The British arm of Silicon Valley Bank has paid staff up to £20m in bonuses after it was bought by HSBC in a rescue deal.
Payouts to employees were signed off by HSBC, SVB UK’s new owner, earlier this week, according to Sky News – just days after its insolvency was averted by the takeover.
The bonus pool, of £15m to £20m, was described as “modest” by sources familiar with the matter. It was unclear how much had been paid to Erin Platts, the UK bank’s chief executive, or her senior colleagues.
One insider said the awards indicated HSBC’s confidence in the staff at its new subsidiary and its desire to retain them by honouring previously agreed payments.
SVB UK is a profitable business with about 700 employees in Britain, but the actions of its American parent company brought it close to collapse this week.
If it had become insolvent, the bonuses would not have been paid this week, sources said.
Senior executives and other employees have already been negatively affected by the plunging value of the company stock they hold, according to an insider.
In the US, the company’s banking arm has been taken into Government ownership.
Its holding company, SVB Financial Group, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is looking for buyers for its other assets.
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