Update from SVB’s CEO: SVB's COVID-19 Response & Community Support
Greg Becker | March 30, 2020
Our response effort, like many, is focused on the health and safety of our employees and serving our clients seamlessly throughout this volatile time. Our entire team is dedicated to easing the current financial pressures our clients face and contributing to the larger community. We are well-positioned financially to support our clients, and we’re leading with our values as we extend our support.
Today we are announcing a number of initiatives that stem from our mission to increase our clients’ probability of success, champion the innovation economy and support the communities in which we operate.
SVB Debt Relief
Today we are announcing that we are offering certain venture debt borrowers with term loan balances of $10 million or less (or local currency equivalent) an opportunity to temporarily defer their scheduled loan principal payments for a period of six months. If you qualify for this program, we will be reaching out to you directly as soon as this week with the offer. This SVB program is expected to reach up to $600 million in aggregate payment relief across our global client base.
We continue to engage with our clients to understand what you need right now, and we will look to develop new programs to support clients across additional sectors and life stages in the coming days and weeks. Our priority in this unprecedented time is to listen to your needs, be flexible with our solutions and patient in our approach. We will work with clients that need additional support in the same way we always do on an individual basis.
Government Debt Relief
We continue to be actively involved in industry discussions and policy advocacy efforts to assist with the development of solutions to support small businesses and the innovation economy and will engage further as the regulations and details of the government programs unfold. We expect to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act once regulations are released. We are learning more about the program by the hour and we have a task force in place that is mobilized around this effort. We are also undertaking similar activities in other markets including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) program in the UK and KfW-led programs in Germany, and we are evaluating SVB's ability to participate in the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) in Canada.
Startup and Small Business Resources
As champions of entrepreneurs, who are drivers of job creation in our communities, we are also supporting our partner Hello Alice’s Business for All initiative through emergency grants for COVID-19 relief. Hello Alice, a free platform that guides business owners through the growth of their company, recently launched their COVID-19 Business Resource Center, which is updated daily with real-world funding, federal and state resources, mentors and support for New Majority entrepreneurs adapting to the impacts of coronavirus. Learn more and apply for COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants at www.covid19businesscenter.com/.
Our generous clients and partners often reach out to us to see how together we can make positive change. At this historic time, we invite you to join us in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We have committed $5.5 million to COVID-19 relief in the 15 states and 9 countries where we have offices. Our efforts are focused on three primary areas that experts say have the greatest current need: health, food security and shelter, and small business owner relief.
The SVB COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with Founders Pledge was established to identify and consolidate into a single fund high-impact solution to the current global crisis. Founders Pledge is a global nonprofit organization that empowers entrepreneurs to do immense good. It offers evidence-led charity research, streamlined giving infrastructure, and a community of mission-aligned peers and impact experts. SVB is making an initial $1 million investment to fund this critical work, and we invite you to join us. The fund will not only work to contribute to activities focused on slowing COVID-19’s spread, it will also provide relief to those affected and better equip us all for the future. Read more about the fund and the specific causes it supports and donate at https://www.founderspledge.com/svb-covid-19. Be assured, as the needs increase, SVB and its employees will continue to find ways to provide support.
A Strong Financial Foundation
None of these programs and initiatives would be possible, if not for our solid financial foundation. This foundation enables us to continue to support our existing clients, while growing our business to support the innovation economy, the US wine industry and our global fund banking business supporting private equity firms worldwide.
We continue to analyze the changing economic environment and forecast a variety of scenarios to understand potential financial outcomes of the pandemic. The bottom line is this: We are confident in our strong financial foundation. We have delivered growth and profitability for over 36 years, and we remain focused on delivering such continued performance. We have ample capital to invest in our growth. Our credit performance reflects our knowledge and experience in lending to entrepreneurs and investors, as we support our clients both in good times and in tough times. Thanks to our strong capital, we are well-positioned to invest in our business and continue to lend and serve our clients.
As things rapidly evolve, please expect to hear updates from us via email and please continue to check for news and other resources on our COVID-19 response site at https://www.svb.com/covid-relief.
Thank you and stay well,
Silicon Valley Bank
About the Author
A recognized leader in the innovation economy, Greg Becker heads the only bank dedicated to the global innovation sector.
Greg believes the innovation economy brings together talented people who are passionate about turning great ideas into sustainable businesses to create jobs, grow the economy, and enable more people to unlock opportunity.
Under his leadership for a decade, Silicon Valley Bank has consistently outpaced other banks’ growth rates – enabling SVB to expand the services it provides to thousands of fast-growing companies and their investors. In the US, SVB is among America’s Top 10 Best Banks (Forbes) and Most Responsible Companies (Newsweek) and annually ranks as a Top Corporate Philanthropist, member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and among the best places to work.
Greg joined SVB in 1993, and has spent his career championing innovation, helping entrepreneurs and their investors scale across the US and globally, building SVB for the long-term and expanding to include nine countries. Working with employees, clients and partners, he has also prioritized investments and initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion at SVB and across the larger technology workforce, foster economic development and support community well-being.
Since 2011, Greg has served as president and CEO of SVB Financial Group and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. Earlier, he held various senior leadership positions including co-founder and managing director of SVB Capital, chief banking officer and president of Silicon Valley Bank.
Greg holds key positions that enable him to contribute to policymaking and advocate for the innovation economy at the highest levels: In 2019, he was elected a Class A Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and chairman of TechNet. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which he chaired from 2014 to 2017. Greg also served as a member of the US Department of Commerce Digital Economy Board of Advisors from 2016 to 2017.
Greg earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University.