Silicon Valley Bank employees received bonuses hours before takeover

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Police officers leave Silicon Valley Banks headquarters in Santa Clara, California on March 10, 2023.

Noah Berger | AFP| Getty Images

Silicon Valley Bank employees received their annual bonuses on Friday just hours before regulators seized the failed bank, according to people with knowledge of the payments.

The Santa Clara, California-based bank has historically paid employee bonuses on the second Friday of March, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about the prizes. The payments were for work done in 2022 and had been in place for a few days before the bank collapse, the sources said.

This year, a bonus day fell on the last day of SVB’s independence. The institution, in a severe bank run triggered by panicked venture capital investors and startup founders, was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) around noon Friday.

On Friday, SVB CEO Greg Becker spoke to employees in a two-minute video in which he said he no longer made decisions at the 40-year-old bank, according to the people.

The amount of the payments could not be confirmed, but SVB’s bonuses range from about $12,000 for associates to $140,000 for managing directors, according to

SVB was the highest-paid publicly traded bank in 2018, with employees receiving an average of $250,683 for that year, according to Bloomberg.

After the seizure, the FDIC offered SVB employees 45 days of work, the people said. The bank had 8,528 employees in December.

A spokesman for the FDIC declined to comment on the bonuses.

SVB officials sell stocks before they fall as part of a pre-planned program
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