Tech bosses show relief over Silicon Valley Bank rescue

Technology investors and founders representing over £560bn in capital raised and fund assets under management have expressed relief about the rescue of Silicon Valley Bank UK in an open letter to Rishi Sunak and banking regulators.

More than 860 industry figures have put their names to the letter, which was coordinated hours after HSBC Holdings stepped in to buy SVB UK for £1 as it teetered on the brink of insolvency.

Leading names including Richard Reed of Jam Jar, the venture capital fund, Chris Sheldrick, founder of What3Words, Tim Weller, the Trustpilot chair, and Niklas Zennstrom, the CEO of tech investor Atomico, signed the letter.

They said the rescue of SVB UK would “preserve the momentum and energy of the UK tech sector and its wider significance to the whole of the UK, keeping UK tech innovators at the forefront of job creation, economic growth and finding solutions to the world’s biggest problems”.

“This is a pivotal moment for the UK, and this much needed clarity for UK founders will ensure they can carry on working hard to build their companies.

“The UK can now continue to be seen globally as a centre for the best entrepreneurs, backed by a tech friendly government, who understand businesses need for stability.”

SVB’s bankruptcy in the US triggered plans for the Bank of England to place the UK arm into an insolvency procedure, with regulators and ministers engaged in a frenetic weekend scramble to find a buyer.

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HSBC’s decision to step in came after talks with a number of other banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Oaknorth Bank and Bank of London.

Mr Sunak was personally involved in the discussions, which culminated in an agreement shortly before markets opened on Monday.

The deal preserved depositors’ cash and will see SVB UK operate as a subsidiary of HSBC’s UK arm.