That’s what Silicon Valley Bank had for the last 8 months of 2022. Much is being made of SVB’s choosing to employ a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion person in an executive position during that time frame, but a more important function is being missed in this kerfuffle. That is the answer to this question:
It is not clear who handled [SVB CRO until April ’22, Laura] Izurieta’s duties in the last eight months of 2022.
SVB has a President, a Chief Credit Officer, a Chief Operations Officer, and a Chief Auditor. Each of those persons are, or should have been, fully capable of assessing the level of interest rate risk involved with the interest risk of the bank’s holdings with the Fed vs the interest rates it was paying its depositors.
Each of those worthies are, or should have been, fully capable of assessing the demand and cash flow risk associated with the concentration of particular categories of depositors—startups and venture capitalists—with intrinsically very high cash flows and so high rates of cash deposits and withdrawals compared with “ordinary” consumer depositors’ rates of deposits and withdrawals.
Each of those persons are, or should have been, fully capable of assessing the amount of cash held in accounts above the FDIC-insured maximum of $250,000 compared with the amount held in accounts smaller than that limit. Each of those persons are, or should have been, capable of assessing the closely related risk from the degree of concentration of those large accounts in the hands of a relative few account holders and so the risk of any one of those holders withdrawing all of their money.
The presence of a CRO on the payroll and on duty would have been the one to concentrate on those risks, freeing the rest of SVB’s management team to concentrate on other areas, but management, for one reason or another chose not to employ one for those critical eight months. And that management team failed to pay attention, chose not to pick up the slack.