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Startups slowly regain Silicon Valley Bank UK access after HSBC takeover

Silicon Valley Bank HSBC delay
Image credit: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Startups are gradually regaining access to funds held with Silicon Valley Bank UK after HSBC took over the collapsed bank in a last-ditch rescue deal.

HSBC’s acquisition of California-based Silicon Valley Bank’s UK division protected thousands of startups from losing their deposits.

The deal, announced Monday morning after a frantic weekend of government crisis talks, means SVB UK customers can continue using their accounts in the interim takeover period.

However, SVB UK warned that there might be “short delays” while using its service over the next few days.

“Our clients should not notice any significant changes, however, there may be short delays across the next few days as we return to business as usual,” Silicon Valley Bank said in a statement, adding that it is “resuming normal operations from today”.

The Bank of England has said in a statement that money in Silicon Valley Bank UK is “safe and secure” following HSBC’s takeover, which means the high street lender takes on a balance sheet of approximately £5.5bn in loans and £6.7bn in deposits.

SVB UK access slowly rolling out

Manchester-based Arctic Shores, a company providing skills assessment tools to recruitment firms, said it was struggling to log in earlier today but has since regained access.

London-based edtech startup Lingumi regained access to its SVB UK account in the last few hours but said the service remains “unreliable” due to the service receiving a lot of requests.

Lingumi co-founder and CEO Toby Mather told UKTN he can see transfers made on Friday. He added that he intends to support the new Silicon Valley Bank UK with HSBC and intends on reversing all the emergency transactions.

However, Oxford Medical Products said at the time of publication that it cannot get onto Silicon Valley Bank’s website to access its business account.

Sanome founder and CEO Benedikt von Thüngen told UKTN the London-based healthtech startup has regained access but the service is slow.

Brighton-based quantum computing startup Universal Quantum has gained access to its account and successfully made a transaction.

Others with access are taking a cautious approach.

“We’ve been able to get back in and look at the balances, but we haven’t attempted to do much more with it just yet,” said Joe Healey, co-founder and CEO of NanoSyrinx, a synthetic biology company.

Healey said NanoSyrinx can now view the company’s balance for the first time since Friday afternoon. From conversations with other Silicon Valley Bank UK account holders, Healey added that pending transactions are now starting to be processed.

Space software startup Charter, speaking to UKTN, said it’s logged back into its SVB UK account. Founder and CEO Yuk Chi Chan said: “I’m going to give it a little bit of breathing room before I start depositing.”

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