• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Evaluation: UK companies mull transferring money after SVB chaos


Mar 17, 2023

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – British banks are seeing a pick-up in enquiries to change money between establishments after the collapse of U.S. tech lender Silicon Valley Financial institution, as contagion fears immediate some depositors to attempt to determine the most secure harbours for his or her funds.

One of many nation’s greatest lenders, Barclays (BARC.L), instructed Reuters it had seen a rise in enquiries to change or open enterprise accounts up to now few days. Virgin Cash (VMUK.L), Britain’s sixth largest financial institution, mentioned in an announcement it had additionally seen “internet enterprise deposit inflows in latest days”.

SVB’s failure has roiled international markets over the previous week, with contagion issues spreading to Swiss lender Credit score Suisse, forcing the nation’s central financial institution to shore up its liquidity on Thursday in a transfer that introduced some respite.

The British authorities and the Financial institution of England have mentioned the nation’s banking system is secure, sound and nicely capitalised, whereas the UK arm of SVB was rescued by Europe’s largest financial institution HSBC on Monday. Which means SVB UK’s buyer deposits are secure and their loans supported, HSBC’s high bosses have mentioned.

However the collapse of the Californian financial institution has drawn further scrutiny of the protection of uninsured deposits above an 85,000 pound assure granted to licenced banks in Britain, significantly for companies, as they’re extra prone to have bigger deposits.

Sam Franklin, CEO of recruitment platform Otta, which has round 70 full-time staff, mentioned the disaster had impacted the best way smaller startups thought of their funds.

Franklin instructed Reuters numerous CEOs and startup execs had began researching different banks with which to park money along with SVB UK this week, citing Barclays as a favorite amongst some.

“We’re all occurring this studying journey collectively. We’re all on the lookout for banks with nice backing, sturdy manufacturers, and stable observe information,” he mentioned.

The founding father of banking platform Griffin, David Jarvis, mentioned he’s in a WhatsApp group of over 200 fintech founders, of which dozens have began the method for opening new financial institution accounts following the collapse of SVB. He mentioned the folks have been “principally wanting on the large clearing banks”.

Russ Shaw, founding father of startup business physique Tech London Advocates, instructed Reuters he would advise startups to unfold their capital between totally different financial institution accounts as a matter after all. “I believe many discovered this weekend in regards to the threat of not doing this,” he mentioned.


Speedy rate of interest rises by the Financial institution of England over the previous 15 months had already spurred higher competitors amongst lenders for depositors, with smaller gamers gaining the higher hand as they have been faster to lift charges on merchandise.

However the collapse of SVB has intensified scrutiny of the enterprise fashions of all lenders, together with specialists with smaller steadiness sheets to fall again on.

John Cronin, banking analyst at Goodbody, mentioned deposit migration would proceed to be a key focus for analysts and traders.

“Whereas the problems that SVB skilled have been very a lot institution-specific, it has raised generalised issues across the well being of financial institution steadiness sheets,” he mentioned, including that some specialists may very well be much less uncovered as they rely primarily on shopper deposits.

“A lot of corporations will take the time to assume extra fastidiously about how they place themselves financially sooner or later,” mentioned Dom Hallas, govt director at Coadec, an organisation representing UK tech startups. “However I feel it is too quickly to inform who the winners and losers shall be.”

Sources at three specialist and on-line lenders mentioned that they had seen inflows of enterprise deposits up to now few days, declining to be named citing the sensitivity of the scenario.

Digital banking platform Revolut noticed a 5% enhance in new sign-ups from companies, significantly bigger corporations, final week in comparison with earlier weeks, and a “substantial enhance” in in a single day balances, a spokesperson mentioned.

The corporate – which has utilized for a banking licence in Britain however will not be but protected by the federal government’s deposit assure – mentioned it was not capable of share figures for this week.

Revolut’s prospects within the EU are protected by the euro zone’s 100,000 euro assure, the spokesperson mentioned.

A number of British banks centered on retail merchandise corresponding to shopper financial savings mentioned that they had seen no change in buyer behaviour for the reason that collapse of SVB, including that the overwhelming majority of buyer balances sat nicely beneath the 85,000 pound authorities assure and have been due to this fact protected.

“We have now had no issues from our prospects,” a spokesperson for Metro Financial institution mentioned. “The UK banking system stays secure and continues to function as regular.”

Reporting by Iain Withers, Elizabeth Howcroft and Martin Coulter; Modifying by Sinead Cruise and Jan Harvey

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

Elizabeth Howcroft

Thomson Reuters

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