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SVB UK paid £15m in staff bonuses days after HSBC rescue

SVB UK bonuses
Image credit: ioda via Shutterstock

The UK subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) paid out £15m in bonuses for executives and other staff just days after it was acquired in a £1 rescue deal by HSBC.

First reported by Sky News, HSBC signed off on the staff payout last week. The report stated that bonuses would not have been paid if SVB UK had not been solvent at the time of being acquired.

Sources reportedly described the bonus pool as “modest”, totalling between £15m and £20m.

“HSBC has honoured these previously agreed payments so as to retain talent and demonstrate its confidence in the bank,” said a spokesperson from HSBC UK.

The payout could be seen as a sign of confidence from HSBC in the profitability of the banking group, despite the financial collapse of its US-based former owner.

SVB was shut down by US regulators after large amounts of deposits held by the startup bank were withdrawn in rapid succession, leaving it unable to meet requests.

Despite the crisis at the California bank, SVB UK, which became a distinct entity owned by the bank in 2022, was able to avoid the same fate after it was acquired by the banking giant HSBC.

At the time of SVB’s shutdown, the UK subsidiary said its accounts were entirely separate from those of its US parent company.