NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — US authorities are investigating Goldman Sachs’ work for Silicon Valley Bank in connection with the events surrounding the California bank’s collapse, Goldman disclosed in a securities filing Thursday.
Goldman is “cooperating with and providing information to various governmental bodies” on its activities for SVB in March just before the tech-oriented bank went under, according to the filing.
Goldman has been criticized over its multiple roles with SVB, in which it was both advising the California bank and purchasing distressed debt in a deal that ultimately played a central role in SVB’s collapse.
SVB was seized by federal banking regulators on March 10 following a run on deposits after it reported two days earlier that it lost US$1.8 billion from the sale of US$21 billion in securities.
In the same 8 March press release, SVB said it enlisted Goldman in connection with a planned capital raise.
Markets viewed the disclosure of the trading losses as a sign of SVB’s desperation to raise cash to meet liquidity needs as it suffered from deposit flight, ultimately leading to the bank’s demise.
In Thursday’s filing, Goldman said the government probes include “when SVB engaged the firm to assist with a proposed capital raise and SVB sold the firm a portfolio of securities,” Goldman said.
The government probes follow a request from 20 House Democrats to US regulators urging an investigation of whether Goldman “operated at ‘arm’s length’ in their role as advisor for SVB.”