First Citizens, the new owner of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) U.S. operations, has announced plans to cut around 500 jobs held by former SVB employees. The job losses represent roughly 3% of the company’s workforce. Two months ago, First Citizens completed the acquisition of SVB’s US operations after the bank filed for bankruptcy. In March, HSBC acquired SVB’s UK operations for a nominal £1 ($1.25) in a government- and bank-led deal. All 17 former SVB branches have opened under the First Citizens brand as a result of the acquisition.
In an email seen by the BBC, First Citizens CEO Frank Holding previously highlighted the challenges facing SVB, stating that the impact of job cuts would not involve customer-facing roles but would be felt internally. The team in India supporting SVB will not be affected by the changes. First Citizens is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is described as the largest family-owned bank in the US. HSBC has been one of the biggest buyers of troubled banks in recent years and the acquisition of SVB’s UK operations was said to have added $1.5 billion to its earnings.
Former SVB President Greg Becker recently apologized in congressional testimony, citing rising interest rates and increased customer withdrawals as major contributing factors to the bank’s troubles. Interest rates have risen over the past year as central banks try to curb inflation, contributing to bank failures in the US and further affecting the value of investments held by banks on behalf of their customers. Regulators have accused SVB’s leadership of failing to manage interest rates and evaluate risks and diversify their business.