The former chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank plans to tell lawmakers Tuesday he did the best he could under the circumstances, and will apologize for the bank’s collapse.
“The leadership team and I made the best decisions we could with the facts, forecasts, and outside expert advice available to us at the time,” Greg Becker said in a written statement posted late Monday to the Senate Banking Committee’s website. Becker is scheduled to testify before the committee Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern, along with two former executives from similarly failed Signature Bank.
“ “I do not believe that any bank could survive a bank run of that velocity and magnitude.” ”
— Former SVB CEO Greg Becker
Becker said the Fed’s series of steep interest-rate hikes and negative social-media sentiment contributed to the bank’s failure. Becker wrote that SVB got unfairly caught up in “negative commentary” after the March 8 liquidation of crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank, causing “rumors and misconceptions to spread quickly online, leading to the start of what would become an unprecedented bank run” on March 9, when Silicon Valley Bank lost $42 billion in deposits in a single day.
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On March 10, another $100 billion in deposits were requested to be withdrawn, he said, adding up to withdrawals of about 80% of the bank’s deposits over two days.
“I do not believe that any bank could survive a bank run of that velocity and magnitude,” Becker said.
Becker was fired March 12, after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the bank.
“I never envisioned myself or SVB being in this situation,” Becker wrote, adding that he is “truly sorry for how this has impacted SVB’s employees, clients, and shareholders.”
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