Beck and Financial Group chief executive, Greg Becker, of concealing how rising interest rates would leave its Silicon Valley Bank unit “particularly susceptible” to a bank run.

The proposed class action was filed on Monday March 3 in the federal court in San Jose, California, USA.

It seemed to be the 1st of many likely lawsuits over the demise of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which United States regulators seized on March 10 after a surge of deposit withdrawals.

The news came as shock waves from the collapse of SVB pounded global bank stocks further on Tuesday, with calls for calm from Joe Biden and other policymakers doing little to reassure markets and prompting some analysts to rethink their outlook on interest rates.

“Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe. Let me also assure you, we will not stop at this. We’ll do whatever is needed,” It was said by the President Biden on Monday.

Biden’s comments, along with the emergency US measures to guarantee the deposits of SVB’s clients and shore up banks by giving them access to additional funding, failed to dispel investor worries about potential contagion across the banking sector.

Banking stocks in the continent of Asia extended declines on Tuesday, with Japan’s banking subindex leading the fall, down 6.7 percent in early trade to its lowest since December.

“Bank runs have started [and] interbank markets have become stressed,” Damien Boey said, chief equity strategist at Sydney-based investment bank Barrenjoey. “Arguably, liquidity measures should have stopped these dynamics but Main Street has been watching queues and news– not financial plumbing.”

Rating agency Moody’s on Monday March 13 downgraded the debt ratings of the collapsed Signature Bank deep into junk territory and placed the ratings of 6 other United States banks under review for a downgrade.

The banks placed under review for downgrade were 1st Republic Bank, Zions Bancorporation,  Comerica Inc, Western Alliance Bancorp, UMB Financial Corp and Intrust Financial Corporation.

Moody’s, which rated Signature Bank’s subordinate debt “C”, said it was also withdrawing future ratings for the collapsed bank.

In Monday’s lawsuit, shareholders led by Chandra Vanipenta said Santa Clara, said California-based Silicon Valley Bank failed to disclose how rising interest rates would undermine its business model, and leave it worse off than banks with different client bases.

SVB had amazed the market 2 days earlier by disclosing a $1.8bn after-tax loss from investment sales and that it planned to raise capital, as it scrambled to meet demands from clients who wanted to access their deposits.

Silicon Valley Bank had an estimated $209bn worth of assets and $175.4bn worth of deposits before its collapse, in the largest United States bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis.

Its collapse has sparked fears that other banks could be vulnerable to rising interest rates through an over-exposure to falling bond prices.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for SVB investors between 16 June 2021 and 10 March 2023.

It was said by SVB on Monday it will explore strategic alternatives for what remains of the company, now shorn of its main banking business.

The FDIC on Monday named Tim Mayopoulos, the former chief of Fannie Mae, as the chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bank. According to TechCrunch, a statement sent by Mayopoulos to clients said the bank is “conducting business as usual”.

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