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Police officers leave Silicon Valley Banks headquarters in Santa Clara, California on March 10, 2023.
Noah Berger | AFP | Getty Images

Silicon Valley Bank employees received their annual bonuses Friday just hours before regulators seized the failing bank, according to people with knowledge of the payments.

The Santa Clara, California-based bank has historically paid employee bonuses on the second Friday of March, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about the awards. The payments were for work done in 2022 and had been in process days before the bank’s collapse, the sources said.

This year, bonus day happened to fall on SVB’s final day of independence. The institution, in the throes of a bank run triggered by panicked venture capital investors and startup founders, was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) around midday Friday.

On Friday, SVB CEO Greg Becker addressed workers in a two-minute video in which he said that he no longer made decisions at the 40-year-old bank, according to the people.

The size of the payouts couldn’t be determined, but SVB bonuses range from about $12,000 for associates to $140,000 for managing directors, according to Glassdoor.com.

SVB was the highest-paying publicly traded bank in 2018, with employees getting an average of $250,683 for that year, according to Bloomberg.

After its seizure, the FDIC offered SVB employees 45 days of employment, the people said. The bank had 8,528 employees as of December.

A spokesman for the FDIC declined to comment on the bonuses.

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