LONDON — Britain’s science and technology minister pledged Saturday to do “everything we can” to minimize the impact of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on the U.K.’s tech sector.
Ministers held talks with tech industry figures on Saturday afternoon after a run on deposits drove the California-based institution into insolvency, marking the largest bank failure since the financial crisis. Its U.K. arm, Silicon Valley Bank UK, stopped trading on Friday.
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt earlier on Saturday held talks with Andrew Bailey, the governor of Britain’s central bank, the Bank of England, the Treasury said in a statement.
In a tweet, Michelle Donelan, who heads the newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “We recognize that the tech sector is often not cashflow positive as they grow and I am determined to stand with them as we do everything we can to minimize impact on the sector.”
In an open letter on Saturday, tech executives warned Hunt that the SVB collapse posed an “existential threat” to the U.K. tech sector, and called for government intervention.
On Friday, the Bank of England said it planned to put Silicon Valley Bank UK into a bank insolvency procedure, meaning eligible depositors would be paid the protected limited of £85,000, or up to £170,000 for joint accounts.