The UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has paid out more than £15m in employee bonuses just days after it was saved from collapse by a Bank of England-led bailout.
Days after the insolvency bailout payments to staff, including its senior executives, were signed by HSBC either this week, according to Sky News.
The bonus pool was described as ‘modest’ and sources claimed it amounted to between £15m and £20m.
Another said the payments signaled HSBC’s confidence in the talent base and that the buyer was keen to honor previously agreed payments to retain key staff.
An HSBC UK spokesman said: “We have honored these previously agreed payments to retain talent and demonstrate our confidence in SVB UK.”
It has not been confirmed how much was awarded to the UK bank’s chief executive, Erin Platts, or her senior colleagues.
SVB UK is headed by Erin Platts, an American who first joined its US parent company in 2004 before moving to the UK in 2007 and taking over as head of UK and Europe in 2019.
SVB UK was brought to the brink of insolvency last weekend by difficulties from its American parent company, according to Sky News.
Platts tried to reassure clients earlier this month, hours before the Bank of England intervened, saying the company was an independent entity with its own management and balance sheet.
It is believed that if the bank had not been acquired solvent, the bonuses would not have been awarded to their employees.
HSBC bought the UK arm of SVB, securing more than 3,000 customers’ deposits worth £6.7bn, this month for just £1.
No taxpayer money was involved and customer deposits have been protected, according to HM Treasury.
The sudden collapse of SVB’s US parent company sent shockwaves through global markets as it became the biggest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis.
Bonuses were also paid to its US staff just hours before the bank collapsed, according to reports last week.
US parent SVB Financial Group said on Friday it had filed for court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to seek buyers for its assets, days after former unit Silicon Valley Bank was taken over by US regulators
Founded in 1982, SVB was the largest bank in Silicon Valley and specialized in lending to technology start-ups.