Start-up Bank Failure

This week’s Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failure was unexpected and happened in less than 48 hours. I’ve chatted with a few founders and venture capitalists whose companies have assets with SVB. As of Friday afternoon, SVB accounts were frozen, meaning customers couldn’t add or withdraw any funds. Most of the people I talked with were busy establishing relationships with other banks in anticipation of being able to move their funds. The venture capital firms were assessing their own exposure and the exposure of their portfolio companies and updating limited partners on the situation.

The FDIC insures deposits up to $250 thousand. Insured deposits will be available Monday morning. Anything above $250 thousand likely won’t be available until the FDIC sorts through everything, which could take time. My gut tells me that SVB customers will likely get most of their money back, but when that will happen isn’t clear. The longer it takes, the more difficult decisions there will be for SVB customers to make.

I’ll be watching this closely as it unfolds.