SVB collapse: Bay Area customers weary, yet relieved as they begin to receive money back

Dustin Dorsey Image
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Customers relieved as they begin to get money back after SVB collapse
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Bay Area Silicon Valley Bank customers were eager to get their money back on Monday after the government stepped in to help following the collapse.

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- It didn't matter how long the lines were Monday at Silicon Valley Bank branches across the Bay Area - customers were eager to get their money back after the government stepped in to help following the bank collapse last week.

When we visited SVB Menlo Park on Friday, the mood of customers was concern and fear that they may lose their businesses after the bank failure. On Monday, some felt relief.

VIDEO: How does a bank collapse in 48 hours? A timeline of the Silicon Valley Bank fall

"Definitely very assuring," co-founder and CEO Sam Liang said. "I think the government, this time, moved very fast. They did a good job this time. I'm pretty grateful."

Others were still worried after seeing the flaw in the system this situation highlighted.

"We'll feel relief when the funds are in a place that we feel is a bit more resilient to these situations," Strong Compute Founder, CEO Ben Sand said. "Looks like it will be a day until that's certain depending on the method used, so that's where we're at for the moment."

The line to get funds back was long and slow moving, some people arrived before the branch even opened at 9 a.m. There was no option for wire transfers and it took about an hour and a half to get through.

RELATED: Experts say tech startups face ruin over Silicon Valley Bank collapse

FDIC employees answered questions along the way before the customers could enter the doors for the first time since last week.

"Everyone is being very patient," Peabody Gallery's Elisa Spurlin said. "They're letting three people in line into the lobby while three people are helped by the three tellers and just rotating through. We're all in the same boat, everybody is being patient. We knew starting the day that it was going to take patience."

Patience is easier said than done when you're talking about millions of dollars in some cases, like with co-founder and CEO Sam Liang.

He could only imagine how this could have gone for his company and others had the government not stepped in.

RELATED: US regulators take steps to make sure SVB customers can access all their money

"If they can't get their money, they're going to destroy Silicon Valley," Liang said. "I don't think the government would want that to happen."

Now mostly in the clear, the focus turns to what's next.

Customers said this will change how they bank and they're all wishing for what's best for one other.

"I just hope that everybody gets where they need to be by the end of the day, by the end of tomorrow," Spurlin said. "Because, again, it's only good for the entire community."

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