Jeremy Hunt gave a speech on Friday to lay out plans for economic growth in the UK
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British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday he was working with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey to “avoid or minimize damage” from the chaos engulfing Silicon Valley Bank’s UK arm.
“We will put forward immediate plans to ensure that the short-term operating and cash flow needs of Silicon Valley Bank UK customers can be met,” Mr Hunt said.
Friday’s dramatic failure of the US parent bank, which focuses on tech startups, was the biggest since the 2008 financial crisis.
Talks were held over the weekend involving Hunt, Sunak and Bailey to discuss the issues facing UK tech companies affected by the collapse, the UK Treasury said.
Hunt said the UK government was treating the issue as a “high priority” and said that, given the bank’s importance to its customers, its failure could have a significant impact on some businesses.
More than 250 UK tech company executives signed a letter addressed to Hunt on Saturday calling for government intervention, a copy seen by Reuters shows.
Under UK bank insolvency proceedings, some depositors are entitled to up to £85,000 ($102,000) in compensation for cash with lenders, or £170,000 for joint accounts.
Hunt echoed comments from the BoE that Silicon Valley Bank overall has a limited presence in the UK and does not perform functions critical to the financial system.
The BoE said on Friday it was seeking a court order to put SVB UK into insolvency proceedings.