UPDATED: MARCH 13, 2023 AT 4:28 PM
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is being felt across the country as well as here in Washington.
In a rare early morning speech, President Biden assured people with deposits in the bank that their money would be returned to them, including any deposit of any size.
SVB has offices in a high-rise on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle across the street from the federal courthouse and the main branch of the Seattle Public Library.
It is not entirely clear what will happen to these offices after the bank’s collapse last Friday.
Dave Parker sits on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association with a focus on startups. He spoke to KIRO 7 Monday morning and said the weekend brought a radical shift for businesses with funds tied up in SVB.
On Friday, he said companies were worried about wages this week, but Biden’s assurance has drastically changed things.
“(A) big sigh of relief (but) there are still concerns about credit cards backed by SVB and lines of credit,” Parker said.
Parker said many companies, including those in Washington, were due for wages on Wednesday. He also said that SVB is known to many companies in the state that have used SVB for commercial banking services.
Parker said it is not just the technology sector that has trusted SVB. Washington winemakers also had ties to the bank.
CBS News cameras captured images of customers queuing early Monday outside SVB’s branch in Santa Clara, Calif., to withdraw money. Parker said local companies spent the weekend opening accounts at new banks — a process that usually takes a week. In this case, the banks waived this time limit.
“SVB here in Northwest Norway is an institution. They’re part of the ecosystem, they’re part of the community,” Parker said.
He said the first sign of trouble last week accelerated quickly when people began withdrawing money from the failing institution on Friday or late Thursday.
“Human nature does not change. A run on a bank is a run on a bank, whether it’s a lovely example of life in black and white or whether it’s in the age of technology. The fact is when people get anxious about it – Twitter just triggered it faster. To see it all happen in 48 hours was still kind of crazy, Parker said.
Parker said companies in Washington are also trying to open new lines of credit now that SVB’s credit situation is uncertain. He added that Washington companies are also watching to see if SVB is sold to another bank.
Biden has promised to fire the top management of SVB after the government’s takeover of the bank.
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