First appeared in Florida Daily
By Aron Solomon
As Reuters first reported on Monday, SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to recover $1.93 billion that the regulator seized during its takeover of the failed bank in March. The lawsuit alleges that the FDIC violated bankruptcy rules by transferring funds and refusing to honor SVB Financial’s demand to be paid.
The seizure of the funds has caused significant financial damage to SVB Financial, which is now seeking to recover the money through the legal system. The company’s lawsuit claims that the FDIC’s actions were “unlawful, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.”
The FDIC has not yet responded to the lawsuit, but the case is expected to be extremely closely watched by the banking industry and legal experts. As someone who also closely watches the U.S. Supreme Court, there is potential here, given the historical context and the fact set, for this case to have some seriously long judicial legs.
That’s precisely because this case raises important questions about the limits of the FDIC’s power and the rights of banks that are seized by the regulator. As New York attorney William Cooper observed, “If SVB Financial prevails in its lawsuit, it has the potential to establish a crucial precedent for other banks that have been seized by the FDIC.”
The lawsuit is just a battle, not the entire war. It’s best seen as simply the latest development in a long-running dispute between SVB Financial and the FDIC over the seizure of Silicon Valley Bank. The bank was seized by the FDIC in March after it failed to meet regulatory requirements, and its assets were sold to another bank.
SVB Financial claims that the FDIC’s seizure of the bank was illegal and that it was not given a fair opportunity to challenge the regulator’s decision. The company also alleges that the FDIC violated bankruptcy rules by transferring funds out of Silicon Valley Bank before it was seized.
The case is likely to be complex and could take years to resolve. However, SVB Financial is determined to recover the funds that were seized by the FDIC. In a statement, the company said that it “remains committed to pursuing all available legal remedies to recover the funds that were unlawfully taken by the FDIC.”
The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant implications for the banking industry and for the relationship between banks and regulators. If SVB Financial is successful in its lawsuit, it could set an important precedent for other banks that have been seized by the FDIC. Ultimately, would be an understatement to say that the lawsuit filed by SVB Financial against the FDIC to recover $1.93 billion seized during the takeover of Silicon Valley Bank raises important questions about the limits of the FDIC’s power and the rights of banks that are seized by the regulator.
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.