According to the Daily Mail, Becker had argued to Congress that SVB had a "deep understanding of the markets it serves, [and] our strong risk management practices." Becker made the argument after federal financial restrictions had been tightened after the 2008 financial crisis.
His bank was smaller during the years of lobbying, but Becker argued that because SVB would soon get to $50 billion in assets, they would fall under "enhanced prudential standards" in Category IV. This reportedly would've included "more stringent regulations, stress tests, and capital requirements for his and other similarly sized banks."
In his argument, Becker told the federal government that they should raise the threshold to impose more regulations to $250 billion.
"Without such changes, SVB likely will need to divert significant resources from providing financing to job-creating companies in the innovation economy to complying with enhanced prudential standards and other requirements," he said. "Given the low risk profile of our activities and business model, such a result would stifle our ability to provide credit to our clients without any meaningful corresponding reduction in risk."
As financial documents obtained by The Lever show, SVB president Greg Becker spent over half a million dollars on lobbying between 2015-2018, which paid off in 2019 when the Federal Reserve set regulations on its own rules, giving large Category IV institutions which SVB became a big break.
The Daily Mail reports that the Fed did this "despite warnings from financial watchdogs that its regulations on Category IV institutions — as SVB was later classified due to its size and other risk factors — were far too weak."
The reports of extensive lobbying came just hours after SVB crashed due to a run on the bank on Friday, becoming the second-largest bank to go under after the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008.
Because federal law only ensures up to $250,000 in bank deposits, several companies with millions in SVB are at risk.
The same day the seizure by the federal government was announced, police were called by a New York branch of the bank, as nearly a dozen investors showed up to withdraw money.
According to the Daily Mail, SVB called the cops on "about a dozen" financiers, including former Lyft executive Dor Levi, who was blocked from entering before two police units arrived to secure the building.
Streaming device company Roku is also in volatile standing, with 26 percent of its cash and equivalents, approximately $487 million, deposited in SVB, far above the quarter-million-dollar insured amount.
Unusual Whales reports that other companies affected by the collapse include BlockFi with $247 million at the bank, Ambarella with $17 million, and Circle with $3.3 billion.
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