Eight years before the second-largest bank failure in American history occurred this week, the bank’s president personally pressed Congress to reduce scrutiny of his financial institution, citing the “low risk profile of our activities and business model,” according to federal records reviewed by The Lever.
Three years later — after the bank spent more than half a million dollars on federal lobbying — lawmakers obliged.
On Friday, California regulators shut down the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a top lender to venture capital firms and tech startups, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation took it over, following a bank run by its customers. The bank reportedly did not have a chief risk officer in the months leading up to the collapse, while more than 90 percent of its deposits were not insured. [Continue reading…]