British tech sector ‘at serious risk’ after SVB collapse: govt

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Britain’s technology and life sciences sectors are at “serious risk” following the closure of the Silicon Valley Bank, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned on Sunday.

The California-based SVB bank, which was closed by US authorities on Friday, manages the money of some of the UK’s most promising businesses, Hunt said.

“There is a serious risk to our technology and life sciences sectors, many of whom bank with this bank,” Hunt said in an interview with British television channel Sky News.

“Most people won’t have heard of the Silicon Valley Bank but it happens to look after the money of some of our most promising and exciting businesses.”

The bank is expected to reopen on Monday under a new name with the US deposit guarantee agency, the FDIC, taking control.

Hunt said the governor of the Bank of England had made it “very clear” that there was no systemic risk to the UK’s financial system due to the SVB’s collapse.

The government would bring forward plans “very soon” to ensure people are able to meet their cash flow requirements and pay staff.

It would also put a longer term solution in place to minimise or completely avoid losses to British companies, he added.

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