San Francisco, Mar 20 (IANS): The US Federal Reserve began sounding the alarm about Silicon Valley Bank's (SVB's) risk management arm starting at least four years ago in 2019, according to a report.
In January 2019, the Fed issued a warning known as a 'Matter Requiring Attention', a citation a step-down from an enforcement action, about SVB's risk-management systems, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing documents from a presentation circulated last year to employees of SVB's venture-capital arm.
The presentation reportedly said the Fed again warned SVB in 2020 that its system to control risk did not meet the expectations for a large financial institution, or a bank holding company with more than $100 billion in assets. The bank at that time was in a period of rapid growth as deposits flooded in at the early onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fox Business reported.
According to the Journal, the presentation notes that SVB's average level of interest-earning assets grew 76% in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the same period one year earlier.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data show SVB's assets grew to $114 billon at the end of 2020, up from the bank's $70 billion in 2019 – the year the Federal Reserve first raised eyebrows.
SVB had nearly twice as much in assets from 2020 to the end of 2021, clocking in at about $209 billion, Fox Business reported.
Questions remain around why SVB was allowed to double in size after the Fed raised concerns about the bank's risk management systems. A Federal Reserve review of its oversight of SVB is due by May.