Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Saturday that the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the second-largest bank failure in US history, created a deep crisis in the technology industry.
SVB with its commercial headquarters in Santa Clara, California was the 16th largest bank in the US at the time of its failure on March 10, 2023.
Tech firms from the US to India to Australia have experienced the impact of the fall of the bank. Leaders of 180-plus tech firms in the UK have written a letter to the Chancellor of Exchequer Jeremy Hunt asking for help.
Ironically, while SVB's other social media channels have been closed, a post on the bank's LinkedIn page claimed the top bank award given by Forbes. It reads, "Proud to be on Forbes' annual ranking of America's Best Banks for the fifth consecutive year and to have also been named to the publication's inaugural Financial All-Stars list."
"I am closely monitoring the collapse of the American investment bank, Silicon Valley Bank, which has led to a major crisis in the high-tech world," tweeted the Prime Minister of Israel.
Netanyahu said that he's been in touch with senior Israeli tech figures following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank in the United States.
Interestingly as the regulators scout for a buyer for the bank, Elon Musk tweeted that he was open to the idea in response to a tweet from Min-Liang Tan, Co-founder and CEO of Razer.
"If necessary, out of responsibility to Israeli high-tech companies and employees, we will take steps to assist the Israeli companies, whose center of activity is in Israel, to weather the cash-flow crisis that has been created for them due to the turmoil," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said that the Israeli economy is strong and stable, adding "which finds expression in this crisis as well."
Netanyahu, who is in Rome for an official visit, said he would discuss the extent of the crisis with his finance and economy ministers and the central bank governor once he returned home.
"From Rome I have held talks with senior high-tech figures in Israel. Upon my return to Israel I will discuss the scope of the crisis with the Finance and Economy ministers and the Governor of the Bank of Israel," tweeted Netanyahu.
Netanyahu assured Israeli tech companies banking with SVB that his government would help affected Israeli businesses overcome the liquidity crisis.
The SVB collapse has sent ripples across the tech industry in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, including Israel, where the tech lender has branches.
US regulators on Friday (local time) shut down Silicon Valley Bank, as markets fretted over possible contagion from the biggest banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis.
California regulators closed down the tech lender and put it under the control of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).