Payments firm Wise says exposure ‘minimal’ to Silicon Valley Bank

A view of the Park Avenue location of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), in New York City, U.S., March 10, 2023. REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado

By Martin Coulter

LONDON (Reuters) – Payments firm Wise has “minimal exposure” to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, according to a spokesperson.

SVB Financial Group, which focuses on tech startups, underwent the biggest collapse since the 2008 financial crisis, rocking global markets, sending stocks tumbling and leaving tech founders uncertain that they would be able to pay their staff.

London-based Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, said it held a small cash balance in a corporate account with SVB.

“We have minimal exposure to SVB via a credit facility they are part of together with six other major banks, and a small cash balance in an operational corporate account,” a spokesperson said.

A number of financial industry executives and investors have warned the collapse of the bank could have a domino effect on other banks if regulators did not find a buyer over the weekend to protect uninsured deposits.

On Sunday, Britain’s finance minister Jeremy Hunt said he was working with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey to “avoid or minimise damage” resulting from the chaos engulfing SVB’s UK arm.

More than 250 UK tech firm executives signed a letter addressed to Hunt on Saturday, calling for government intervention and warning of an “existential threat” to the UK tech sector.


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