© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) logo is seen in this illustration taken March 19, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
By David French and Saeed Azhar
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Citizens Financial (NYSE:) Group Inc is working on a bid to acquire the private banking business of failed Silicon Valley Bank, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Citizens, one of the largest U.S. regional banks, is preparing to submit an offer in the auction of the business, which is called SVB Private, the sources said.
The auction is being handled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which has set a Friday deadline for offers, the sources added.
The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified discussing confidential deliberations.
The FDIC, which now controls the Silicon Valley Bank assets, and Citizens Financial declined to comment.
The FDIC tried to sell SVB Private alongside Silicon Valley Bank over the last two weekends after the technology-focused lender was taken over by regulators on March 10. But it failed to clinch a deal to sell them both together.
It has since asked for separate offers for SVB Private and Silicon Valley Bank by March 24. SVB Financial Group, the former parent of Silicon Valley Bank which filed for bankruptcy protection last week, is not part of the process.
SVB Private provides banking, wealth management and trust services to high-net worth individuals. A big part of it comprises Boston Private, a wealth manager acquired by Silicon Valley Bank in 2021.
Citizens Financial has been expanding through acquisitions. It completed the purchase of the U.S. East Coast branch network of HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:) in February 2022, and two months later closed a deal to buy Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:), which added to its presence between New York City and Philadelphia.
The Providence, Rhode Island-based lender is the third-largest bank by deposits in the state of Massachusetts, according to regulatory data. It has a presence in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and is ranked among the top 15 banks nationally by deposits.
Reuters has reported that another regional lender, First Citizens BancShares, has been pursuing a bid for the entirety of the Silicon Valley Bank assets up for sale by the FDIC.