Learning from Silicon Valley Bank's 2023 Mistakes

Nov 30, 2023 by Zazil Martinez

In the fast-paced world of finance, Silicon Valley Bank's collapse in 2023 sent shockwaves through the industry. In this retrospective, we will examine what caused the downfall, how it affected things, and what we can learn.

In 2023, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) shook the financial world. Founded with a vision to support innovation, Silicon Valley Bank had been a critical player in the financial sector. The bank had a successful past despite facing challenges. It was well-known for helping tech companies and startups with their specific needs.


What Went Wrong With SVB?

SVB was shaken by two main factors: the drop in tech companies' stock value and the sharp increase in US interest rates to fight inflation.

To overcome these situations, the bank used customer deposits to buy a large number of fixed-income bonds, which are normally considered safe investments. However, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall. As a result, SVB's investments lost value.

The consequences would have been less if they could hold longer for these bonds. However, many customers decided to use their deposits due to the economic situation and the lack of liquidity.

With high-interest rates, customers couldn’t find how to finance themselves and continue with their regular payments. They did not want to go into debt and could not find investors willing to take risks by funding startups.

SVB's customers started taking out their deposits, so the bank had to sell the bonds at a loss because they didn't have enough money.


What Were the Consequences?

That same Thursday, the bank's shares plunged 60%, triggering a flight of investors: $42 billion left the bank in 24 hours. This caused SVB shares to plummet for the second consecutive day, closing down 68%.

The management tried to place new shares to clean up the accounts. Still, the situation worsened, and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation took the already known measures: it closed the entity. It appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as custodian of the bank's deposits.

"The failure of SVB is a textbook case of mismanagement," says Michael Barr, vice chairman of supervision at the Federal Reserve, in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. The Fed official notes that SVB's belated efforts to repair its balance sheet only worsened matters.

Upon closer inspection, it became clear that management decisions and internal processes caused the bank's downfall. Studying these factors was crucial to understanding the internal dynamics that caused the crisis.

In response to the crisis, the government intervened with regulatory measures. This reshaped the financial landscape, prompting a reevaluation of existing norms.

Identifying critical missteps and errors is always crucial. Learning from Silicon Valley Bank's downfall is vital for the industry's continuous improvement and resilience.


The Collapse’s Global Impact

Silicon Valley Bank's collapse had global ramifications, influencing markets beyond its immediate reach. In Spain, Banco Sabadell and Santander lost more than 5% on March 10; on the London Stock Exchange, HSBC - Europe's largest bank by capitalization - also lost more than 5%; while in Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank led the losses with a fall of more than 7%. Meanwhile, three of the largest banks in Japan - Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuh, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group - posted sharp declines, dragged down by nervousness in the banking sector.

In the case of the United Kingdom, where SVB had a presence, the Bank of England previously authorized the sale of its British subsidiary - Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited (SVBUK) - to HSBC, which paid the symbolic price of one pound.

Amidst the crisis, efforts were made to salvage the situation. The financial sector showed resilience through collaborative initiatives, emphasizing the importance of working together for recovery.

In response to failures, the world witnessed an increased focus on technology and innovation for risk management. As the industry looks back on mistakes, recommendations for stable finances in the future come forward. Paystand emerges as a critical player, offering innovative solutions to support proactive measures and continuous adaptation to ensure a more secure financial future.


Paystand's Role in the Financial Landscape

In response to the challenges faced by traditional banks, Paystand emerged as a revolutionary financial solution.

With a focus on automation, Paystand streamlines financial processes, reducing business complexities. Its transaction efficiency departs from the cumbersome processes associated with traditional banking. By using innovation, it reduces risks and stays ahead of challenges. This gives it a technological advantage that traditional banks don't have.


How Paystand Transcends Silicon Valley

Beyond Silicon Valley, Paystand has global implications. Its role in shaping the future of international financial transactions extends far outside the borders of Silicon Valley.

Paystand envisions a future where financial transactions are secure, transparent, and efficient. The role goes beyond stopping failures to shaping the future of financial transactions.

In contrast to traditional banking, Paystand stands out with its modern approach. Digital solutions can be reliable and secure, increasing trust in the technological shift.

After the Silicon Valley Bank collapse in 2023, Paystand's role transformed. It became a key player in reshaping the financial industry by addressing trust issues, streamlining processes, and leveraging technology.

Don’t wait until another massive economic collapse happens to be part of the financial revolution. Join Paystand–and hundreds of satisfied customers–to start streamlining your payment, AR, and financial processes while saving up to 50% in operating costs that can now go straight to revenue. Book a demo today and let one of our experts guide you in the right direction.