SVB UK handed out over $24m in bonuses days after HSBC rescue: Media

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LONDON - Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) UK arm handed out over 15 million pounds (S$24.5 million) in bonuses days after its rescue deal this week by HSBC, Sky News reported on Saturday.

Payouts to staff including senior executives were signed off by HSBC earlier in the week, the report said, adding that the bonuses would not have been paid this week if SVB UK had not been acquired while still solvent.

Sky cited sources familiar with the matter as saying the bonus pool was “modest” at 15 million to 20 million pounds.

“HSBC has honoured these previously agreed payments so as to retain talent and demonstrate its confidence in the bank,” a spokesperson for HSBC UK told Reuters.

SVB UK did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

HSBC bought the British arm of stricken SVB for a symbolic 1 pound on March 13, rescuing a key lender for technology start-ups in Britain and helping curb the fallout from the biggest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crash.

The deal, which sees one of the world’s biggest banks, with US$2.9 trillion (S$3.9 trillion) of assets, take the doomed British arm of the tech lender under its wing, brings to an end frantic weekend talks between the government, regulators and prospective buyers.

In the United States, parent company SVB Financial Group said on Friday it had filed for a court-supervised reorganisation under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to seek buyers for its assets, days after former unit Silicon Valley Bank was taken over by US regulators.

According to media reports, bonuses were also paid to its US staff just hours before the Santa Clara-based bank collapsed. REUTERS

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