Bank Run: SVB stock trading halted after tanking 60% on Thursday

SVB could be one of the first casualties of the US Fed’s unprecedented rate hikes.

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SVB announced the sale of billion of dollars in securities from its portfolio and also a share sale to shore up finances.

Investors’ primary concern is that recent reports about the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) crisis may cause a Wall Street crash. The market is concerned about what will happen if the SVB crisis escalates and spreads to other sectors. US banking sector stocks had a sell-off yesterday with Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. all falling at least 5%.

SVB stock price plunged 60 per cent on Thursday and on Friday, the trading in SVB stock has been halted. From a stock price as high as $755 last seen in November 2021, the SVB share price closed at $106 yesterday while the market cap of SVB has collapsed from $44 billion to $6 billion.

On Friday, the Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California, was closed today by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver.

Also Read: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) closed, FDIC creates a receiver to protect insured depositors

So, what went wrong at SVB? Based in Santa Clara SVB’s troubles began when its parent company, SVB Financial Group, on March 8, announced the sale of $21 billion in securities from its portfolio and a $2.25 billion share sale to shore up finances. This was following a significant loss on its portfolio, which included US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The investment was more in long-dated securities and in a rising rate scenario, their values tanked.

Immediately, the panic spread throughout the startup world as concerns about Silicon Valley Bank’s financial health grew. SVB lends a lot to tech startups after raising funds from start-ups. Several prominent venture capitalists and portfolio managers started advising their clients to pull their money out of the SVB.Meanwhile , SVB Financial Group Chief Executive Officer Greg Becker is asking depositors and customers to remain calm and continue supporting them.

SVB episode could be a classic case of a Bank Run – When many depositors simultaneously withdraw substantial sums of money from banks out of concern that the institution will go bankrupt, this is known as a bank run.

SVB could be one of the first casualties of the US Fed’s unprecedented rate hikes. Following a series of interest rate increases from the US Federal Reserve, certain banks, including Silicon Valley Bank, are finding themselves against the wall and were forced to raise their interest rates or risk losing them to competitors. Yet, banks with a large number of outstanding long-term, low-interest loans on their balance sheets, like SVB, are finding it challenging to give higher rates to depositors while maintaining lower rates of return on loans.

Only the run on Washington Mutual during the 2008 financial crisis, when that bank had around $300 billion in client deposits, would be bigger than Silicon Valley Bank’s failure if it happened. Silicon Valley Bank reported $212 billion in customer assets at the end of the previous year.

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First published on: 10-03-2023 at 17:15 IST
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